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Historical Commission requests Burell’s induction

Special to the Courier

BCC Archive Photo
Bandera County Historical Commission Chairman Roy Dugosh, historian Dave Burell and artist Bill Stevens, display Stevens’ oil painting, titled, “Crossing the Medina,” which Stevens was adapted in 2016 as a mural for the south side of the City of Bandera Municipal Building on Main Street.

The Bandera County Historical Commission has respectfully submitted the name of David Burell for consideration as an inductee into the Frontier Times Museum “Texas Heroes Hall of Honor.”

A member of the historical commission from 2003 to 2012. In 2004, Burell, who passed away Dec. 30, 2016 helped organize the first Western Trail Ride from Bandera to Dodge City, KS. He later spearheaded the relocation of Western Trail commemorative plaque into the aptly named Western Trail Heritage Park. Mounted on a limestone pedestal, the bronze plaque explains the significance of the cattle trail immortalized in the iconic mini-series "Lonesome Dove."
During the plaque dedication, Burell said, "Longhorns were staged south and southwest of Bandera, allowing this area to become a major passing point for cattle being driven to railheads in the north." By the end of the great cattle drives north, more than 7 million head of Longhorn cattle and thousands of horses were driven up the Western Trail. "We're proud of this park and the plaque," Burell continued. "This was a particular project of Rudy Robbins, who wrote an article about it before he went to that big cattle drive in the sky."
Parenthetically, the park project itself, overseen by Burell and his great friend, the late Robbins, transformed the former Bandera City Plaza to a park honoring Bandera cowboys who traversed the Western Trail.
Not surprisingly, Burell also served as prime mover behind the installation of the first Bandera County Western Trail marker, which is located just off Main Street behind the Western Trail Heritage Park. The inaugural marker was installed on Labor Day 2004, as part of Celebrate Bandera. It became the first of four five-foot high concrete markers that Burell helped install in Bandera County. As part of a national project, the markers trace the route of the Western Trail from Mexico to Canada.
Burell’s love for the rich history of Bandera County inspired him to form a mural selection committee to enable historic murals to be painted and installed on buildings throughout the City of Bandera.
The first mural, “Cowboy Chuckwagon,” was put in place in Sep., 2015, and serves as a western welcome to locals and tourists entering the Cowboy Capital of the World. The painting, done by local artist, Bill Stevens, now resides on the side of a small office complex with faces Highway 16 at the intersection of Highway 16 and 12th Street.
The second mural, “Crossing the Medina,” was installed on the south side of the City of Bandera Municipal Building on Main Street – specifically on the side of the Bandera Volunteer Fire Department station house that faces Hackberry Street. It features longhorns crossing the Medina River into Bandera. This depiction gives a nod to Bandera’s past as an 1880s staging area for trail drives north.
David Burell was the recipient of the 2012 Preservation Award from the Bandera County Historical Commission. The historical commission established the preservation award in 2010, honoring writer and historian Peggy Tobin as the first recipient the following year.
The Historical Comm-ission’s request catalogue’s Burell’s contributions to the preservation of Bandera County history and his tireless efforts to "keep Bandera - both city and county - western,"
David Burell has been a member of the BCHC for 15 years, member of the GWCTA for over 13 years, and member of the Friends of the Old Jail for three years. David devoted most of his senior adult years to preserving the History of the US, Texas, and Bandera County.