Krause second woman inducted into South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame

By Kayleen Holder
Atascosa County woman Ethel Mansfield Krause was inducted into the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame this August. Ethel’s daughter Myra Waters, of Devine, shared a few memories with us about “the toughest lady she’s ever known.”

“If someone were to ask me about special bonding time with my mother, I would have to say we fed cows together!” Mrs. Waters said. “My mom was a cowgirl. She and dad always had cattle and because Dad was so busy at the store Momma was the one who mostly tended them. I remember checking cows with her often. They got into exotic breeds when I was a teenager and that was intense.”
“Some of those cows were crazy and the toughest lady I’ve ever known would just do what had to be done,” Mrs. Waters added. “She also taught me to ride. When I got my first horse, she patiently sat on a butane tank out back of our house and gave me guidance and lots of time. She also hauled me to youth rodeos every weekend.”
“Lots of days were just checking cows and feeding cubes. On really cold days, we would load up and feed hay. I remember asking why we had to do it on the coldest days (I’ve always hated the cold) and she always said that’s when they need hay the most. She would drive and I would throw hay from the back of the truck. We fed square bales then, but it got a lot easier when we switched to round bales. One day we went to check cows in the car and got high centered. There were no cell phones, but Mom said she knew Dad would come looking for us when he got hungry at supper time. He did! One of my favorite parts of feeding with Mom was hearing her call the cows. I cherished this time with her!”
Ethel is only the second woman to have this honor, but not the first in the family! Her great-grandfather, father, and her and nephew were all hall of famers.
Born in 1922, according to Pleasanton Express Ethel begged her daddy to take her with him on one of his cattle drives, and eventually convinced him to take her on a long cattle drive from a ranch in Mexico back to Atascosa County.
Her nephew nominated Ethel for this honor. The following is from Scott Poth’s nomination letter which appeared in the Pleasanton Express last week:
“We got an early start each day to monitor their herd – seven days a week – to see which cows came into estrous. When a particular cow was ready, we’d get her penned, which, of course, involved penning all the cows. Aunt Ethel did this all by herself. She told me that cows had to get to know me before I could help her. The cattle that we worked weren’t all that gentle and some were plumb crazy.
The pens we used were sketchy at best. There was no head gate or holding chute to hold a cow securely. We would run the cow in and put three mesquite posts in front of her and two behind her. It was amazing to watch Aunt Ethel work and handle the cattle. She could look at a cow and know what it was thinking before it did”.
Ethel has four children: Carol Schmacht, Lynn Dowdy, Gina Rakowitz and Myra Waters of Devine.
Ethel passed away in 2008 but will forever be remembered for her cowgirl ways. According to an article in the Pleasanton Express, she was sort of a pioneer in the use of AI in Atascosa County.