Another Tribute to Pete the Mule
On July 3, 1965, over 10,000 people gathered in Muleshoe for the erection and dedication
of the National Mule Memorial: A tribute to the mule for its role in the development of early
America and early war efforts. The dedication to the mule statue was so prominent, the Texas
Attorney General of the time, Waggoner Carr, attended as keynote speaker. Furthermore, the
mule was even invited to attend President George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001.
Now, exactly 56 years later, the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture invites
the community to gather on July 3rd to celebrate yet another tribute to the famous mule. What
more could be done to honor the mule you might ask…how about with a song? That’s right. Our
beloved mule, also known as “Old Pete”, now has an official theme song! And you will be the
first to hear it, performed live, during “A Day of Honor” Independence Day Celebration right
here in Muleshoe, Texas.
So, who in the world wrote a song about the mule statue in Muleshoe? Allow me to share
a little history of Old Pete’s dearest friends, the Williams family.
Arnold and Sonya Williams are from North Carolina. They married in 1966 and in 1968,
while Arnold was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico, they drove to
Lubbock and saw the statue in Muleshoe and stopped and enjoyed his history. In 1990 they
moved to Texas and brought their son, Gray to visit Old Pete. Arnold and Sonya had several
chances to visit Pete while Gray attended Texas Tech University, and so they did. Together,
Arnold and Sonya visited Pete every chance they had until 2008 when Sonya passed away.
Arnold says, “Our first visit with Pete, she and I just connected some way with Pete and
his history. Somehow he won our hearts, and we would always say hello to him and talk to him.
Pete has become even more special to me after losing Sonya as we both really enjoyed our visits
All this led to the composition of the song called “Pete the Mule”. The song is written
and performed by Janis Diane Thomas and owned by Arnold Williams. Arnold searched for a
year for a song writer and singer and found Janis Diane Thomas who was interested. Janis visited
Pete in Muleshoe, read his history, and composed the wonderful song which tells the story of the
Williams family relationship with Pete, while capturing the historical value of the mule.
I now thank Mr. Williams for giving us another reason to celebrate the mule. Mayor Ellis
of the City of Muleshoe proclaimed, “Pete the Mule” as the official theme song of the National
Mule Memorial in Muleshoe, Texas (so it’s kind of a big deal).
This year’s 4th of July celebration will be held on July 3rd – Muleshoe’s biggest event of
the year, full of festivities for Muleshoe-ites and surrounding communities to enjoy. This year we
are especially excited to host the debut of “Pete the Mule” and we hope you will join us in
Other events for the day at the Bailey County Courthouse Square include a parade, food
trucks, vendors, live music by Mariachi Gema, United Supermarkets pie eating contest, and the
Lil Miss and Lil Mister Firecracker Pageant. Sporting tournaments include kickball, softball,
cornhole and horseshoe pitching. Following the courthouse square events will be the annual
Mule Days & Kickin’ Nights music festival. Giovannie and the Hired Guns will be the opening
band for American Aquarium. The day will end with the City of Muleshoe’s firework show at
west city park