Tex Randall, Big Texan
Tex Randall is touted as the "Biggest Texan" -- although you'd hear a strong argument from the Texas State Fairgrounds their Big Texan tops the charts. But this Tex is mighty big.
He's been here in Canyon since 1959. Industrial arts teacher Harry Wheeler built "Texas' Biggest Texan" to promote his Western curio shop. Tex Randall is 47 feet tall and weighs seven tons.
Tex is constructed of concrete, with an internal structure of pipe, rebar, and wire mesh. He originally wore real denim jeans and a red checkered shirt, courtesy of a local tent and awning store. He casually held a giant cigarette in one hand. His sturdy design has helped him survive 100mph winds, along with a network of steel struts and cable anchoring him to the ground.
A long period of deterioration was worsened when a semi crashed into his left boot, and the cigarette was shot out of his hand. Local businesses rallied during a "Save the Cowboy" campaign and contributed to a restoration in 1987. The work was completed in 1989.
A spur replaced the cigarette, in deference to today's health-conscious tourists.
From the appearance of Tex up close, another makeover is about due. He's a little chipped and sun-worn. Large open wounds on his legs may be the result of desperate souvenir seekers. Destruction loomed in 2008 when a new owner bought the property and didn't want to pay $50,000 to move Tex. But the danger passed, and in August 2013 the state Dept. of Transportation ponied up almost $300,000 to fix the big cowpoke, and turn the land around his boots into a little park.