Dan Blocker's head.

Dan Blocker Memorial - Hoss's Head

Field review by the editors.

O'Donnell, Texas

A small lot turned town park -- Heritage Plaza -- is where you find the head of native son Dan Blocker, Bonanza's Hoss Cartwright. Dedicated on July 4, 1973, Hoss's ample noggin has been preserved for posterity in a life-size bronze bust by artist Glenna Goodacre.

The plaque beneath the head reads "Thanks To Film Hoss Cartwright Will Live, But All Too Seldom Does The World Get To Keep A Dan Blocker."

The park is on the same block as a shuttered business labeled "BLOCKER," apparently the old family grocery store. The plywood covering the entrance features a handpainted "Hoss" hat.

Across the street is the O'Donnell Museum, with a Dan Blocker Room that displays some Hoss memorabilia. Dan's other claim to fame is that he was the largest baby ever born in Bowie County (14 lbs.), in the town of DeKalb in 1928. While still in school Dan stood six-foot-three and weighed 300 pounds.

Heritage Park, Dan Blocker's head.

Cable reruns guarantee that we won't forget Dan Blocker, but this humble head also does its part. Coincidentally, sculptor Goodacre and Dan Blocker were memorialized on the same day in 1997, when they were added to the West Texas Walk of Fame around the Buddy Holly statue in nearby Lubbock.

Dan Blocker's grave -- he died the year before his head was enshrined -- is in a cemetery in DeKalb (I-30 DeKalb Exit, 12 mi. to cemetery on right, 2nd road to left, Blocker's headstone on left about 15 plots in). In a sense his head is there, too -- but you can't see that one.

Blocker store.

Dan Blocker Memorial - Hoss's Head

Address:
9th St., O'Donnell, TX
Directions:
I-20 exit 177. US 87 north 45 miles to Lamesa, then another 20 miles to O'Donnell. Take Hwy 76 (9th St.) east into town. Left on Doak St. The head is one block north, in "Heritage Plaza," a small lot turned into a park, at the corner of 8th and Doak.
Hours:
Museum: M-Sa 9-11, 2-5, Su 2-5. (Call to verify)
Phone:
806-428-3239
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September 20, 2014

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