For much of the 1990s and this decade, thousands of schoolchildren who visited Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita were introduced to Pepper and his longtime pen mate, Blue.
“He was a gentle steer,” said Pepper’s veterinarian, Greg Seiler of Heartland Veterinary Services to the Wichita Eagle in 2007. “He was one of those animals you want to see when you go to a place like Cowtown just because the longhorn steer represents the Old West.”
Pepper was born in a calving lot on Don Hommertzheim’s farm, north of Colwich, in 1989. By the time he was 2, he had achieved fame in International Longhorn Breeders Association shows.
He was a calico longhorn, with shades of red, brown, black and white.
Recognized along with the cowboy as an authentic and unique symbol of America, longhorns today number at the millions after declining to a few thousand at the beginning of the 20th century.
During the late 1860s through approximately 1885, millions of longhorn cattle were driven northward from Texas to railhead towns, packing plants and ranches in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana.
Those longhorns gave frontier towns such as Wichita a much needed financial boost.
Question: When Pepper died in 2007 after debilitating arthritis, what did Cowtown do to honor the steer?
Answer to Sunday’s question: The book, “Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain,” featured parts of wacky Kansas as the two men – Thomas Harvey, who harvested Albert Einstein’s brain in 1955 and Michael Paterniti, a freelance writer, drove the brain in a Tupperware container across the nation to return it to Einstein’s granddaughter, Evelyn Einstein.
Check back in this spot Tuesday for the answer to today’s question.