By Rowdy New
Ever thinking about visiting Texas but don’t want to go to a major city like Austin or Dallas? Want some history with your trip? Visit Clay Henry 111, the goat mayor. Yes, you read that right. The mayor of Lajitas, Texas, is a goat. Lajitas is a small town in west Texas with a population of 75 people. In English, Lajitas translates to “small flat rocks” which is what most of the town is made of. The original goat mayor “Clay Pere” was elected mayor in 1986. There have been many replacements since.
Of course, having a goat run your politics isn’t very reasonable and in hindsight could have caused a lot of problems, but not for this town. Since the town’s biggest population was 75 in 2010, they usually work out their problems themselves.
After Clay Pere passed the first of the line of “Clay Henry 111” took office, although his term didn’t last as long as all the locals had hoped for. One Sunday in the small town, Clay Henry was brutally attacked by one of the locals, Jim Bob Hargrove. Hargrove was furious when he caught the goat drinking beer which, according to Lajitas’ Blue laws, it was illegal for a human to buy alcohol on a Sunday. Well, with Clay Henry being a goat he couldn’t have bought it himself, so it was a big debate if he should have gotten in trouble. Hardgrave was charged with a felony of animal cruelty, but not attempted murder because Clay is a goat and not a human. When interviewed, Hardgrave said that he was jealous of the goat because he could drink on Sundays and he wasn’t allowed to because of the laws in place.
The goat ended up making a full recovery after the local ranchers and ranch hands performed emergency surgery on him, and still drank beer till the day he passed.
The goat after him was his son. He is also named Clay Henry, which can get a little confusing but all in all it’s sweet. The son was only in office for a few months after he stepped down because he “was never the goat his father was.” Yes, that also sounds crazy but it is a family afar down there in west Texas.
So, there is some history in the small town and the more you look around the more you will find and the more you learn. So if you ever find yourself down in deep west Texas, stop in and have a beer with the mayor.