Old-timers around Canon recall that in 1959, when Harry Wheeler erected the seven-ton concrete-and-stucco cowboy outside his trading post and curio shop, he had to bring in a truck and crane from a local drilling company to set the big galoot on his feet. Towering over U.S. 60, Tex Randall (as the cowboy is known) was named after Randall County and was an eye catching tourist attraction from the start, decked out in an enormous pair of Levi’s, a Western shirt, and a bandanna. “Everybody saw it,” remembers Delbert Davis, a Canyon real estate agent. But when the highway department excavated an underpass in front of the shop, the trading post failed, and Tex too seemed doomed. The Panhandle winds soon whipped Tex’s fancy duds to shreds. But Tex was rescued from sartorial embarrassment by a group of civic-minded citizens—their names are inscribed on the enormous red box under Tex’s boot—who paid to have clothes pained on his 47-foot-tall frame. Now the fate of Tex Randall may once again be tossed to the winds: The old trading post is for sale. Says Davis: “Whoever buys that property buys the cowboy.”
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