Leo A. Heuer and his two buffalo made it into The Missourian Aug. 28, 1967. The bull stood six feet high and weighed 1,900 pounds, the story said. The female was lighter, 1,200 pounds. They were about eight years shy of full maturity, when the bull could stand seven feet tall and weight as much as 3,000 pounds.
Bought them from Grant’s Farm
Heuer bought the two beasts from Grant’s Farm, owned by St. Louis brewer August A. Busch, in 1963 for $600. At the time, they were small enough that you could almost pick them up. He said raising them wasn’t a great problem, that they were sturdy, durable animals that fared better in extreme heat and cold than cattle.
The farm was located on Three Mile Creek Road, about two miles east of Highway 61.
11 Replies to “Leo Heuer’s Buffalo”
I remember the buffalo well, because they were unusual for our area. I enjoyed driving by the Heuer farm to watch the handsome beasts.
And what did Mr. Heuer do with the Buffalo? did he raise them for meat or as “show” animals? (It seems like he must have had a master plan for a herd or something to go all the way to St Louis to obtain them.)
The story said he planned to get a pair in 1950, but the animals were harder to find then. “I’ve always wanted some buffalo.” He said he plans to keep them and eventually breed the cow.
“Another project Mr. Heuer hopes to undertake soon is breeding a domestic cow with the bull buffalo. ‘I don’t know what I’ll get.'”
So, the real answer is, “I don’t know.”
A French student was staying with us on an exchange program that summer. We took him to see the Beasts from the Wild West. He loved seeing them!
Ken, do you know if that’s Don Heuer’s dad?
Leo and Bebe Heuer had two children, Don and Shelby
Those buffalo were there for years. Loved drving by and seeing them! I don’t know but I think he just had them because he liked them! It has only been in recent years that they have been gone. Sorry, that really is’t much info but all I have!!
Leo and Bebe Heuer was Ronnies'(my husbands’ cousins) and yes Donnie Heuer parents. Ronnie took me out there to see the buffalos. They were quiet amazing animals. HUGE and something to see. As big as they were, I couldn’t believe that the fence could hold them in.
Actually, the fence WOULDN’T hold them in. Mr. Heuer said there are some things you don’t do around buffalo:
1. You don’t show fear. “Once they find out you’re scared of them, you’ve had it.”
2. Don’t tease them. Pointing to the fence, he said, “They can come right through it when they want to. They’re just that powerful. When they get mad, which is often, they put their heads down, their tails up and snort.”
The fact that you’re here to comment must mean that you didn’t show fear and you didn’t tease them.
As a French exchange student in Cape during the Spring and Summer of 1966, I very much wanted to see an American buffalo. I was told there were none near Missouri, but proved my hosts wrong in finding these. As a reward I was taken with them on vacation to Colorado where I saw many other species.
The natural wildlife did not compare however, with the wild things at the A Go Go club in the Harris building on Broadway – Vicki Litz, an American memory.
As a kid I grew up with Don Heuer and his family as I rented a stable from him to board my saddlebred. I was just a kid, but Donnie treated me like a son and you couldn’t have had a much nicer bunch of people to grow up with and teach you horsemanship. I think Don has passed away along with his parents. I’d like to know more but can’t seem to find anymore information on the internet. Don’s legacy was his stallion “Heuer’s Hot Shot” which is somewhat of a legend in the Southeast Missouri area. I often wish I could blink twice and be that 17 year old kid riding my horse Charlie Brown. Man was I a lucky guy. God bless the Heuer’s – I was truly blessed.
Tom Vaughn, NYC