Jim Thomas, Artist
Jim Thomas
(as seldom seen - in a suit)

  • Texas Society of Sculptors
  • Guild of Austin Architectural Artisans
  • Austin Diocese Fine Arts Council
  • Texas Society of Architects
 
 

Chisholm Trail Commemorative Park
Round Rock, Texas

Texas sculptor Jim Thomas has been commissioned by the City of Round Rock to create a 22-figure bronze Chisholm Trail Drive for the city's new park at the site of the the famous Chisholm Trail crossing on Brushy Creek.  After the Civil War, the major source of income in Texas was wild cattle in South Texas to be trail-driven to the railheads in the north for shipping to the population centers in the northeast. Cattle trail drivers, such as Jesse Chisholm, led their cattle in the late 1880s from the Rio Grand River in Texas to the rail heads in Kansas.  The Chisholm Trail passed through the current City of Round Rock, crossing Brushy Creek at the site of the famous "Round Rock" which is located in the middle of the creek.

There are currently five bronze sculptures in the new park with the latest being "Goin' To Water", a walking longhorn commissioned by Mary and Edward Torres to commemorate their long family heritage in the area. The sculpture holds the Torres registered cattle brands and ear tags.


Pioneer Woman

Pioneer woman sculpture by Jim Thomas Texas pioneer Harriett "Hattie" Cluck was the wife of rancher George Cluck. Hattie and her family were among the first to travel the Chisholm Trail to cattle markets in Kansas. In the spring of 1871, a pregnant Hattie; her husband George; and three children: seven-year old Allie Annie, five-year-old Emmett, and two-year old Harriett Minnie, walked and rode the long journey to Abilene, Kansas, making Hattie the first woman to travel the Chisholm Trail. Hattie reportedly helped cowboys load their guns to defend themselves against cattle rustlers. Hattie was three months pregnant with Euell Standifer when she left on the trail drive. The Cluck family reached Kansas in the fall. Euell was born in Abilene where the Clucks spent the winter of 1878-79. The following spring, the Cluck family returned to Williamson County and settled in Running Brushy (later known as Brushy Creek), where Hattie served as the Postmaster from 1874-1882. Hattie died in 1938 and is buried on the family farm in Cedar Park. Sissy Peckham served as the model.

The sculpture shows Hattie boldly striding along with a walking stick and carrying a canvas grub bag in which she has collected wild onions, prickly pear pads and willow bark.

Going To Water receiving its patinaGoin' To Water installation alongside the Bell Steer

A similar 1/6 scale bronze of "Goin' To Water" is also available as an edition of 30 to help finance the park project.


Pioneer Boy

As a five-year-old boy, Emmett's mother took him on the Chisholm Trail with the rest of his family. Emmett Cluck is credited with naming Cedar Park, Texas; in addition, he served as Cedar Park Postmaster from 1892-1929. Emmett died in 1932 and is buried on the family farm in Cedar Park. Art donor Mrs. Koughan's grandson, Riley, served as the model.

The sculpture of Emmett Cluck depicts him with a walking stick in one hand while holding his pet frog in the other hand. It's easy to imagine the young boy capturing his frog treasure from one of the many creeks he crossed while walking up the Chisholm Trail.

Crossing the Brushy Creek Bell Steer
Bell Steer

The "Bell Steer" statue wears a walking bell, the family trail brands and the swallowtail and split-ear tags used on the Chisholm Trail drive.

This Longhorn sculpture is part of Phase I of Thomas Studio's current large project, a 22-figure bronze 1.5 times life size Longhorn cattle trail drive commemorating the Chisholm Trail. The "Bell Steer" was commissioned for an artscape park commemorating the 19th Century Chisholm Cattle Trail crossing of Brushy Creek in the city of Round Rock. The " Bell Steer" is the first of the 22 cattle and pioneer people figures. It is temporarily residing at Dell Diamond baseball coliseum in Round Rock.

At 1.5 scale, this sculpture stands more than seven feet high and is 13 feet long, weighing about 1800 pounds. The sculpture depicts an alpha male which naturally dominated the rest of the herd during trail drives, insisting on being the lead steer as the herd walked from Texas to the shipping rail heads in Abilene, Kansas. Bell Steer sculpture from Round Rock's Chisholm Trail Jim Thomas sculpted the bronze steer, using "Robert E. Lee", a three-time World Champion Longhorn Steer, as a live model. The longhorn belongs to long-time friends and sculpture collectors Cliff and Gail Woerner. The longhorn sculpture is dedicated to the George W. Cluck family who ranched between present day Cedar Park and Round Rock and herded their cattle up the Chisholm Trail in the spring of 1871. The " Bell Steer" wears a walking bell, the family trail brands and the swallowtail and split-ear tags used on that trail drive. The artist also used the Williamson County registered WP brand of Bill and "Sissy" Peckham. The " Bell Steer" was commissioned through the generosity of the Dell Computer Corporation.

A 1/6 scale table-top version is also available in a limited edition of 20 bronze sculptures.


Crossing the BrushyCrossing Brushy Creek at Round Rock

This is one of the official tabletop-sized limited edition of 20 bronze sculptures by Jim Thomas entitled CROSSING THE BRUSHY AT THE ROUND ROCK. It is available for private and corporate purchase to help fund the Crossing Artscape project. The 1/6 scale sculpture depicts a horseback cowboy roping a reluctant Longhorn steer out of Brushy Creek by the famous Round Rock.

Please see the catalog for details. Buyers with authentic registered brands have the option of having them included on the castings at the artist's discretion.


Longhorn Roundup Longhorn Roundup

This is another of the official Crossing tabletop-sized limited edition sculptures, available to help fund the project. The sculpture shows a horseback cowboy chasing three Longhorn steers into Brushy Creek to make the crossing. One of the steers depicted in the sculpture is available separately (see Bell Steer above) in a limited edition of 20 castings.


Travis Longhorn - Monumental Bronze Sculpture

Longhorn Sculpture - Travis by Jim ThomasTravis is a full-scale bronze reclining longhorn steer, modeled from one of Thomas' personal longhorns. The sculpture has been added to the Chisholm Trail Park as a commission from the Don Quick family of Round Rock, commemorating their long family heritage in the area. The sculpture features the Quick's registered cattle brands and ear tags.

See more of the original installed longhorn sculptures