Herefords celebrated in Mullen, Neb.
for The Fence Post
MULLEN, Neb. — The Hooker County Community Center on the fairgrounds west of Mullen was the site for the Hereford Crossroads Reception No. 4 this past month. About 50 were in attendance.
Attendees were greeted after registering by metal replica of Golden Design 14, which has greeted all comers every year to the Hereford Crossroads. Attendees also got a chuckle of the coloring done of “Herfy” by the Mullen elementary students, under the tutelage of Kyle Hoyt, Mullen art instructor. Sixty-four colored sheets, many not your typical Hereford colors, adorned the windows.
“History of our early days, when Herefords dotted the landscape of the Sandhills in the 50s to 70s, is being tossed. We formed a committee four years ago to help preserve what we can. Our first HC was in Thedford in 2015. 2016 was in Alliance and last year was in Taylor.” said Gerri Monahan, Lincoln. She along with Richard Brown, Lincoln, Linda Teahon, Dunning, Ken Stephens, Valentine, Dale Spencer, Brewster, Dixie Hoffman and Terri Licking, Thedford, now have a new moniker that includes 501c3 status, Nebraskans for Hereford Heritage. The Hereford Crossroads Receptions, from the very first, are a “family reunion” of sorts — giving past and present Hereford breeders a chance to go down memory lane while at the same time make new memories and new friends.
In 2015, and every year since, the committee also decided to begin a Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame, honoring two key Hereford breeders, paramount to the success of Herefords in Nebraska. They also chose a herd sire to be recognized each year.
This year there are now eight posters of the men, and four pieces of art depicting each of the herd sires. The primary goal of the group is to have a museum dedicated to the breed that made Nebraska the Beef State. By the time that happens, the walls will be adorned with Nebraska Hereford Hall of Fame inductees. For now, the Sandhills Heritage Museum at Dunning is allowing space to showcase the Herefords. Call Linda Teahon, (308) 430-0786 to see this great aspect of Nebraska history.
One of this year’s inductees included the Mousel Brothers of Cambridge. Several family members were on hand to accept the acknowledgement, including grandson Paul, age 90 who gave a narrative on the family. The following excerpt was taken from University of Nebraska-Lincoln animal science archives.
Robert D. Mousel was born in April of 1877 in a sod house on Medicine Creek. Together Robert and Henry (born in 1878) grew up on the family homestead near Cambridge, Neb. The two brothers got their start in 1898 and since have been known as the Mousel Brothers. They bought two heifers for $100 each and later in 1903 bought Princeps IV for $255. This bull started them on their road up.
In the early years of the brothers’ partnership, they were active in the show ring promoting their cattle and the Hereford breed. Entries by Mousel Brothers appeared in many of the major shows from 1905 until 1919 and the trophy room at the Nebraska establishment was well hung with ribbons of varied colors. They stood high in the American Royals of 1906 and 1907 and again in 1918, and at the International in 1907, 1908, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919. In 1910, Precelia M. 2nd was senior and grand champion female for Mousel Brothers at the National Western Stock Show, in Denver. These early shows helped the brothers promote their herd in later years.
These two brothers were truly devoted to livestock promotion and care, especially to the Hereford breed. Many of the top Hereford breeds in the Midwest can trace their lines to some of the Mousel Brothers’ cattle.
The second inductee’s family ranch is 35 miles west of Mullen. Earl Monahan, son of the founder of the Monahan Cattle Company, was instrumental in increasing his family’s holdings from what his father passed down to him in 1921. His father Jim began with two cows and two calves.
On hand to acknowledge his father’s induction, was son Jim and wife Hil, and four generations of family. Earl’s granddaughter, Gerri has been an integral part of seeing to the success of all the Hereford Crossroads receptions and serves as historian of the new Nebraskans for Hereford Heritage.
The herd sire inducted is a first for the Hall of Fame, a polled Hereford bull, bred and owned by the Orville Kuhlmann ranch of North Platte. Three generations of the family — Ernie, Kevin and Anthony still ranch on land adjacent to the Buffalo Bill’s Scout’s Rest Ranch, which at one time was owned by Orville prior to selling it to Buffalo Bill. Anthony spoke about Golden Diamond for his family. “This bull was shown by Orville in all the horned shows, he lost only once at the National Western, where he garnered reserve. The judge after stated he just could not put a polled bull on top of a horned bull. After years of two separate organizations, a horned and a polled, the two merged in 2009 and now is the American Hereford Association.
Golden Diamond was immortalized in charcoal by 17-year-old young artist, Wade Lawrence, from Princeton, Minn. Richard Brown had seen his other drawing of Herefords and commissioned him to do the bull for the Hall of Fame. Lawrence and his mother traveled over 10 hours to bring his artwork to HC No. 4.
The meal, of certified Hereford beef brisket and all the trimmings, as well as the cash bar for the evening was compliments of Chuckwagon N Jug, Gregg and Dawn Mallory, Mullen.
Put on your calendar Oct. 12, 2019, for Hereford Crossroads Reception #5 at the One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow. ❖