Texas' history is rich in cowboys, horseback riding and ranching, but there are some lesser-known facts of the Wild West days that may surprise even the more dedicated history buffs out there.

Lonestar 99-5 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Feral camels

Photo by Mads Severinsen on Unsplash
Photo by Mads Severinsen on Unsplash
loading...

Two words I never thought I'd say out loud. Back in the 1830's as a way to efficiently traverse the deserts of southwest America, the Camel Corps was created in Camp Verde, TX.

Camels were thought to have been the superior option over horses when traveling longer distances in the Texas sun. What the U.S. Army didn't know was that camels tend to have a mind of their own, and after the experiment ended in failure, decades of camels set loose roaming the wilds had turned many feral.

10-gallon hats

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash
loading...

Unfortunately, these iconic pieces of headwear were not very popular among cowboys. Most usually preferred bowlers, straw hats, or typical top hats instead.

The origin of the name is also up for debate. Some historians believe it was because they were advertised to be able to hold water for your horse in a pinch (10 gallons of water??). Others believe it's a poor translation from the Spanish "galon", meaning a braided headband of some kind.

Whatever you believe, just know they weren't as popular as media likes to portray back in the day

Gun laws

Photo by Luis Domenech on Unsplash
Photo by Luis Domenech on Unsplash
loading...

As much as I love to think of the Wild West as some lawless era where newcomers would duel in the streets and shoot up saloons, that was very rarely the case. In fact, gun control laws were very much enacted in many cities during this time.

Many cities or towns had rules where those visiting would have to turn over their firearms in exchange for a token that they would return for their weapons when they leave town.

As influential as cowboys and Clint Eastwood are, it's important to understand that a lot of those portrayals are gussied up and dramatized for the big screen.

50+ Photos of a Buck Wild West Texas Estate

This Amarillo estate is currently for sale and is unlike anything you've ever seen.

Wild West Photos Brought to Life with Artificial Intelligence

Gallery Credit: Curiosityandbeyond via YouTube

More From Lonestar 99-5 FM