Iowa History Daily: On October 31, 1964, a large crowd gathered to marvel at Iowa’s largest bovine, Albert the Bull, as the iconic statue debuted in Audubon. The 28’ tall bull with a 15’ span between horns and weighing in at 45 tons, Albert is not only Iowa’s, but the World’s Largest Bull.
Named for local bank president Albert Kruse after the man schemed up a local beef promotion called ‘Operation T-Bone,’ Albert came into being due to related efforts of the Audubon Junior Chamber of Commerce during the early 1960s. Operation T-Bone itself came about when Kruse declined to ride east to Chicago with beef on the hoof headed for the Chicago Stockyards, however, when a Pullman Car was attached to the train Operation T-Bone commenced.
In 1961, the first ideas of a giant bull statue in Audubon emerged, however it wasn’t until 1963 that the Junior Chamber of Commerce paired 108 members with Operation T-Bone to start work on the massive moo-er. With $30,000 funded entirely without solicitation to locals, the group used fundraisers and donations from agricultural interests to bring Albert into being.
“Authentic right down to the tonsils,” 65 gallons of paint covered the metal and concrete sculpture before initial dedication in 1964. Visible from Highway 71, Albert continues to bring thousands of visitors to Audubon almost sixty years later. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar