|A photo of the
Plane that brought the bull to Schulenburg was also used in this fanciful
collage by Leon Herzik. Presented to Dr. Peters, who had personally
delivered 2000 babies in the Schulenburg area, Mr. Herzik probably
photographed 1999 of them.
Photo/Collage Courtesy Schulenburg Historical Museum and Herzik Family
May of 1929, Carnation Milk decided to build a Condensing Plant in
Texas. This would be the first National Company of any kind to open
a plant in Texas, hard as that is to believe. Wags of the day said
that Texas was chosen "because contented cows can't stand discouraging
words". Gail Borden,
who lived in Galveston
and had a county
named after him in the panhandle, had chosen a site near here
several years before. Borden's stamp of approval probably had something
to do with Carnation's choice, since Texas dairies were thriving in
The otherwise peaceful community was delirious with joy. Grown men
wept, women couldn't sleep (because of the men weeping), chickens
laid colored eggs and children behaved themselves.
since the deliberate
head-on collision of two locomotives near Waco
did so many people gathered in one Texas place for one event. Local-boy-made-good
Senator Russek was there, and even the Governor himself. Hand-cranked
cameras were there to record the event and show it in theaters around
the country, and hand-cranked ice cream was sold on Main Street, which
had been closed to traffic.
Although it had been announced that bulls for breeding a superior
herd were being shipped "express", no one imagined that one would
(or could) be flown in. This was after all, only two years after Lindbergh's
flight and the mystique of aviation made pilots the highest paid profession
after movie actors.
|The baby bull's
image was used to sell cigars in Schulenburg.
Schulenburg Historical Museum
|The animal in
the spotlight was actually a handsome Holstein bull calf, still wet
behind the ears, with the cumbersome name of Carnation Badger Aero
The Flight originated in Oconomowoc, Wisconson where the locals spend
their time inventing Native-American sounding names that when translated
end up meaning something like Smithville. The plane was a Ford Tri-motor.
Henry was briefly in the aviation business, as he was briefly in the
railroad business. Suggested Company slogan: "Have you flown a Ford
lately?" The plane landed in Ripper's pasture at High
From the Schulenburg Sticker: "This stunt which was one of the biggest
advertising stunts in recent years, gained worlds of publicity for
Carnation, our city and this bull." "This history making event will
be told for generations." Here we are generations later - Editor.
Included in the crowd (estimated at 20,000), were other noteworthy
Schulenburgers: The Stanzel Brothers came to see the plane and the
Herzik family staffed their cameras, recording the event for history.
The Sticker also reports that in addition to the bull and company
officials, there was a pilot, and a reserve pilot-mechanician (?!)
Never content to let a story end peacefully, our editor perused the
Sticker for several more days and found that upon leaving town the
next day, the plane took Myke Klein as a guest, and Henry Schaefer,
as a stowaway. Upon arrival in [Smithville], Wisconson, the two men
took a train to Toledo, Ohio, bought a Whippet (an automobile brand
of the day), drove to New York and then returned to Fayette
County. A letter received from their adventure closed: "Regards
to Carnation City."
As the sun went down that day, (somewhere west of Flatonia)
this chapter in Schulenburg's
life was now over. Men stopped weeping, women slept, colored omelets
were forgotten and children still behaved themselves, for this was
"the hometown you never had."
Jan. 2002 Column
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