Three inductees into Museum of South Texas Hall of Honor | Texas
BANDERA – A former Kerr County sheriff, bullfighting clown and Irish immigrant to Bandera have been inducted into the Frontier Times Museum’s Texas Heroes Hall of Honor.
Bandera County native Frances Hubble Kaiser served as one of Texas’ few female sheriffs from 1989 to 1999, as Kerr County’s first female sheriff. She and the other winners accepted their awards at a ceremony last weekend on a stage outside Bandera’s museum.
“I’m so overwhelmed,” Kaiser said after receiving the award. “I feel very honored by the life I’ve had and I give all the credit to God,” Kaiser said.
Leon Coffee, who has been a bullfighting clown for over 40 years and has broken over 140 bones, accepted his award and recounted the first time he realized being a bullfighting clown could be a option for him. He had been watching rodeo cowboys practice, and the manager asked him to come in and try to distract the bull from the cowboys, which is one of the main goals of a rodeo clown. . The man told him that all he had to do was “run fast and play dumb”.
“They kicked me out of school for this, and you’re going to pay me?” Coffee said, which drew laughter from the standing crowd.
Irish immigrant Mary McGroarty, who disembarked from the Queen Mary at Ellis Island in 1951 at the age of 26, was posthumously inducted into the Texas Heroes Hall of Honor. She and her husband ran the Mr. Boyle Mercantile General Store and later the Old Spanish Trail. Restaurant, or OST, in Bandera.
“Mary’s devotion to Saint Stanislaus ran deep as she prepared the altar with Mary Stein over several decades and through her work in the church pantry,” reads a press release from the museum. . “Her love of history was evident in her work to help establish the Bandera County Historical Commission with Margie Langford. Mary was instrumental in installing the county’s first historical marker in the former First State Bank on 11th Street in Bandera, a building where Mary and Patrick once lived with their sons, James and Patrick.
McGroarty’s son James accepted the award on his behalf.
“She would help anyone, anytime, any day,” he said of his mother.
He told a humorous story about taking his mother to see a justice of the peace after she was charged with running a stop sign.
“Before, there was no stop sign. … I’ve been running this stop sign for 65 years,” he quoted as telling the judge.
McGroarty has been described as being just as proud of her Irish heritage as she was of being a Texas resident and bandera.
“On behalf of my mother, thank you very much,” her son told the congregation.