Our towns: Muleshoe celebrates its heritage

Cannon Connections: Alisa Boswell Muleshoe West City Park is a big highlight in the town, according to city officials. The park includes a water park, a golf course, basketball courts and more. It is one of the main highlights, along with the Muleshoe Heritage Foundation.

Alisa Boswell

Muleshoe, Texas, was named after Muleshoe Ranch, which was established in the late 1800s by Henry Black and grew to over 30,000 acres during its operation.

Muleshoe was established in 1926 but was founded 13 years earlier.

“We were built on the railroad for the shipping of cattle and things,” said city secretary/administrator LeAnn Gallman.

City Manager David Brunson, who has lived in Muleshoe for 10 years, said he would describe the community as “aggressively progressive.”

“Muleshoe is just a lot more progressive community than other west Texas towns out here,” Brunson said, “They’re active in economic development, in the school system, school activities and preserving history.”

“It’s just part of their culture,” added Gallman. “They don’t know any different.”

Brunson and Gallman said United Super Markets coming to the small town was very exciting, because bringing an industry of that size to a small town is a rare occurrence.

“I think we see history as far as people who grew up here moving back and making this their home after college,” Gallman said.

Brunson said Muleshoe’s population grew by 13 percent with the 2010 U.S. census.

“The dairies have been recruiting here the last several years and it’s really stabilized our economy,” he said.

“Now we have a lot of dairy people,” said Chamber of Commerce Director Gina Wilkerson. “This is a great community. Everybody’s friendly. We have our heritage out here and everybody has supported that.”

Brunson said one of the highlights of the town is the Muleshoe Heritage Foundation, which is home to numerous historical buildings and sites.

The center includes early 20th century buildings, such as a hotel from a ghost town, a Muleshoe Ranch cookhouse and bunkhouse, a Santa Fe depot and more.

According to an article in the Avalanche-Journal and foundation researchers, a two-story ranch house came about when “rancher John Janes brought his bride, Anna, from Kansas City to the Janes Ranch in 1913 and built a two-story home in 1915 to prove his love for her.”

Brunson said other major highlights in Muleshoe include Muleshoe West City Park, which has a golf course, water park, basketball courts and more; and the Muleshoe Wildlife Refuge, which is visited by close to 300,000 sandhill cranes each year.

“It’s an incredible sight,” Brunson said. “I recommend anyone go see it if they get the chance.”