The Sterquell Wagon Collection, world's largest collection of lifestyle wagons,Â was acquired from U. C. (Sterk) and Betty SterquellÂ in Amarillo, Texas. Mr. Sterquell began collecting and restoring wagons in the 1960s. The collection was on public exhibit for a time in Amarillo, was part of a revitalization effort for the downtown central district, and was sponsored by the Panhandle Plains Historical Society.
Holt Hickman, a Fort Worth businessman and community leader, and his wife Jo heard about the wagon collection and decided that it would make an interesting display in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. The wagons were transported by 18-wheelers to the Stockyards as the restoration of the Horse and Mule Barns (constructed in 1912) was in progress.
The museum opened as the "Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, featuring the Sterquell Wagon Collection and the John Justin Trail of Fame" on April 9, 2001.
THE STERQUELL WAGONÂ COLLECTIONÂ FEATURES OVER 60 WAGONS, BUGGIES AND SLEIGHS. VIEW VEHICLES SUCH AS:Â
Back-toBack Trap Wagon (1898)
This carriage has a compartment beneath the seat for hunting dogs. Over the years, the name came to describe a lightweight, four-wheeled carriage with an adjustable or "slide seat", with a compartment underneath.
Mr. Sterquell acquired this carriage from a gentleman who lived in Stratford, Texas, who-in turn--had purchased it from a museum in Clayton, New Mexico. Included in that purchase documentation that Jesse James had used the carriage. When Mr. Sterquell took it apart, he found the construction date of 1898, sixteen years after Jesse James died
Bob Sleigh (Four Seat) (1910)
A Bob Sleigh has two sets of runners. The front bob pivots; the back bob does not. Four seat bob sleighs are fairly unusual; most have one or two seats. Many bob sleighs could be converted to a wheeled wagon for year-round use. There are nine sleighs in the collection.
Chuck Wagon (Round-up or Cow Wagon)
First developed by Charles Goodnight in the 1860s, the Chuck Wagon was the cowboy's "mobile kitchen" on the cattle drives between South Texas and the railheads in Kansas. At the rear of the wagon, a chuck box was constructed for supply drawers. The back cover of the box lets down to form a work counter.
After Breakfast each day, the cook (or "cookie") drove the wagon ahead of the herd in order to have the noon meal ready when the drovers and cattle arrived.
The cook was often an older or injured cowhand who prepared "no frills" meals of salt pork, beans, coffee - and occasionally sourdough bread and wild game.
* One in six were Black or Hispanic
* Many were Civil War veterans (both Union and Confederate)
* Made $10 a month in wages
* Only one in three cowboys signed up for a 2nd cattle drive
The typical cattle drive:
* 1,000 head of cattle
* 15 cowboys, including trail boss and drovers
* 100 horses (drovers often changed horses 3-4 times a day)
* chuck wagon, cook, and sometimes a cook's helper
* hooligan wagon (for tools and other supplies)
Some of the large ranches still use the Chuck Wagon during Spring round-ups and Cook-off competitions.
Even though the tub design of this cart made it easier for the Governess to care for her charges, balancing the cart could sometimes be a problem when loaded with squirming children. The door has no handle on the inside, and the outside handle is too small to be turned by a small child. The carts were popular in England and the United States in the late 1800s and the early 1900s.
The Grain Wagon holds three tons or 6,000 pounds. Draft horses (Clydesdales, Percherons, Morgans or Belgians) or mules would have been used to pull it. The wheels are 4 inches wide. Several of these wagons were often linked together to form a wagon "train." "Deere Weber" may be a forerunner of the modern John Deere Company.
This vehicle came from The Wagon Master in O'Fallon, Missouri and was purchased at a private auction in Dallas. No restoration was done; the wagon is complete with tongue, trip gate, double tree and yoke.
This wagon is one of the oldest pieces in the collection, circaÂ 1650. Maker name on all wheels: J. E. Kirby, Martham & Co. Birmingham. The five glass windows have covers (used when the hearse picked up the body). They were removed for the trip to the funeral and the cemetery so that the coffin and surrounding flowers could be seen. Two rollers on the floor of the coach made removal of the casket easier, and two trap doors in the bottom aided in removing flower petals that dropped from funeral arrangements.Â A unique feature on the wagon, were the plume feathers adorning the outside perimeter of the top of the wagon.Â Â Purple feathers represented an adult memorial service, while white feathers depicted a child's service.Â
The Sterquells received numerous requests to rent the hearse for funerals. They chose not to honor these requests. A hearse much like this one was used at the cemetery for the funeral of John Justin in February 2001.
Irish Jaunting Cart (circa 1815)
Brass name plate: "Made in Dublin, Ireland." A light, topless, two-wheeled cart. Seating on both sides facing outward. Space between seats used for packages
Amish or Market Wagon
Since Lancaster County receives more tourists than any other Amish community, the vehicles there are by far the best known. Actually, only about 15% of all Old Order Amish use the familiar gray-topped carriage. Outside Lancaster County, a gathering of Amish wagons could be a variety of colors, including yellow.
Milk Delivery Wagon- "S.C. Price Daily Farms" (circa 1915)
The Price Dairy operated the Cold Springs Farm in St. Johns, Pennsylvania, and another farm in nearby Conyngham, stocked with herds of Guernsey cows. The dairy delivered milk from the 1930s to the 1960s (when the horse-drawn wagons were deemed traffic hazards!). The dairy delivered between 400 and 500 quarts of fresh milk daily. Full-bred Belgian horses were used to pull the wagons.
Sicilian Cart, circa 1750
This beautiful piece is one of two vessels in the collection that are in their original condition.Â A utility cart used to haul produce, wine or cheese. Each cart was unique and the ironwork hand forged. The handler walked beside the cart. The painted panels tell the story of Count Alfredo's heroism in war, his meeting the beautiful maiden Genoeffa and making her his queen. Underneath the cart is the inscription, "Friends, ...it is better for you to envy me than pity me."
Standard Oil Tank Wagon (1912)
There are three tanks for different types of oil, each separated by a double wall. Oil tank wagons' capacity was normally 300-1000 gallons.
See these and many many more at Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.