Remembering Captain Courageous


They purchased the Angus-cross bull from Harold Del Ponte when the animal was jus’ a couple of days old. Larry Bush and his wife, Audrey took the animal, they named ‘Bahamas’ to their Klamath Glen home, raising him on the bottle.

‘Bahamas’ was two-and-a-half years old, when on December 22nd, 1964, a flood washed him down the river, into the Pacific Ocean and finally into the Crescent City Harbor. He was rescued by some men, including Dave Steward, and was extremely ill from his 16-mile ordeal.

When Audrey went to the harbor to see if it was their steer, the animal stood up for the first time and came right to her. The Bush’s were planning to give him to Crescent City so he would have a place to live out the rest of his life.

But, before that could be done, some of the rescuers hired an attorney and sued to keep him, with the idea of butchering the Angus-mix. It was local brand inspector, Lyle Corliss, who decided the steer belonged to the Bush’s, ending the litigation.

Fees for the steers rescue, the vet, upkeep and attorneys were piling up. Several people including George and Millie Merriman, Colin Henninger and Wally Griffin helped pay them.

Later, the rescue fee was returned after one people who led the rescue was slated to receive an award from the National Humane Society. Unfortunately, that award-winners’ name appears obscured from public records.

‘Bahamas’ was taken to Dr. Vipond’s ranch, near Lake Earl, where he lived through 1967. He was then moved to Bush’s cousin, Alvin Larson’s place in Requa.

Eventually, Bush and his brother, Norman asked Klamath resident, Andy MacBeth to take over the care of the steer. It’s believed MacBeth was the one who made arrangements with the animal’s original owner, Del Ponte to put ‘Bahamas,’ now renamed ‘Captain Courageous,’ out to pasture and on display.

‘Captain Courageous’ lived a long and peaceful life, dying in the spring of 1983. Fourteen years later, a monument to ‘Captain Courageous’ was erected at the south end of the new Klamath town site, next to the two original Golden Bears salvaged from the bridge destroyed by the flood.

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