We're going hunting for elephants. not with a rifle, but for arguably one of the largest collections in the area and possibly anywhere.
You are greeted at the front door of Treva Murrell's house by an elephant...and then you look around. It's not a single elephant. It's a herd, albeit a small one in the front lawn
Once you're inside, an amazing sight begins to take shape in the form of elephants. Everywhere. Size, color, composition, --ceiling to floor it's elephants, and it all started when Treva was a little girl.
"To begin with I got this pewter plate and my brother lived in Chicago and he brought me many. then people started giving them to me and If I see one that's new I buy it."
Its hard to imagine there's a unique elephant out there she doesn't have. From amber to Zercotal wood, ebony to ivory, Treva can be considered a perfectly prolific pachyderm proponent.
"Most people say I have the largest collection of any one single item.
"How many do you think you have?"
"More than two thousand."
Her friends and family think she might have more than that and are considering cataloging the entire collection and contacting the Guiness book of world records. A large task to document this humoungous collection of the world's most humoungest land animal.
"I have a four bedroom house and and they're all full, bathroom, playhouse and a patio full of elephants."
Tulia residents probably remember her from her days as a top waitress at the family owned Western Cafe. After retiring from that, she was the first police officer in Swisher county and then she started collecting about 4 decades ago. Very few have gotten away, but she does recall an elephant boot jack she's still looking for.
"Saw one one time. boot jack, i didn't have the money then to buy it.
She also collects boot jack, canes, hats, salt cellars and spitoons, and she says unless you can share these collections with visitors, there's no reason to even have them.
"If you can't share it, it's not worth anything."
Unfortunately, we don't have time to share each elephant and her elephant like memory of how each one was obtained, but you can count on the fact there's always room for a couple more, somewhere in Treva's home.
"If I see one I don't have, I'll buy one."
So keep your eyes open for that boot jack for Treva...odds are she's still looking for it.