Mrs. Tune, The Sheriff and the Goats

Vesta Tune lived in Springfield Colorado in the 1940′s and 50′s, Prior to that she lived in the Lycan Colorado area (north of the present day town of Walsh Colorado) near the Brooks side of my family.

During a lecture on “Women of the Dust Bowl” presented by Dr. Sara Jane Richter of Panhandle State University at the Altus OK public library on August 27, 2009 she referenced a story about a lady from Texhoma OK tending cows during the dust bowl era by the name of “Vesta Tuna?”

Following the lecture we discussed whether this person from Texhoma and the person which lived in Springfield CO could be the same person. Inspired by this question I have subsequently pulled from my brain archive, a tale about this person. I retrieved some campaign propaganda that my Granddad, Luther Huckaby, used when running for Sheriff of Baca County Colorado in the early 50s as well as a picture of Mrs. Tune and some “Anti Huckaby” signs. She painted these signs after Grandad, serving as City Marshal in Springfield, confiscated her goats sometime in the 1940′s.

Luther Huckaby for Sheriff Campaign Materials from the early 1950′s

Luther Huckaby Campaign Materials

Luther Huckaby Campaign Materials

Rl huckaby's badge

Luther Huckaby Badge

My granddad Robert Luther Huckaby was born in Bosque County Texas (West of Waco) in the 1890’s. His mother died when he was small and his father remarried. By the time he was 14 he was having some disagreements with his stepmother and set out on his own. He made his way north and claimed a homestead in Southeastern Colorado just north of the panhandle town of Kenton Oklahoma

In the 1940’s he worked as city marshal with various duties being assigned including one as city water manager. At that time there was a lady, Vesta Tune, living in a dugout on the south part of town near the city power plant. The plant had water cooled engines and with big pipes and valves that controlled the flow of water. Mrs. Tune often staked out her goats who grazed, turned the valves and subsequently turned off the water which cooled these engines. Granddad had warned her multiple times not do this and finally after many warnings he confiscated her goats and threw them in the cityjail/dog pound.

That began a feud that lasted into the 1950’s when my granddad ran for Sheriff. During his campaign Mrs Tune would always campaign against him by painting signs that she would place over the goats and lead through the County Fair Parade. He served 2 terms and one picture I recall said,

Huckaby stole my goat don’t give him your vote

The other, with Mrs. Tune and her campaign team, is shown above with what I believe it is the Springfield CO courthouse in the background says, “Vote against Huckaby a step toward law enforcement.” I guess it didn’t work as he was elected to a couple of terms as sheriff.

A couple of interesting notes:
1) Mrs. Tune was a very good gardener and used residual warm water from the power plant to water her garden. She apparently could start her garden a little earlier in the spring than most folks in Springfield as the warm water helped warm
up the ground when most of the southeastern Colorado prairie was still too cold to start planting.

2)My grandma and Mrs. Tune apparently got along pretty well as they were both gardeners and often chatted about gardening.

Mrs Toon

Vesta Toon and her goat

 I Have Mrs Tune’s Goat Cart! An Update.

Here is an update from Mrs. Tune, The Sheriff and the Goats original post on my old site.  The original post is shown above.  Also, I am now the proud owner of a goat cart.  This is not just any goat cart.  It was owned by Vesta Tune  who was the subject of a post Mrs. Tune, The Sheriff and the Goats from my old site.  I was visiting with Chuck Wilson in my hometown of Springfield Colorado when the topic of Mrs. Tune came up.  I told him the story below and he said “you want her Goat Cart”.  It seems Chuck’s mom had acquired it years ago and had used it as a flower bed all these years.

This is re posted with Permission from

Views from  This post has already been read 1843 times!

Original Post  September 4, 2009 on original site: Ning Views: 74

Comments from Original Ning Site

Comment by Kent Brooks on February 14, 2011 at 12:14am Delete Comment

I recently spoke to Mark Schmidt, an attorney in Springfield Colorado who recalls the following about my Granddad and Mrs. Tune.   “The story I heard (and I can’t remember whether it was Howard or Warren who told me) is as follows:  Vesta led a pregnant goat in the Fair Parade the year Luther first ran for Sheriff in the 50’s.  The sign on the goat read:  “Don’t let Huckaby get your goat like he got mine.”

Comment by Kent Brooks on October 5, 2009 at 11:43am Delete Comment

After Telling this story to one of our campus security officers, Jose Arce, he did a little homework for me. He found the following death record from

Vesta Tune 6 Mar 1874 May 1969 Goodwell, Texas, Oklahoma

One response

Leave a Reply