COWS AND FLYING BULLSby
Carnation Comes to Texas in 1929
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
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 Hopkins and Eastland Counties.|
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.
The Big Day
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 Lindburg's flight and the mystique of aviation
made pilots the highest paid profession after movie actors.
baby bull's image was used to sell cigars in Schulenburg. |
Schulenburg Historical Museum
in the spotlight was actually a handsome Holstein bull calf, still wet behind
the ears, with the cumbersome name of Carnation Badger Aero Lone Star.|
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 Hill.
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 Shulenburgers: 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 (?!) on board.
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
"the hometown you never had."