How Tex Randall Went From Being Just A Statue To An Iconic Cowboy

At one point, the 47-foot-tall “Tex” wore real jeans, but now his clothes and boots are painted on.

By Joy DiazApril 30, 2020 4:09 pm, ,

Sporting a hat and boots, the 47-foot-tall Tex Randall statue in Canyon, Texas, is a symbol of cowboy culture. But it took years for it to become a West Texas icon.

Buell Martin, a longtime Canyon resident, says when the statue went up in 1959, Levi Strauss made a pair of real jeans for Tex to wear but they wouldn’t stay up!

“Out here in West Texas there is a lot of wind and pretty harsh winters,” Martin says. “They couldn’t keep clothes on him, and finally they just painted [them on].”

Sandy Martin, Buell’s wife, helped raise money to update the statue through the Canyon Chamber of Commerce. Martin suggested to her that the chamber could raise funds by getting Coors to sponsor Tex by putting a large beer in his hand. But that didn’t pass muster.

“They said, ‘Oh, no, no, no, we can’t do that; Canyon is a dry county!”

After years of exposure to harsh West Texas weather, Tex’s paint started to fade. So West Texas A&M University donated money for its renovation in 2012.

Artist Rhonda Timmons, Martin’s Niece, was hired for the renovation. She was 67 years old when she had to take a lift up to retouch the paint on Tex’s boots.

“They wanted him to be authentic to the way the boots looked,” Timmons says. “I have to say that Tex Randall was such a great opportunity; God just blessed me so much with doing that.”

Note: This story has been edited to reflect the correct spelling of Buell Martin’s name. It was originally spelled as Bewel, which was incorrect.

Web story by Laura Morales.


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