TALES OF TAILS
Being a rural area, Taylor County life has always been concerned with animals. They are part of our livelihood,
our friends, and a source of total exasperation.
Many of their exploits made it to the newspapers as obituaries, news items, and notices.
JAKE BEAN'S MULE
Nat Dewell and wife of Omaha were in Blanchard last week
visiting the Mrs. Dewell's relatives and Nat took (a
picture of) J.J. Bean and his famous mule in a group with
Mr. Bean's arm around Jennie's neck. The picture was
printed in the Omaha Sunday Bee with the following comment:
"Jennie" is the oldest mule in captivity. She isn't always
in captivity, however, for although she's lived for 44
years she still insists in running away every day or so.
J.J. Bean is Jennie's owner. He bought her back in 1883
and has had her ever since. Her original owner told Mr.
Bean she was 3 years old, but Mr. Bean later learned she
was 5 years old when she became a member of his household.
Over in Blanchard, Iowa, "Jennie" is quite a favorite. But
despite her long residence there she's still a bit bashful.
She won't let anyone approach her but Mr. Bean, 'tis said.
Last winter "Jennie" became a very ill mule; so ill, indeed,
that even Mr. Bean despaired and sought someone who would
put a bullet in her brain and relieve her misery.
But no! There was no one in Blanchard who would shoot
"Jennie." And eventually she recovered and resumed her
duties as chief motive power for Mr. Bean's delivery wagon.
There is much lore connected with "Jennie's" long servitude
in Blanchard. On one occasion one of her shoes came off.
She immediately went to the blacksmith without guidance
and would not depart until another shoe was placed on her
hoof. She is sometimes sent to the icehouse without a
driver and invaribly returns with the ice for her master's
store, it is said.
When Mr. Bean purchased "Jennie" he also purchased her
twin, "Jack." "Jennie and Jack" attended every funeral
in Blanchard for 20 years, hauling the coffins to the
graveyard. Then "Jack" died, and had a funeral of his own,
with "Jennie" as the chief mourner.
"Jennies" many friends defend even her inclination to run
away by explaining that she never breaks things up and
always runs just as far as her stall. (Coin Gazette).
New Market Herald July 13, 1922
MULES GOT FRISKY
A team of mules owned by Len Maxwell but driven by Mr.
Norris were left standing on the street Monday, untied
and all alone. This was something new to their muleships
and they started out to break the record of the famous
Maud S. In turning the corner at the old opera house
the cement marker met with their disapproval and they
proceeded to land it near the curbing on the west side
of the street, and a little further on came to a sudden
stop when they lurched into a large electric post that
refused to yield. One mule we are told was badly cut.
These mules evidently had heard that the city was
planning to remove these unsightly markers and place
in new modern electric ones in their place, but
realizing that the city was slow at times in making
these changes, decided to hurry the new work along.
The new electrically lighted markers will be ordered
at the next meeting of the city council.
Bedford Times Republican May 15, 1923
Saturday evening Mr. and Mrs. Fred Riley were leaving Lenox for their home northwest of town when the team Mr. Riley was driving became frightened and turned squarely around almost overturning the buggy and throwing Mr. Riley to the ground. The lines were pulled from his grasp and the team started back toward town on the run. Mrs. Riley clung to the buggy until a muddy part of the street was reached, near the Wainwright lumber yards, where the double-trees broke leaving the rig standing in the street, the team going on to finish their sprint. It surely was one of the luckiest terminations to threatened injury or death we have ever seen and proves that even a bad mud-hole in the street may prove a blessing.
Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa, Thursday March 16, 1916
Saturday, Sept. 8th Buster, the faithful watch dog of the Lenox Postoffice died. Buster was a Cocker Spaniel of Royal Blood. His Genealogy tracing back to the Famous Kennels of Sir Walter Scott. In the words of the Immortal Burns: "His
locked and lettered broad brass collar showed him the Gentleman and Scholar."
Naturally he had high ideals in life, and held himself aloof from the society of low bred, mongrel curs and Bull Dogs; for the latter he held especial resentment.
Certain individuals who his keen instinct told him would bear watching found him ready at all times to resent their insults. He had the respect and good
will of all who knew him, especially the little children who all loved him. In the home where for ten years he was regarded as a member of the family his passing has left a shadow as dark as the shaggy coat he wore through life.
Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa Thursday September 13, 1917
One day last week while engaged in threshing with the Clayton & Jared machine southwest of Bedford, Ray Horning who was engaged in hauling
bundles, drove his team seemingly too close to the machinery, and as a result one of the horses is now minus a tail and unable to swat flies any longer. The horse in passing the belting was switching his tail, combating the pestiferious
fly, when that necessary appendage caught in the pully and tried to drag the horse into the machinery, but being too heavy, succeeded in pulling the tail completely out, causing the animal much pain and misery, Mr. Horning
stated that if the animal recovers, he will be right in style with a bob-tailed horse.
Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa Thursday August 17, 1922
Bruce, the four footed member of the H. C. Dougan family was the first casualty of the hunting season. Last Sunday he went out to help Mr. Dougan,
Fred Childs and Geo. Cheese terrorize the rabbit family and while chasing a rabbit he evidently stepped in a hole. He turned a few flip flops in the air and when he landed he broke a bone in his shoulder. Now he is wearing a plaster cast on his shoulder and it will be some little time before he can go hunting again.
Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa Thursday January 11, 1934
Co. 777 was upset last week by an accident that occurred as a group of new selectees arrived at the camp grounds by truck. The mascot of the company,
Jack, a small black and white dog ran out to greet the new boys and was run over. The condition of the company favorite was serious for several days but he is now improving very rapidly and is limping about the camp quite proudly after having attacked so monstrous an adversary and surviving.
No bones were broken and with the devoted attention Jack receives he will soon be ready to tackle another truck.
Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa Thursday July 19, 1934
Mickey, the little dog belonging to Harvey Eno is dead,
having been run over last Thursday morning by the John
Aid truck. Mickey, like a good many other dogs, liked to
ride, and for several weeks had taken up with the Aid
truck and was a regular passenger. Thursday morning John
and Harvey were taking a load of furniture to the country
and of course Mickey was in the truck. When they reached
the turn in the road at the Oscar Brown place Mickey left
the cab for the running board and the swing of the car
threw him to the ground and the hind wheel of the truck
passed over his neck, killing him instantly.
Mickey, like a good many men and women, didn't have a great
deal of sense, was on the go most of the time and scarcely
ever at home. But with all his faults he was a most
likeable dog and a friend to every one who would notice
him. He will be missed by many besides Mr. and Mrs. Eno.
New Market Herald Nov 7, 1924
letters from dog lovers in all parts of the state praising him for his humane act. One letter, from Paul Davis of Lenox, was printed in the Des Moines Tribune. It reads:
"I read the article in this morning's paper about your rescue of the dog. I am glad to know that there are still a few who know the value of a dogs friend-ship. I have always had a dog around me and there is no one who will stick by you like your dog. You must be a man of fine character and integrity. May good fortune be yours.”
Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa Thursday November 19, 1936