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Community Coverage Tour: Facts about Muleshoe, Texas

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 12:09 PM CDT
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MULESHOE, Texas (KCBD) - The Muleshoe Heritage Center is made up of historic homes, bunkhouses and cabins that give a glimpse into what West Texas was like in the 1900′s. The complex is also home to the world’s largest mule shoe.

Travelers can find Muleshoe about an hour northwest of the Hub City. It was found in 1913 when two railroad companies merged and built a railway from Lubbock to Farwell. The city was named from a mule shoe found in the ground on city land that was formally known as Muleshoe Ranch.

After the construction of the railway, the town expanded rapidly and become the Bailey County seat in 1917. After three decades, Muleshoe had tripled in size and, according to the last census, is now home to about 5,100 people today. The City of Muleshoe is looking forward to plenty of growth in the future.

Mayor Colt Ellis talked highly of the efforts between the EDC and the city to expedite a project he says the community is very excited about ― lighting the city’s walking trail. The city is also soon to welcome a new milling company to the mix that will add 14 jobs to the economy.

Mayor Ellis has served on Muleshoe’s city government since he was just 22 years old and said a flat tire in the middle of DFW, with no one to call, is how he learned he was meant to be in Muleshoe.

“It was at that point that I knew I wanted to move back home, couldn’t wait to be back home,” he said. “I’d either know the right person to call or there would be someone there to help me. So it’s just a good community.”

Mayor Ellis said he loves the small town community here and can’t wait to see it grow. And it’s the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce’s job to promote that growth, something chamber manager Andrea Alfaro says they do everyday.

She had good news to report following the pandemic, saying Muleshoe’s economy wasn’t hit too hard and that most businesses that shut their doors reopened. The chamber welcomed seven new businesses just this year. The recent grown is only one of the reasons Alfaro is eager to invite visitors to Muleshoe.

“Of course for people to visit the mule memorial, that’s the number one spot. Also to stop at the heritage center and take a picture with the world’s largest mule shoe that’s a huge, huge attraction for people,” she said, “there’s plenty to do plenty of good restaurants and good people so its a good place.”

The Chamber of Commerce building also doubles as the visitor center.

Muleshoe ISD also conquered challenges posed by COVID-19. Dani Heathington, assistant superintendent, says the district worked hard to keep school normal for the kids. Students were face-to-face in August and only worked from home in quarantine.

MISD is now offering tutoring for kids who may have fallen a bit behind due to the pandemic, but Heathington says testing scores were some of the highest in the region and they’re doing well.

“The school system is very stable and we have been for a long time. We’re stable financially, we’re stable academically ― it makes it a really good place to raise your kids and grow your family here,” Heathington said.

The Muleshoe Area Public Library also never closed its doors due to the pandemic. The building was built in 1971 and the city voted for a grant to fill it with books. Library Director Dyan Dunagan says the library has also become a vital resource for people working from home who need access to copiers, printers and more.

“The community of Muleshoe is very loving, very welcoming, very caring. They have worked hard, like I said before, to get this library here so this is very important to them,” Dunagan said.

Another place to visit and learn near Muleshoe is the National Wildlife Refuge. It’s about 20 miles south of town and is the oldest one of its kind in Texas. The area was established as the Muleshoe Migratory Waterfowl Refuge by an Executive Order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt back in 1935. In 1940, the name was changed to the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and designated as a national natural landmark in 1980.

The refuge is a stop for those migratory waterfowl flying between Canada and Mexico. Other wildlife like cranes, owls, rabbits, ferrets and badgers can also be found here.

Over 8,000 people in Muleshoe and the surrounding areas have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and a lot of that is thanks to K&K Pharmacy.

Head Pharmacist Crystal Alarcon says they didn’t panic and only closed their doors for about a week to set in place safety protocols while their drive-thru was still open to serve the public.

She says even for the pharmacy, there were many unknowns but they’re prod of how they overcame it all and are grateful to their customers.

“From me and the owners and the staff, we’re just thankful for the patience and understanding through all of the pandemic,” she said. “It’s been a learning curve for all of us and as a new pharmacist the patience for us has been a big deal for all of us here.”

Alarcon also wanted to thank the community for voting K&K Business of the Year, saying it was amazing to see all of their hard work pay off.

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