“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Canyon in Randall County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Tex Randall

Tex Randall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner
1. Tex Randall Marker
Inscription. The 47-foot, seven-ton cowboy statue, known as Tex Randall, is considered a Texas icon. Designer and builder Harry Wheeler created the cowboy in 1959 as a roadside phenomenon to welcome travelers to his corral curio shop on U.S. Highway 60 West to New Mexico. The giant cowboy relates to the western heritage of the Texas panhandle as well as symbolizing the state of Texas.

William Harry Wheeler (1914-1997) was born in Hartley, Texas in the panhandle and died in Amarillo. He was a teacher by profession, but in the 1950s, he sought a way to supplement his income and opened a curio shop along the highway. After three years, he moved the shop across the highway and began his masterpiece, the big cowboy. For ten months, wheeler worked with six-inch wire mesh, rebar and concrete. A friend helped weld the pipe and rebar to the frame. The concrete cowboy was covered with burlap to protect it from the elements. Levi-Strauss made the pants and Amarillo awning made the shirt, a surface total of 1,440 square feet. Dressing the statue was completed by hand-stitching the clothes in back with sailboat thread, and the shirt was decorated with sheet aluminum buttons covered with vinyl. In true Texas style, the cowboy was adorned with a Stetson-style hat. Wheeler soon added a six-room motel for visitors.

Due to reconstruction of the
Tex Randall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 18, 2015
2. Tex Randall
highway, the tourist trade at his shop declined. Wheeler sold the property in 1963. Harry Wheeler’s vision, dedication and attention to detail sealed his creation as a landmark and tourist attraction. The giant cowboy became Wheeler’s lasting contribution to Texas heritage and history.

text from; Texas Historical Commission, Historic Sites Atlas
Erected 2013 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17522.)
Location. Marker is missing. It was located near 34° 59.088′ N, 101° 55.782′ W. Marker was in Canyon, Texas, in Randall County. Marker was at the intersection of North 3rd Avenue and North 14th Street, on the right when traveling east on North 3rd Avenue. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Canyon TX 79015, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. City of Canyon (approx. 0.3 miles away); Canyon Fire Department (approx. 0.3 miles away); First National Bank Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Randall County (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Little House of Fellowship (approx. 0.4 miles away); Randall County World War I Memorial
Tex Randall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 18, 2015
3. Tex Randall
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Randall County Courthouse (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Smith Building (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Canyon.
Regarding Tex Randall. Tex is currently undergoing refurbishing.
Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 211 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 10, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.
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