CATTLEMAN, HORSE TRADER TREASURED OLD WEST WAY OF LIFE 02/25/99 SMITHVILLE, Texas Joe Cole was known for his ornery cattle. His friends say it's because he let them pasture for years, and they tended to get set in their ways. When it came time for auction, they were cantankerous. Disagreeable. Wild. A cattle buyer once pointed to a longhorn and correctly predicted, "That's a Joe Cole cow. Wait a few minutes; it's going to be upside down." That's the first thing you need to know about Joe Cole, 97. The cattleman, horse trader, rawhide furniture-maker and writer of Western articles died Saturday in his 1830s-era cabin in the country outside Smithville. He was surrounded by family, with his hand resting on a favorite pistol, a single-action Colt revolver. Tuesday afternoon, Cole's family and friends gave him the cowboy funeral he requested. They hitched a covered wagon to two longhorn cattle for a funeral procession from the edge of his ranch to a live oak tree near the cabin. On his casket, the family put a few of the things he loved: a lariat, one of the miniature wooden chairs he made with a rawhide seat, and a black-gray discus-shaped rock. A typed label explained its importance to the lifelong rock hunter: `Very First Rock Joe Found." "He lived a simple life," said Brother Y.J. Jimenez, a longtime friend who officiated at the funeral. "He loved the Old West." Cole was born at Black Jack Springs, near Muldoon, in neighboring Fayette County. In 97 years, he had only moved a few miles, across the Fayette-Bastrop county line. But his friends and family said he was widely known for his travels across the state to trade cattle and horses. He usually got the best end of a trade. His motto, Jimenez said: "If you ever trade a jackass for a thoroughbred, ask for something else to boot." When he wasn't trading horses or cattle, he would make his rawhide-bottomed furniture, swap antiques, write articles for True West magazine or collect Western weapons. "He never really came into the 20th century," said a grandson. He slept year-round on a screened porch into his 60s. After he turned 90, his family gave him a television set that he dismissed as an "idiot box." When he was 95, Cole agreed to fly in a nephew's Cessna _ if the nephew first rode one of his mules. After the short flight over his ranch, Cole pronounced: "If I had a choice to go to California on that plane or that mule, I'd take the mule." On Tuesday, his friends and family returned to his ranch to remember the man. They transferred his casket from a hearse to the covered wagon. The two longhorns moved forward as a dozen riders followed alongside and a line of mourners walked behind the wagon. With Bible in hand, Jimenez led a riderless horse _ Cole's straw hat and spurs tied to the saddle. Then the longhorns suddenly ignored their handlers, made a sharp right turn and snapped the wagon tongue. For a moment, it appeared they might turn over the wagon. Cowboys quickly unhooked the team. Cole's son Zane lassoed the wagon tongue, and his horse pulled the wagon uphill. It was a fitting moment, family members said, and one Cole would have enjoyed. Molly Stegall, Cole's great-niece, said, "It gave him something to laugh about." Cole is survived by sons Zane Cole of Elgin and Dean James and Ken Douglas of Smithville, daughters Bess Bishop of Bastrop and Gwen Boyd of Smithville, sister Rosa Cole Lee of Smithville, 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Scientists have begun the systematic analysis of the 9,300-year-old skeleton dubbed Kennewick Man. A contractor has uncovered what appears to be a 600- to 1,000-year-old Fremont Indian camp on Antelope Island. The excavation was halted and parks officials called in state Archaeologist Kevin Jones and his colleagues to examine the site. Near present day Flagstaff on Aug. 14, almost every one of Aubry's party was wounded in the assault. Twenty-five natives were killed with the travelers scalping several victims. Upon reaching Santa Fe, Aubry presented one of the bloody trophies to the editor of a local newspaper.