“THIRTY YEARS OF SAUSAGE, FIFTY YEARS OF HAM”
Born to a working-class family near Plainview, Texas, in 1928, Jimmy Dean learned to play piano at an early age from his mother. By the time of his death in June 2010, he had recorded more than forty albums, scored a #1 Billboard hit song (with “Big Bad John” in 1960), starred in numerous television shows and movies and hosted his own TV variety show, founded a Plainview-based sausage company that still bears his name, and been nominated to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
An artfully envisioned museum, opened in 2016 on the campus of Wayland Baptist University, honors Dean’s life and legacy follows his rise from Depression-era poverty in West Texas to his national celebrity as a popular entertainer, and later his success in the sausage business.
"SOUTHERN HIGH PLAINS HERITAGE"
The Museum of the Llano Estacado, located on the campus of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, is dedicated to the regional history and pre-history of the Llano Estacado, also known as the Southern High Plains, one of the continent’s largest geographic mesas. The museum explores the region’s geology, including examples of the local minerals and rocks, along with fossils. An impressive exhibit of the mesa’s Pleistocene era features a sizable mammoth skull. Native American artifacts like tools and weapons are complimented by a full-size teepee and exhibits on the once-prolific bison. The museum depicts the settlement of the Plains with a reproduction of a mercantile store, jailhouse, and doctor’s office. Once a vast free range, the Llano Estacado was eventually crosshatched by fences and railroads and the museum depicts the region’s period of ranching and railway history with a tack room, a blacksmith shop, a watering tank and a wooden windmill. The turn-of-the-century, exemplified by the trappings of the Victorian era, is well-represented in the museum’s collection of fully-furnished period rooms including a parlor, bedroom, and drawing room.
Jimmy Dean and Llano Estacado Museum
Free; donations welcomed
Tues.–Fri. 10 a.m.– 4 p.m.; Seasonal Saturdays (April 15-Nov.15) 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Closed for official WBU holidays