What was the favorite type of mule used in the Old West?

ask-the-marshall.jPaul Gordon

St. Thomas, Ontario

The mule of choice was the big Missouri Mule, known far and wide for its intelligence and stamina. I’m told the army used to stamp their mules with the “US” brand, which of course, stood for “Un safe.” Recalcitrant army mules, those known to kick without provocation, had their tails shaved. The term “shavetail” was later applied to young, impetuous second lieutenants who were still “wet behind the ears.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include Law of the Gun and Never Give A Heifer A Bum Steer.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall

PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.

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