National Mule Memorial

V.H. Torrance, Austin historian and writer, noting the absence of the mule at the Ft. Worth Stock Show, became concerned over the rapid disappearance of the mule from the American scene. The late Dr. J.B. Barnett read the story, sent in a contribution, and a suggestion that a memorial to the mule be erected at Will Rogers Coliseum, Ft. Worth. George Dolan, a Ft. Worth columnist wrote of the movement to erect a mule memorial.

Gil Lamb, owner of radio station KMUL in Muleshoe, and Carroll Pouncey the manager of the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce, wrote Dr. Barnett and Dolan, listing reasons why the memorial should be in Muleshoe.

Mrs. Middlebrook’s 4th grade class sent Dr. Barnett a contribution, and a plea to have the memorial erected in Muleshoe. Dr. Barnett flew to Muleshoe and organized the National Mule Memorial Association in 1965. More than 700 contributors from the U.S. and abroad, joined the campaign.

The sculptor was Kevin Wolf, and the memorial was done by Fiberglass Menagerie, Alpine, California. The model for the memorial was “Old Pete” an 18 year old, 1100 pound mule belonging to Dave Anders of Muleshoe.

The National Mule Memorial was dedicated on July 3, 1965, with Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr being the keynote speaker.

The Mule now stands on U.S. Hwy 84, at the north end of Main Street, next to the Chamber of Commerce building.

  • Mules plowed the first sod for pioneer man.
  • Mules ground the first meal for pioneer man.
  • Mules built the first railways westward.
  • Mules pulled the covered wagons west.
  • Mules hauled the first freight.
  • Mules built the first highways.
  • Mules, 5000 strong, fought and died in World War I.
  • Mules can stand more heat, more cold, and do more work, on less food and water than any other animal.
  • Mules are not dumb animals. A mule will not founder by overeating – will not injure himself in a runaway – will not allow himself to be overworked.