By Commissioner Marianne Randals
April 4, 2013
Is it a contradiction to say ”new and historic” park in the same sentence? Maybe not, read with me and see if you don’t agree that indeed the two can coexist.
Once upon a time, Scurry County paid homage to its past by establishing a small park dedicated to the memory of its most memorable “citizen,” a white buffalo. The story goes that the white buffalo cow was sighted and shot by one J. Wright Mooar, an early settler in this area, on the historically significant land that is now known as the Hays Ranch. It is on County Road 253 by the gate of the Hays Ranch. Though it sounds like an ordinary address, it is surely not that. The very spot is in a quiet corner of the field, framed by sturdy shade trees that rustle in the wind, trees that border a winding creek bed that sometimes has a trinkle of water running through it. Native grasses, ankle high, move silently with the near constant breeze. It is indeed a lovely home for what many local history lovers cherish as Scurry County’s very real claim to an important segment of southwest history.
A fiberglass replica of a white buffalo was set up as a statue on the property where the buffalo had been killed. The small statue was vandalized many times over by misguided youthful antics. The dignity of the buffalo and the meaning it had for the community became a challenge to those of us who knew the story and wanted to keep it true.
The connection here is that Judy Hays is the great granddaughter of Mr. Mooar. In late 2013, Mrs. Hays and her son, Randy Hays, deeded the property to Scurry County for what is to be known as the White Buffalo Park. It has become another pleasant and interesting addition to the county’s park system. Because the site is quite close to the heavily traveled Highway 84, it will become a visitors attraction for those of us who do indeed turn off the beaten path for a history lesson, and we are grateful and appreciative of the gift from the Hays family and have pledged to create a memorial worthy of its place in the history of these parts.
The members of the Court have studied the area, the natural setting, and the advantage the locale has to the other historic attractions in the county, and have begun to design a display to inform and educate visitors to Snyder and the surrounding area. We invite historians, friends of Scurry County and story tellers all to join us today in celebrating the beginning of a new and historic park, one that will beckon to all travelers along the crowded interstate…”Come, stop by, rest for a while and learn a little more about this wonderful part of the country"...