Bears were once so plentiful in Texas that their fat and meat were common fare on the tables of early Texans. I found a couple examples in newspapers from around the turn of the 20th century.
The Fort Worth Record and Register – December 23, 1909, p. 3
This is a striking ad from a butcher shop in Fort Worth.
The Dallas Daily Herald – September 22, 1877, p. 4
Over a decade prior, a Dallas butcher had served up (his pet?) bear to his customers. I need to find the full story behind this one.
Austin American-Statesman, December 25, 1890, p. 5
The Austin American Statesmen also mentions that the Driskill Hotel would be serving bear ham for Christmas dinner in 1890. Beyond the bear, it’s interesting to see the other items on the menu like green turtle, which were also being exploited at the time.
Austin American-Statesman – December 30, 1879, p.3
Bear meat for Christmas dinner seems to be a theme. Here is a note about a celebration in Galveston.