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