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Texas | Features | Humor

Brewster Hudspeth's

Faintly Blurred Memory of
Snyder, Texas

Editor's Note: Mr. Hudspeth claims to have been born in 1860 and to have traveled the entire state of Texas before being abducted by aliens at the Texas State Fair of 1948. He has no memory of events (on Earth anyway) for the years 1948 to 2001. That was when he "awakened" in a motel room outside of Sanderson. His "histories" cannot be verified, so we publish them for amusement only. Mr. Hudspeth goes into a trance when relating his stories and what follows is a transcript of his answers after asking him what he remembers of Snyder.

The Naming of Deep Creek,
The Truth about the White Buffalo Legend
and
The Two-Day Oil Boom

"Well, Snyder was a pretty bad place before I got there.

Yeah, I knew Pete Snyder. He wasn't a bad guy - for a Yankee.

What the history don't tell you is that Pete had a partner. I forget his name - it was Ralph somebody - they named Deep Creek after him - sort of.

Ralph and Pete were talking while crossing what they had been calling Shallow Creek. Ralph was tellin' Pete a joke about Franklin Pierce and just when he got to the punch line - he disappeared.

Pete turned around to see Ralph's hat floating on the water and that was all. They thought of naming it "Not-as-shallow-as-we-thought Creek" but that was too long to put on a map - so they settled on Deep Creek. They never did find Ralph's body. He owed me ten bucks, too!

The Truth about the White Buffalo Legend

Pete was also the one to come up with that White Buffalo legend. I know they say it was the Indians, but I was there.

It was an idea to bring business to his trading post. He had ordered a big pine pole from East Texas and it had been shipped on a flatcar near the end of the train. But they hit the brakes before they got it here and the darn thing went through the express car, two passenger cars and impaled the engineer and two conductors. The fireman got some bad splinters but they swabbed him with tequilla and he lived.

Anyway, after paying for that log, Pete had a buffalo taxidermied, painted it white and put it up on that old pine tree. Boy, Howdy! You could see it from Big Spring. He took it down when the city passed their sign ordinance in '79, but whenever he was having a sale on irregular buffalo robes he'd wheel it out on the sidewalk. The Indians liked it - they'd had the photographer make daguerreotypes of their kids riding on it."
Scurry County Texas legendary white buffalo
Scurry County's legendary White Buffalo
Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp

The Two-Day Oil Boom

"Most of the other facts you got are right on the money, except you didn't mention the 2 day oil boom. Yep, only 2 days. Ol' Jimmy Black was on his way to Gail when he found a drum of motor oil that had fallen off a truck. He drove back to Snyder to see if Buddy at the gas station would buy it. He was tellin' Buddy about it while a Greyhound bus was gassing up and I guess somebody on the bus heard him say he found oil.

Well the bus headed west and when the next east-bound train pulled into Snyder there was about 500 men in suits and straw hats wantin' to buy land.

The population swelled to about 10,000 in 2 days and most of the regular population of Snyder was suffocated. Check the cemetery if you don't believe me.

They all left town when they found out it was just 32 gallons. I got to sell my place though - that was the year I moved to El Paso. No, wait. It was Corsicana."


John Troesser

See Snyder, Texas | Snyder Hotels

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