Stephenville’s Iconic Bovine Gets a Bath

Firefighters in Stephenville got a strange call over the Labor Day weekend: Come give our cow a bath.

Moo-La, the city's iconic fiberglass cow, stands in the courthouse square in the capital seat of Erath County.

Julie Smith, with the city's tourism and visitors bureau, said Moo-La needed some cleaning and shining up in advance of a photo shoot. So, firefighters got out hoses and brushes Monday to wash down the bovine in need of a bath.

Smith said the city built Moo-La, the "$10,000,000 Cow," in 1972 in honor of the local dairy industry. Back then, the dairy business gave the economy a $10,000,000 boost annually.

A newspaper clipping shows Joyce Whitis, who headed the fundraising campaign, in a lift bucket on dedication day. Whitis went on to become the National Dairywoman of the Year in 1977.

Decades later, Moo-La still stands on her 10-foot pedestal to serve as a reminder of Stephenville's dairy legacy.

Smith said Moo-La stands for "long time dairy families past and present, Ongoing 4-H achievements, the thousands of FFA students who visit Stephenville each year, Earl Rudder’s Milk Cow Scholarship, TSU’s Southwest Regional Dairy Center, Schreiber Food’s contribution to our local economy and the jobs they create and the milk delivery process through companies like Western Dairy Transport."

Smith said Moo-La will be part of a new tourism video showcasing all that Stephenville has to offer.

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