This webpage contains the Muleshoe Bulletin Board and the history and interesting stories about the people that founded Muleshoe Texas and surrounding settlements including Hurley, Virginia City, Janis, the Muleshoe Wildlife Preserve and Bailey County.

This is a work in progress...we're adding new material often..visit us when you can and send me your Muleshoe and Bailey County stories and photos for posting to the Muleshoe webpage.


History of Muleshoe, Hurley, Virginia City, Bailey County, Texas

Muleshoe Metal Art Website

City of Muleshoe Website

Muleshoe newspaper-the Muleshoe Journal

History of the Cowboy and Cattle Drives in Early-Day texas

History of The Western Stagecoach in Texas

Cowboys of the Silver Screen.

Old West Saddles

Vintage Cowboy and Old West Collectibles

Index of Vintage Buckle Catalogs

Western Handbags

Civil War Collectibles

Navajo Rugs, Native Baskets

North American Indian Collectibles

North American Indian Beadwork

Pioneer Relics and Antiques

Belt Buckles

Western Belts

Tomahawks, Knives, Antlers, Arrowheads, Crafts, Horns, and Snake Skins

Timeless Gifts Catalog (crystals, gemstones, fossils, misc)

GOT A BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVERSARY COMING UP? We have a supply of year of birth Life and Post Magazines That Make a Perfect Birthday Gift

BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVERSARY COMING UP- Order your own customized birthday newspaper

Artifact and Antique Appraisal

Tomahawks, Craft Supplies


Photo of the Muleshoe mascot, the mule
By Leonard Kubiak

email address:

Mailing Address: 1264 FM 2116, Rockdale, Texas 76567

If you have any early day Muleshoe stories or pictures or have a question about the Muleshoe area, send me an email and I'll post your information on the Muleshoe website for our readers.


Len Kubiak


Map of Muleshoe and surrounding settlements

Received the following email from Carol Tatum (

My 1st cousin, Jessie Lee Actkinson, was born in 1878 (Arkansas) but lived in Muleshoe until he died in 1956. He was married to "Mandy E." and they had an infant son who died. They are all 3 buried in "the old cemetary," founded in 1918, also called the Bailey County Cemetary (off of FM 2079). I am hoping perhaps someone visiting the website will have heard about my cousin and his wife or are related to them. My e mail is Thank you.


Received a letter from Milton Sellars of Bulverde Texas with more updates on the Harvey Bass family of Muleshoe. Many thanks to Milton for his informative letter.

Received the following email from Barbara Shipman(

Researching Crawford.. Shipman .. Moore My family lines.

My name is Barbara Shipman. I found your Muleshoe TX website and wanted to share some of the things that I found in an old box of photos and memories. I found some postcards one in which has the name Muleshoe on it and I'd like to share that with you and all your viewers .

I was scanning in a few picture of young people that indicate that they went to school in Muleshoe.

In hopes that someone may know these young people who I believe maybe children from the Crawfords.

I will send them in my next e-mail - Have a great day,

Barbara Shipman

How to be Happy : Feed the Birds, Barbara

Send us an email if you can identify any of these.Thanks, Len

Received the following email regarding the Bailey Cattle Co from Andy Komensky (

Howdy, Enjoyed your web site.
I have a wonderful ranching ledger which I assumme was from the Bailey Cattle Co.from 1897 to 1904 that deals with approximately 60 ranch hands, numerous business and ranches, plus a hand written bill of sale on a piece of paper, dealings with business in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Would you happen to know where the ranch headquarters were located???

I'm assuming it was west of Muleshoe. In my hunting and caving adventures, I came across numerous old homesteads. One of my favorites is the Rainsprings Ranch, made out of native rock, and in disrepair. Listed below are a few things from the ledger:

Nov.28 1897 cattle counted to date: 7558
Suit of clothes $25.00
6-19-1899 1873 calves branded

Case of eggs $12.00
State phone of Texas $4.00
Carlsbad Cocoa Cola $.75
Magnolia Petroleum Co. $75.45
Mr,@Mrs. Chas Smith (cook)
Eddy Bisell Cattle Co. sold 839 calves = $15,313.25
VVN Ranch Texas Oct. 1900 I, this day sold and delivered to J. A. Oden 5 mules @ 2 horses branded thus O + on left shoulder only one horse branded signed Ed Pitts (this is on a piece of paper assuming a bill of sale)
Piece of paper ......Mr. S.H. Pickett article from Last Chance Canyon....( I, am familar with Last Chance Canyon, the mouth of the canyon is at Sitting Bulll Falls....USFS also in the area of Queen is an area known as Pickett Hill, which is close to the head of Last Chance Canyon.
Jeff Chism
John Ledbetter
Nath Smith
Cash on hand Nov. 25, 1898 $ 11,571.00

Retired United States National Park Ranger.
Close as I ever came to Muleshoe was years ago to Portales. Will definetly look at the stuff you show from the Fort.

Received the following email regarding the Prescott General Store:

My Grandmother was a Prescott...(born 1900). She used to tell us of her Grandfather Prescott who had a general store in Muleshoe Texas....don't know the dates...if I remember correctly he was married to an Indian woman....She used to show us the picture of her (the Indian) standing on the porch of the store...any knowledge of this you could share with me?? Thank you.

Received the following email from Bob Thomas regarding early-day memories of Muleshoe:

In the late 1950s My Dad took our family to visit our Aunt and Uncle in Muleshoe. They were PQ and Ruby Stickney. I hope I'm remembering this correctly but My Dad (George Cecil Thomas) and my Uncle PQ took me down to the Muleshoe station to see the mail delivered. I remember the train coming by and the mailbag getting snagged by a hook and a mailbag getting tossed onto the platform all within a few seconds. I was about 6-7 years old at the time and was very impressed.
Can you verify that Muleshoe mail was picked up and delivered by this method in the late 50s?

I also recall my Aunt Ruby working for a resturant called the Crossroads Cafe that gave out wooden nickels for a free cup of coffee. Any chance my memory is correct?

Bob Thomas

Received the following email from Carole Tucker regarding the Albert Tucker family of Muleshoe:

I was looking to find something on the History of Muleshoe one day to put with the Tucker History and found your web site. Great.

I had just had company last week, Dave Gregory. His mother was Elva Ireton, from the Rolla Ireton family in the picture on your web site. He talks often of his Uncle Chuck.

My husband's parents Albert Henry and Margie (Arthur) Tucker moved from Broken Bow, in Custer County, Nebraska to Muleshoe in September of 1925, and lived there until April of 1930. Margie's mother had just died and they moved back so Margie could help her father with his family. Their children were Floyd (in Margie's arms), Jimmy in front and Ruby beside Albert, in front of their home at Muleshoe.

A son Franklin G Tucker was born in Muleshoe in July of 1928. A son and daughter were born after they moved back to Custer County Nebraska, Walter and Margie, in 1933 and '34.

Albert's cousin John Tucker often talked about their time in Muleshoe. Albert's Aunt Mary Tucker Gregory and her husband John Wilson Gregory also lived there, as well as many other family members.

When I hosted the Tucker Family Reunion in 1992 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where we lived, I wrote the chamber of commerce and got material on what Muleshoe was like in the 1990's.

Regards and thank you for your web site.

Carole Jensen Tucker

Old Photo of Albert Tucker Family of Muleshoe Texas
Albert Henry and Margie (Arthur) and children Tucker Floyd (in Margie's arms), Jimmy in front and Ruby beside Albert, in front of their home at Muleshoe.

Got an email from Charles E. Ireton who had additional information to share about early-day Muleshoe.

" My daughter found your web site about Muleshoe. We were surprised to find our family photo, the Ireton Famly. I am Charles E. Ireton, age 74. I started the first grade at Muleshoe grade school. During the third grade my family moved to Redwood City California where my Dad worked in a shipyard in South San Francisco. Here are the correct names of our family starting left to right. Marion Frank Ireton (my brother), Mother Lillie Ireton, Father Rolla C. Ireton, Chuck Ireton (in front of my dad), Grandmother Eda Ireton, and my sister Elva.

Dad was a well driller and drilled many wells on some of the ranches in the area as well and irrigation well in the early 1940. Our home place was just north of the railroad about a 1/3 mile. The home is still there. We made a short visit the fall of 2000, my first visit back since 1943. Sorry to see a lot of down town building boarded up and business closed. I remember when the theater was built. My sister married James Gregory who owned a 1/2 section of land west of Muleshoe. It was sold by their children just a few years ago. Betty and I and the only surviors of our family, except for our grandchildren.

Great web site.
Thank you

Charles (Chuck) Ireton

Got an email from Doris Long Murrell who had additional information to share about early-day Muleshoe.

March 8, 2010 from Doris Murrell"
My relative, Homer Long owned the auto repair shop on the main highway going through Muleshoe years ago....His dad, Octavius Martin Long was brother to my granddad, John Elmer Edward Long.....We didn't know about the Baily County Longs until my gdad died in 1958. A letter was found in his old trunk from his brother "Mart" Long, listing all ten of his children, their spouses, etc.

I wrote letters to all of them and got answers from all over the country. We loaded up my grandmother and headed for Muleshoe and had the most wonderful reunion with all those who lived around there....Kelly Barnett, Wesley Long (Friona wheat farmer), Homer and Nettie Mae Long (owners of the auto shop) and my gdad's younger brother, another Daniel Homer or Homer Daniel Long....

With the death of most of them, we have lost track again. We never knew why no contact was maintained between the brothers....My granddad traveled all over Texas I was told until finally he bought a five acre Satsuma orchard in Clute, Texas in 1912.

My Granny Long said she road in a covered wagon all over Texas. My dad, Elmer Long was born in 1913 and when we finally met the Muleshoe Longs, we were astounded that he and Homer could have passed for twins almost....we would have know they were kin a mile off....I'm sure there are relatives still around Muleshoe, but I've lost track of them...

Loved the website....

Doris Long Murrell

History of Bailey County, Muleshoe, Hurley, & Virginia City Texas

For thousands of years, the region that was to become known as Muleshoe Texas and Bailey County was home to a variety of Indian tribes that made their villages along the area lakes.

Artifacts identified as belonging to the Paleo-Indian (12,000-6,000 B.C.) and Archaic (6,000-200 B.C.) cultures have been found in the area, indicating it was occupied for more than 12,000 years.

When the first Europeans arrived in the Panhandle region of Texas in the 1500's, the area in and around Muleshoe was home to a sizeable Apache Indian population. However, by the late 1700's, Comanches (Southern Shashones) and Kiowas rode by horseback into into the area, hunting buffalo and raiding the Apache Indian villages sucessfully driving out the Apaches. Up until the early 1800's, large buffalo herds grazed the open areas of what became Muleshoe and Bailey County.

Photo of Comanche Indian Camp in early day muleshoe territory


President Mirabeau B. Lamar, who took office as President of the Republic of Texas at the end of 1838, had a very hostile attitude towards Indians than did Sam Houston. Lamar believed that the Indians had no integrity; thus, there was no possibility of peaceful negotiation or co-existence. The only solution to the violent clashes between whites and Indians was to rid Texas of the Indians--permanently.

Lamar sent a commission including David G. Burnet, Thomas J. Rusk, and Albert Sidney Johnston, to negotiate the removal of the tribe to the Arkansas territory. He also deployed about 900 army regulars, volunteers, and militia to East Texas.

Pres. Lamar of Republic of Texass drives out Indians from Texas

President Lamar, Commander and Chief of the Texas Army Regulars responsible for Driving Most Indians out of Texas.

On July 15, 1839, several hundred warriors under Chief Bowl engaged the Texans near present-day Tyler Texas. In the initial battle, the Indians were defeated, losing eighteen men to the Texans' three. The next day, the Texans pursued the retreating Indians and inflicted more than 100 casualties, Chief Bowl among them. They also burned the Indian villages and chased the Indians across the Red River into neighboring Indian Territory (Oklahoma). In the aftermath of the Cherokee battles, many of the weaker or more peaceful tribes Texas were also forced to relocate.

By 1841, East Texas was almost entirely cleared of Indians. The Alabamas and Coushattas were exceptions. They were regarded as a peaceful tribe who had aided Texans during the Runaway Scrape (after the fall of the Alamo and Santa Anna's army was searching for Sam Houston's army). The Alabamas and Coushattas were granted two leagues of land along the Trinity River.


However, the western part of the Texas Republic was a different matter. The Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache nations refused to be driven out of Texas and continued fighting the Texas army and Rangers until their defeat in the early 1870's.


The second battle of Adobe Walls (near Amarillo Texas) took place on June 27, 1874, when a buffalo hunters' camp, built in the spring of that year in what is now Hutchinson County, about a mile from the adobe ruins known as Adobe Walls was attacked by a party of about 700 Plains Indians, mostly Cheyennes, Comanches, and Kiowas, under the leadership of Quanah Parker and Isa-tai.

Most of the hunters at the camp were awake repairing a broken ridgepole when the Indians charged at dawn. The defenders, twenty-eight men and one woman, gathered in (Jim) Hanrahan's Saloon, (Charlie) Myers and Leonard's Store, and (Charles) Rath and Wright's Store and repelled the initial charge with a loss of only two men.

Hunters in the vicinity were notified of the attack on Adobe Walls, and by the end of the fifth day there were more than 100 men at Adobe Walls. A rescue party arrived after the Indians had given up the fight and retired. The significance of this fight is that it led to the Red River War of 1874-75, which resulted in the final relocation of the Southern Plains Indians to reservations in what is now Oklahoma.


In response to the attack at Adobe Springs, Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie led the 4th United States Cavalry from the south in an attempt to trap the Indians where they were camped. This campaign beginning with the second battle of Adobe Springs and ending with the battle of Palo Duro Canyon was known as the Red River War. Mackenzie's troops pursued several small Comanche bands into Tule Canyon and defeated them. Mackenzie then reached the edge of Palo Duro Canyon on September 28, 1874, guided by the Tonkawa chief Johnson.

Mackenzie's soldiers and scouts destroyed Red Warbonnet's village causing many Indians to flee the canyon for the open plains. Some of the warriors fought back, sniping at the soldiers, but their resistance was insufficient, and by nightfall Mackenzie's soldiers and Tonkawa scouts had captured the Indians' villages and most of their possessions.

The Indian losses at Palo Duro Canyon amounted to three warriors dead. One white was killed. Mackenzie's troops also captured more than 1,400 Indian ponies. Of these, forty were given to Johnson and another 300 to the other scouts. The remaining ponies were shot by the soldiers.

Most of the Indians' supplies, including their entire winter food supply, was also destroyed. Though the loss of life on both sides was remarkably small, the battle of Palo Duro Canyon is significant because it represented the southern Plains Indians' last effort at military resistance against the encroaching whites. Their tribal government of the Comanches today operates near Lawton, Oklahoma.


The territory that eventually became Hurley, Muleshoe, and Earth in Bailey County Texas was originally a part of Bexar Territory from 1836-1876. Bailey County was created on August 21, 1876, and named for Peter James Bailey, a Kentucky lawyer killed at the Alamo during the Texas War for Independence. However, because the region was so sparsely settled (mostly cattle country), Bailey County was attached to Baylor County from 1876 to 1891, and to Castro County from 1892 to 1918 for judicial purposes.


Texas State Capital Burns in 1881

President Lamar, Commander and Chief of the Texas Army Regulars responsible for Driving Most Indians out of Texas. The Sixteenth Texas Legislature appropriated three million acres of land in west Texas to finance a new state Capitol building to replace the old capitol building destroyed by fire on November 9, 1881.

The Capitol Syndicate established the XIT Ranch to cover the $3.7 Million cost of erecting the state capitol, which was completed in April 1888. John Farwell, a member of the Capitol Syndicate, went to England and late in 1884 succeeded in forming the Capitol Freehold Land and Investment Company of London. By attracting wealthy British investors like the Earl of Aberdeen and Henry Seton-Karr, a member of Parliament, Farwell returned with the equivalent of roughly $5 million in American currency to finance the building of the state capital and to finance the conversion of 3 million plus acres into the mighty XIT ranch.

From the first, the Capitol Syndicate had intended to run cattle only until the land could be used for agriculture; long-range goals were to promote settlement, eventually subdivide the acreage, and gradually sell it off piecemeal.

Texas Historical Marker describing the famous XIT ranch that included the Muleshoe Territory.

A herd size of 150,000 was put together and by the turn of the century, 325 windmills and 100 dams had been erected on the XIT ranges. Cross fences divided the ranch into ninety-four pastures, and 1,500 miles of fencing had been completed. Cowhands were paid from twenty-five to thirty dollars a month. Because of droughts, blizzards, prairie fires, and declining markets, the XIT operated largely without profit throughout most of its lifespan.

One of 325 windmills that once pumped water for the XIT ranch.

Old XIT Brand used on millions of head of cattle during the lifespan of the famous XIT ranch.

By the late 1890s pressure from the British creditors were rising, and the Capitol Syndicate began the gradual process of selling out. The last parcel of XIT land was sold in 1963 by Hamlin Y. Overstreet, who had succeeded his late uncle as a company representative in Farwell.

The romance of the XIT Ranch, enhanced by the spread's sheer size, lives on in western lore. The voluminous XIT Ranch records are housed in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, and the old general office building still stands in Channing. In Dalhart memories of the ranch are kept alive in the XIT Museum and the famous "Empty Saddles" monument, as well as the annual XIT Reunion, complete with parade and rodeo. Other West Texas towns, including Muleshoe, Farwell, and Bovina, also advertise their common heritage with the XIT. The old Escarbada division headquarters, where Ira Aten and his family resided during his stint as foreman, is now part of the Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Cordia Sloan Duke and Joe B. Frantz, 6,000 Miles of Fence: Life on the XIT Ranch of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). James D. Hamlin, The Flamboyant Judge: As Told to J. Evetts Haley and William Curry Holden (Canyon, Texas: Palo Duro, 1972). Laura V. Hamner, Short Grass and Longhorns (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1943). Charles E. McConnell, XIT Buck (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1968). Ray Miller, Eyes of Texas Travel Guide: Panhandle/Plains Edition (Houston: Cordovan, 1982). Pauline D. and R. L. Robertson, Cowman's Country: Fifty Frontier Ranches in the Texas Panhandle, 1876-1887 (Amarillo: Paramount, 1981).


In 1903, Edward K. Warren and his son Charles, owners of the Warren Featherbone Company (a manufacturer of women's corsets in Three Oaks, Michigan), bought the 40,000 acre YL Ranch from J. L. Clark of Tennessee (formerly part of the XIT Ranch) and more XIT acreage from the brothers W. D. and F. W. Johnson in 1907 and by 1910, the Warrens had expanded their famous Muleshoe Ranch to over 150,000 acres covering portions of Bailey, Lamb, Castro, and Parmer counties.

The headquarters for the Muleshoe Ranch was established west of the future townsite of Muleshoe. The origin of the Muleshoe name came from an old rusty muleshoe that the Warren's had found in the dirt.


Hurley was a small settlement located three miles north of present-day Muleshoe, Texas was the first community in Bailey County. To entice prospective settlers to the area, the Coldren Land Company platted the town, in 1907. On August 2 of that year, a post office was granted to the community with H. C. Good as postmaster. By 1908 the community had a population of twenty-five, a store, a school, a stable, an icehouse, a hotel, and a church. Several irrigation wells were drilled near Hurley and they raised the vegetables for the cannery. The brand name was �Hurley�s Best�, with a big red tomato on it.

Some of the closer neighbors in Hurley would meet in one of the homes every Saturday night for a dance. Then they would gather on Sunday and have dinner on the ground. After ice was available at Farwell, the citizens of Hurley made ice cream with fresh strawberries and blackberries out of their gardens.

In 1908, James Johnson of the Coldren Company bought the section on which Hurley was located. Several social events were organized to interest visitors in settling in the community, but when the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway bypassed it by three miles, the town soon became a ghost town moving the main buildings to the new town of Muleshoe.

In September 1912, the Fairview Land and Cattle Company platted a new Hurley along the rail line and organized the Hurley Townsite Company. The new town was to have telephone lines, electric wiring, water and sewer service, and streetcars. A store and the post office were moved to the new site in 1913, and the community's population grew to around 100. At that time a Congregational church was built there, as was a broom factory. However, a conflict arose with the railroad when Hurley Townsite agents demanded too much money for the right-of-way.

Trains refused to stop in Hurley, and the new town of Muleshoe, established in part because of this conflict, became the railroad's new depot. The townsite company gave Hurley residents expense-free trips to Austin to plead the town's case. Soap was even occasionally rubbed on the track to make the trains stop, but the railroad won its case.

When Bailey County was formed and held it's election to determine the location of the county seat, Muleshoe Texas received seventy-four votes to Hurley's thirty-six.

At this point, several of the Hurley buildings were moved to Muleshoe including the Methodist Church and the hotel. Hurley was practically abandoned after its post office was moved to Muleshoe Texas in December 1926.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: LaVonne McKillip, ed., Early Bailey County History (Muleshoe, Texas, 1978). Thelma Lee Stevens, History of Bailey County (M.A. thesis, Texas Technological College, 1939).

Muleshoe Texas Established in 1913

When the Santa Fe's Clovis cutoff railroad line was built through the Muleshoe Ranch, the town of Muleshoe was surveyed out at the site of the ranch's loading pens in 1913. Some of the old buildings from the town of Hurley were moved to Muleshoe including the Methodist Church and the hotel that became the Gupton Hotel of Muleshoe.

Muleshoe, which is 3,889 feet above sea level, became the market and shipping center of Bailey County and grew rapidly in its early years. By 1926, Muleshoe had nearly 800 residents and voted for incorporation.

One of the families living in Muleshoe in the 1930's was the Frank Ireton family shown in the photos below.

Rolla C. and Lillie Ireton Family; photo taken in Muleshoe in 1936. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Marion Frank Ireton, Rolla C. and Lillie Ireton, Rolla's mother Eda Ireton, and daughter Elva.

Got an email from Charles E. Ireton who had additional information to share about early-day Muleshoe.

" My daughter found your web site about Muleshoe. We were surprised to find our family photo, the Ireton Famly. I am Charles E. Ireton, age 74. I started the first grade at Muleshoe grade school. During the third grade my family moved to Redwood City California where my Dad worked in a shipyard in South San Francisco. Here are the correct names of our family starting left to right. Marion Frank Ireton (my brother), Mother Lillie Ireton, Father Rolla C. Ireton, Chuck Ireton (in front of my dad), Grandmother Eda Ireton, and my sister Elva.

Dad was a well driller and drilled many wells on some of the ranches in the area as well and irrigation well in the early 1940. Our home place was just north of the railroad about a 1/3 mile. The home is still there. We made a short visit the fall of 2000, my first visit back since 1943. Sorry to see a lot of down town building boarded up and business closed. I remember when the theater was built. My sister married James Gregory who owned a 1/2 section of land west of Muleshoe. It was sold by their children just a few years ago. Betty and I and the only surviors of our family, except for our grandchildren.

Great web site.
Thank you

Charles (Chuck) Ireton

Charles (with the Guitar) and Betty Jo Ireton; photo taken in Muleshoe Texas in the mid 1930's.

Cotton continued to be a major industry in Muleshoe with several gins and oil mills operational in the 30's.

In 1948, Harvey Lee Bass (October 11, 1918 - February 7, 2007) and his family moved to Muleshoe Texas. Harvey's brother, Melvin was County Clerk at this time and became a silent partner with Harvey in purchasing the the Firestone Dealer Store from Mr. and Mrs Rockey. The Rockney family also owned the Ford dealership in Muleshoe.

Harvey moved the Firestone Store to the corner of Main and Avenue B near the Muleshoe State Bank. Harvey's employees included Milton Blaylock andMilton Sellars. Harvey helped organize the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce, and operated an appliance Store for some 50 years, and became Democratic Party chairman in Muleshoe Texas until health problems prompted him to relocate to Snyder in the South Plains region.

Bass was the youngest of thirteen children born in Jones County in central Texas to Henry Isom Bass (1873-1968) and the former Mary Evaline Jones. In 1939, he graduated from Meadow High School in Meadow (Terry County) in west Texas. He worked for Burleson-Garrett Engineering and laid telephone line in east Texas. Prior to World War II, he worked for North American Aviation in Hawthorne, California, having helped to build P-51 Mustangs and B-25 bombers.

Bass was a deacon in the Primitive Baptist Church, which he first joined while living in California. He taught church singing schools throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

In 1946, Bass married the former Marie Bingham in Crosbyton, the seat of Crosby County. The couple moved to Muleshoe in 1948. They had two children, Carola and a second unnamed daughter. Bass was also a charter member of the Rotary Club, and won the coveted Paul Harris Fellow designation for outstanding community service.

He chaired the Bailey County Democrats for twenty-six years. In later years, however, Bailey County moved into the Republican column, as did most of west Texas and the Panhandle. Bass served on many boards and commissions designed to promote the image of Muleshoe and was known as a man with a "positive, optimistic outlook and can-do attitude."

In the late 1940's, Earl Richards and his family moved to Muleshoe Texas from Memphis. Earl managed the Muleshoe Cooperative Gin until his retirement.

Earl and Opal Richards and children, Rosemary and Shirley. Earl managed the Muleshoe Texas Cooperative Gin for several decades.

Muleshoe Cooperative Gin in Muleshoe, Texas.

Muleshoe Primitive Baptist Church located at 601 South First in Muleshoe, Texas.

In 1960, Muleshoe Texas elected to become a Home Rule city and is governed by a Mayor and four Council members elected from districts.

On July 11, 1961, Lela Evelyn Gunter was born at Muleshoe, Bailey Co., TX. In 1965, the Texas Historical Commission made history by dedicating a Texas historical marker to the mule. This marker and a life-size statue of the mule greets visitors just east of the downtown intersection of US 70/84 and Texas 214.

In 1965, a Texas Historical Marker was dedicated to the mule with the following inscription:

Without ancestral pride or hope for offspring, the mule -- along with buffalo, hound and longhorn -- made Texas history. In war he carried cannon on his back. Because he was available to haul freight, forts rose on frontiers. Indians ate horses hitched to cart or coach, but let tough mule meat go by. His small hooves scaled rock and steep untrod by horse or ox, but big ears endangered him in lake or river. He went fast, endured much, ate sparingly. Since beginning of Christian era, has helped all over world to bear burdens of mankind."

When the idea for the mule monument was announced, donations came in from around the world. A mule driver from Samarkand in the Soviet union sent a gift of 21 cents.

In the town of the Muleshoe, the mule is king. The local mascot is the mule. The local radio station is called the Muletrain; pictures of the mule appear in the local paper and are plastered around town.


In 1969, the citizens of Muleshoe Texas errected a new community center with annual events including a junior livestock show in February and the World Championship Muleshoe Pitching Contest on the Fourth of July.

Muleshoe continued to grow and by 1970, Muleshoe had a population of over 5,000 and over 200 businesses, two hospitals, two banks, a library, a newspaper, and a radio station.


In the late 1980s the old Muleshoe Ranch cookhouse and bunkhouse near Farm Road 1760 west of Muleshoe was designated a historic landmark and had received a Texas Historical Commission marker. Records of the Muleshoe Ranch and other Warren company interests are housed in the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.


The Muleshoe Station of the Santa Fe Depot opened for business January 9, 1914. The line from Lubbock to Texico was completed and became a part of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway Company. The Santa Fe Depot served this area from 1914 to 1983.

In 1983, the Santa Fe officials made a proposal to donate the depot to the people of Muleshoe if they would pay for moving it. Thus, a "Save the Depot" campaign sprang into being and the outcome was the organization of two groups: the Student Community Action Club and the Muleshoe Heritage Foundation, organized in 1983 as a non-profit organization. The purpose of both organizations was to work together to move and restore the depot and other historical buildings in order to preserve the history of the county.

The depot was moved March 29, 1985, and it was restored by muleshoe residents and board members of the Foundation and dedicated on September 12. 1987. The former ticket and passenger waiting room of the depot was furnished with period furniture, was enhanced by lace curtains and burgundy.

The former freight room of the depot was transformed into a meeting room with a full kitchen which now serves as a meeting place for senor citizens, reunions, receptions, bridal showers, retirement events and weddings.


Today, Muleshoe Texas is a modern community that remains the county seat of Bailey County, Texas and has a population of approximately 4,500. It is the distinction of being the only city in the country with a Memorial to the mule! Churches in Muleshoe include:

Muleshoe boast six area churches including: Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana Church
Richland Hills Baptist Church

Church of Christ
First Baptist Church
The Church of God of the First Born
Trinity Baptist Church

Muleshoe also has two major banks including:

Muleshoe State Bank: at 101 West American Boulevard established in 1931.

First Bank of Muleshoe at West First Street And Avenue B; established in 1955

Muleshoe has one radio station (KMUL) which broadcasts on 1380 AM and 103.1 FM.

Muleshoe Football Team entering the field

Another shot of the Muleshoe Football Team and Cheer Leaders

The city-owned Muleshoe Municipal Airport serves Muleshoe and Bailey County and is equipped with a paved runway that extends for 5099 feet. The facility is located approximately a mile from from Muleshoe. In 2006, Panda Ethanol Inc.announced that it intends to build a 100 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant near the city of Muleshoe in Bailey County, Texas. When finished, the facility will annually refine approximately 38 million bushels of corn into a clean-burning, renewable fuel for the nation�s transportation needs. The ethanol produced by the plant will displace approximately 2.6 million barrels of imported oil a year. The Muleshoe facility will generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process by gasifying more than 1 billion pounds of cattle manure a year. Once complete, it will be one of the most fuel efficient ethanol refineries in the nation. Panda Ethanol is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

The Muleshoe Ranch near Post

Mart Driver, an early-day resident of the Texas panhandle area, wrote the following account about his life in the early 1900's on the Muleshoe ranch which was down close to Post. This would be very similiar to life on any of the surrounding ranches in the Muleshoe area.

"I came to Lubbock on October 1, 1906 from Oklahoma and started in to run a freight wagon between Lubbock and Big Spring. The weather was dreadfully bad that fall. We had one snow that measured 14 inches on a level. At that time the roads were so bad that, although I was driving six mules to my wagon, it took me over a month to cover my usual route, which generally required about 15 days."

"In 1909 I gave up freighting and turned cowboy again." Mr. Driver continued. "I never was satisfied unless I was out on a ranch looking after cows. So I got a job with R. M. Clayton and W. D. Johnson on the Muleshoe Ranch down close to Post, in Garsa County. This ranch was known in earlier days as "The Old Curry-Comb Ranch." After C. W. Post bought up this land he leased 200 sections of it to Clayton and Johnson for ranching purposes and they stocked it with nearly 9,000 head of cattle. This ranch was operated under the names of "Muleshoe," and the cattle were branded with a muleshoe.

"The Muleshoe Ranch headquarters were located 4 miles north of Post, but I stayed at a little one room house on the Plains. Out on the range, I believe it would be more correct if I said in the pastures, for the ranches were nearly all fenced at this late a date, I was busy with the cattle and when I went to the house I was chief cook, bottle and dish washer. I lived alone and did all of my own work."

"I had company one night when I was not expecting anyone, an uninvited guest came in during the day and took possession of my bed," Mr. Driver said. "It was late and I was tired when I got home that night. I just hurried through my supper and went right to bed. I noticed a knot in the bed as soon as I lay down. I had been working pretty hard for several days and had been hurriedly spreading my bed up in the mornings, so I supposed that my blanket had become rumpled. I turned over and stretched out on the other side of the bed. About the time I was beginning to feel pretty comfortable and dosing a little. I become conscious of slight movement somewhere in the bed. I was wide awake in a minute at that, and I lay there wondering what it could have been and waiting for some more moving, but nothing happened. I told myself that I had been mistaken and I tried to get to sleep again, but in vain. Finally I turned back over and felt for the knot, but it was gone. A little farther over I found a roll that seemed to extend in all directions across the bed, everywhere I put my hand I touched it, and it wriggled and wriggled. I threw the covers back leaped from the bed and grabbed my old oil lantern from the table, as soon as I could get a light. I went back and examined the bed. When I turned the blanket back I found a big bull snake squirming around on the mattress. The house did not have any screens and the floor was full of holes so was easy for snakes to got it. The mice were very bad there and snakes are usually attracted to mice infected places. They are said to be a great help in exterminating rodents, but I did not mind the mice as much as I did the snakes, however that was the only time I ever went to bed with a snake.

"I left the Muleshoe Ranch and went to work for Ellwood on the SpadeRanch in 1914. Spade Ranch headquarters were over in Lamb County, just 6 miles north of Anton, Hackley County. This ranch had an area of about 468 square miles (9 miles wide and 52 miles long). Nothing but white-faced Hereford cattle were kept on the Spade Ranch, and steer cattle was generally all that was kept on this ranch, but 1,000 cows, a large number of which were milk cows, were shipped from the dry pastures of the Ellwood Ranch, near Colorado City, in the late fall of 1917, and pastured on the Spade Ranch that winter. The cattle brand was a spade. There was usually about 20,000 cattle on the ranch, but at one time taxes were paid on 35,000 head of live stock on the Spade Ranch, this list also included the saddle horses." "I worked on the Spade Ranch 14 years." Mr. Driver continued. "Sometimes I was punching cattle and sometimes I was repairing windmills. There were 50 windmills on the ranch and for two years I spent most of my time keeping those mills up."

"Some men do not like to batch, they complain of getting lonesome, but I never was that way. I never cared for any kind of games, or dances. I never cared for a lot of company. I liked the camp life, liked being alone with just a big herd of cattle, I lived my myself in a little house for many years, while I worked on this ranch. It sure seemed like home to me.

"There was one time though when I was mighty glad to have some of the other boys come along," Mr. Driver sated. "That was just after that big blizzard in 1918. I was in camp by my self looking after the cattle that had been shipped from Colorado City. When that blizzard struck, I had 26 calves, with this bunch of cows, to take care of. The calves ranged from 2 weeks down to 3 days old, the poor little things just looked as if they would freeze when the wind first hit them. I hitched up to the wagon and drove down in the pasture, everytime I saw a calf I turned my team in among the cattle until I was close enough to lasso the calf, then I pulled it up in the wagon. I got all of them and hauled them to the house where I could give then better care and they were protected from the cold there. I went to feeding them on alfalfa hay, cotton seed meal and bran. I raised all of these calves but one, and they never had another drop of milk. I hauled them home that day. It did not take them long to learn to eat and they got along fine by themselves.

"About the time I got the calves all up I began to suffer with my head and face. My jaws went to aching until I could hardly stand it when I went out in the wind, but I had to see about the cows. Some of them were going lame and getting down in the pastures with their feet and legs frozen. I kept going out and doing what I could, but I know that I could not keep it up much longer and I hoped that some of the other boys would come to my camp. None of them showed uphowever and after about four or five days I got a chanch to send in word that I needed help, by a passer-by and the next day assistance arrived. Tom Arnett came and brought me back to town. My face was swollen and paining me so badly that I wanted to have my teeth extracted. I went to Dr. Ballinger first, but he would not pull my teeth, so I went to Dr. Overton. He tole me that he felt sure that my gums would have to be treated before any extractions could be made, but he advised me to go to Dr. R. B. Hutchinson. This dentist treated my mouth for some time, and finally pulled all of my teeth."

"We lost a good many cows from the effects of the blizzard. Some of them died in a little while. None of them ever got over it, the ones that lived to get up again just hobbled around on their crippled feet and looked miserable. When the weather began to get warm, their legs broke out in scores and some of then got down again. At last along in May we just killed the poor creatures, there was 11 of them when we made the slaughter.

"When the Ellwood lands were put on the market and sold for farms, a number of the old cowboys were let out, and so after 14 years on the Spade Ranch, I fould myself without a job. There were several of the other boys who were on the ranch long time that had to go too. I worked with Arnett (he is dead now) and Sam Delmont, he was there 15 or 17 years, he works on the A.B. Ranch at Lemesa now.

Later I come to town and bought me a home and got married," Mr. Driver said with a twinkle in his eyes. "I go out every fall and work for Len McClellan on the Circle Bar Ranch for a month or two during the round up. I cook and run the chuck wagon, while the boys brand the new calves, and get things in shape around the ranch for the winter."

Mr. Driver glanced out the window at the snow, it was a cold, ugly day outside, then he leaned back in his easy chair and playfully tweedled the ears of his devoted dog. Who was curled up cat like fashion in his master's lap. On the other side of the stove in a little wicker rocking chair sat the old cowboy's wife - a perfect picture of cheerful contentment, and one knows that when Mr. Driver can no longer make trips out to the ranches that he will be spending long, happy hours recounting his experiences as a cowboy to the attentive lady of his choice as she listens quietly and rocks in her wicker chair.


In 1918, Emil Wellsandt donated an acre of land for the Bailey County cemetery. Many of the descendents of Lee and Belle Snyder are buried in the Bailey County Cemetery, including their five children, Earl, Carl, Vernice and his wife Dallie, Frank and his wife Allie, and Mary and her husband Major Wood, three grandchildren, and several further descendents.

Historical Marker for the Bailey County Cemetery near Muleshoe.

Lee and Belle Snyder, early-day settlers of Hurley. Many of the descendents of Lee and Belle Snyder are buried in the Bailey County Cemetery, including their five children, Earl, Carl, Vernice and his wife Dallie, Frank and his wife Allie, and Mary and her husband Major Wood, three grandchildren, and several further descendents.


In November of 1918, Bailey County was finally organized on its own, covering some 832 square miles of west Texas.

The first officials of Bailey County included:

W. M. Wilterding, Judge
H. A. Douglass, Sheriff and Tax Assessor-Collector
C. C. Mardis, Clerk
G. P. Kuykendall, Treasurer
E. G. Hoskins, Inspector of Hides and Animals
J. B. Diggs, T. L. Snyder, C. E. Dotson and John S. McMurtry, Commissioners.

At the first meeting of the commissioners court in the Blackwater Valley State Bank on January 16, 1919, C. D. Gupton was appointed Justice of the Peace.


In a special election held on April 12, 1919, Muleshoe was designated the county seat.

A jail cell was purchased in June 1919 from neighboring Parmer County and in July of 1919, work was started on the first courthouse, a frame structure that cost $2,450.

Old Photo of Bailey County Courthouse in Muleshoe (Photo taken by the Highway Department in 1939).


Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge is the oldest Wildlife Refuge in the state of Texas and can be reached by taking SH 214, south out of Muleshoe about 20 miles.

The refuge was established by an executive order of October 24, 1935, and is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge serves as a wintering area for migratory waterfowl and sandhill cranes. Three saline lakes, White, Goose, and Pauls, each divided into upper and lower, are located within the refuge.

Wintering sandhill cranes normally begin arriving around the end of September for a half-year stay. Their numbers peak between December and mid-February, often at 100,000 or more.

When water is sufficient, large numbers of migrating waterfowl begin arriving at the refuge during August, and their numbers peak by the end of December.

Small flocks of snow geese visit the refuge during the spring and fall migrations, and a few Canada geese winter there. The most common species of duck seen at the refuge is the pintail, but American wigeons, mallards, green-winged teals, and ruddy ducks also frequent the Muleshoe preserve. Others are seen during migration.

The refuge comprises 5,809 acres, and the land is broken by two caliche outcroppings in the form of rimrocks near the northern and western boundaries. The outcroppings come alive with wildflowers in the spring. Short grasses, scattered yuccas, cacti, and mesquites cover the rolling, largely treeless sand hills. Livestock are rotated among several pastures to maintain the grass for wildlife. Trees and shrubs planted behind the refuge headquarters attract large numbers of songbirds, especially wood warblers in migration. Such raptors as red-tailed and Swainson's hawks can be seen, and in mid-winter it may be possible to see eight or more species of raptors in one day, including bald and golden eagles.

Burrowing owls share homes with prairie dogs at the Muleshoe Wildlife Refuge. Other animals found on the refuge include coyotes, badgers, cottontails, and jackrabbits.

The best times to visit the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge are from October to February for cranes and waterfowl, spring and fall for migratory songbirds, and late summer for shorebirds. The refuge is open twenty-four hours a day all year.


To find Coyote Lake, take SH 214, south out of Muleshoe about 6.5 miles; turn west onto FM 746, then continue about 13 miles to Coyote Lake.

Coyote Lake is one of numerous natural salt lakes in the Texas Panhandle. Its waters, although brackish, have been welcome enough at various times to Indians, buffalo hunters, and thirsty cattle on hot, dry days. The lake has a shoreline of over 6-1/2 miles and a bed area of 829 acres, and is one of the largest of the many saline lakes in the region.

Today, artifacts found near the lake shore show that this was once a favorite Comanche camp site. Even while Indians were still a menace, buffalo hunters swarmed into the Panhandle, and they, too, often camped on Coyote Lake.

Until 1877, they killed so many of the huge, shaggy beasts that the southern herd, once numbering millions, nearly became extinct. From 1885 to about 1910, Coyote Lake served as a watering spot for cattle on the huge (3,050,000 acres) XIT Ranch, which blanketed the western Panhandle.

In 1898 when the Pecos and Northern Texas Railroad built through Bovina (30 miles north), the lake watered thousands of cattle en route from southern ranches to the railroad, and from there to northern markets.


Janes was a small settlement located along the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway two miles southeast of the site of present day Muleshoe in Bailey County. Jan was founded by was established by E. K. Warren in 1912. It was probably named for members of the Janes family, early settlers and landowners in the area.

In 1913 a post office was granted to the community and Janes gradually grew to include a store, a bank, and a hotel, which was moved by James Johnson from the old town of Hurley. When the railroad built its station at Muleshoe rather than at Janes, the latter community declined. The Janes post office was moved to Muleshoe in May 1914, and its businesses soon followed. After Muleshoe became the county seat, the Janes community ceased to exist.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: LaVonne McKillip, ed., Early Bailey County History (Muleshoe, Texas, 1978). Thelma Lee Stevens, History of Bailey County (M.A. thesis, Texas Technological College, 1939).


Virginia City was located two miles southeast of the present intersection of Farm roads 298 and 1731 in southwest Bailey County, twenty-five miles southwest of Muleshoe. It was platted on March 13, 1909, by Matthew C. Vaughn and Samuel D. McCloud. The original townsite called for a lot reserved for a courthouse and others for schools, churches, and a park. The same year it was platted, an Iowa land company bought the site and advertised for prospective buyers. A hotel was built to house visitors, and several stores were established. A roadbed for a railroad was graded through the town, although it was disputed whether the construction was genuine or merely a speculation trick. The venture failed, and the town was abandoned by 1913.

This is a site under construction. We'll be adding old photos and stories of early-day settlers in the Muleshoe area. If you have something you'd like to add to the site, send me an email at .

Also see our history links near the bottom of the main Fort Tumbleweed webpage. I spend a great deal of time researching Texas history and adding topics of interest to our website for our internet viewers.
More Texas History webpages on the main page.

Got any old Muleshoe Photos or Stories you want to share? Send me an email!">For questions or comments, send me an Email at


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