The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin’ hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has unexpected hazards. The June 8, 1923 Neligh Leader carried this account of their adventure:

“The battle of ‘Bull Run’ was re-enacted by a Plainview fishing party in a pasture field about four miles east of Tilden. The party of six . . .drove in their car to a farm near Tilden.

“They were directed by an old fisherman to go through the pasture field to a pond near the Elkhorn River where he claimed there was good fishing. As the party entered the field they noticed a big Holstein bull, grazing near the pond, and as they approached the bull began to eye them and appeared to resent their presence. The two boys, Loring and Bud, began to cry, but the old fisherman had told them to pay no attention to the bull as he was harmless. So the men and boys went on, but the two young women in the party, being frightened, got over the fence and went through another field.

“They reached the pond without incident and Leon Mote skirted it to get over to the opposite side. He had not been gone long when Mr. Schoenauer and the boys heard the bull bellowing and looking up saw him coming toward them with head down. Loring Mote, 10 years old, climbed a tree near by, and Bud, 8, had the presence of mind to run to a boat and shove it out on to the pond. Mr. Schoenauer, who weighs about 265 pounds, took refuge behind the tree. The enraged bull pawed the ground, shook his head, bellowed and charged again and again, chasing him around the tree. But by watching the bull carefully and hugging the tree when he charged, Mr. Schoenauer kept out of the way, and by kicking him on the nose he kept the bull confused, although this enraged him the more. This exciting fight continued half an hour more, and big holes were dug in the ground around the tree as the bull charged. Meanwhile, Bud Mote was out in the boat crying and Loring was in the tree above the bull too scared to move.

“Finally the old fisherman who had been watching got a big stick and approached the bull to show that he was harmless and could be driven off easily. But to his surprise the bull turned on him and threw him fifteen or twenty feet out into the pond.

“By this time the son of the owner of the bull had seen what was going on and came to the rescue riding a horse. He drove off the enraged animal with a fish spear. He said that the bull had drove out quite a number of people, but that the old fisherman, being alone, was never bothered.

“The fishing party drove back to Plainview with about forty fish, grateful that the exciting battle resulted in no casualties.”


Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.