O'Donnell Heritage Museum
The O'Donnell Heritage Museum is a local history repository in O'Donnell in Lynn County in West Texas. A part of the museum includes a room of exhibits on the actor Dan Blocker, who portrayed the Hoss Cartwright character for thirteen years on NBC's Bonanza. Blocker was reared in O'Donnell though born in DeKalb in East Texas. Because of the Blocker room and memorabilia, the facility is sometimes called "The Dan Blocker Museum."
O'Donnell, 45 miles (70 km) south of Lubbock, began in 1910 as a stop on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railroad, a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, and is named for rail promoter Tom J. O'Donnell. Numerous western communities are named for railroad men, among them Gallup, New Mexico, and Denver, Colorado. In 1911, L. G. Phillips opened the first business in O'Donnell, North America's first fully automatic cotton gin. The gin was owned by the Farmers Cooperative. The museum hence contains mostly early 20th century exhibits, but some items from the late 19th century found in old homes and attics were donated to the collection.
Located at Doak and Eighth Street, the museum is across from the old Blocker family store. Plywood covers the entrance to the Blocker store. There is a hand-painted "Hoss" hat on the side of the building. The nearby lot contains sculptor Glenna Goodacre's bust of Blocker, which was dedicated on July 4, 1973, a year after his death. The museum has a brochure entirely dedicated to Blocker. The museum has a pair of Blocker's boxing gloves, a Bonanza lunch box, a photograph of his fourth-grade class, and Blocker's oversized Boy Scouts of America pants.
The museum is housed in a 1925 two-story bank building that remains in its original condition. The regular exhibits include telephone system, organ, bedroom furniture, kitchen equipment, blacksmith shop, schoolroom, post office, legal and doctor offices, formal parlor, and restored church congregation at worship.
- "O'Donnell, Texas". texasescapes.com. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- John Kelso, Texas Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities and Other Offbeat Stuff. Guilford, Connecticut: Morris Book Company, 2007, ISBN 0-7627-4109-0. 2006-12. ISBN 9780762741090. Retrieved May 2, 2011. Check date values in:
- Texas State Travel Guide 2011, p. 129