UPDATED: End of an Era: Are You Sad to See the Gas City Cow Leave?

The corporate mascot of bankrupt Gas City left Frankfort on Monday, its home for more than 35 years. What does the iconic cow's departure mean to you?

  • UPDATED (8:40 a.m. Wednesday, May 2): Thanks to an e-mail from a reader, we've included a YouTube video of a 2004 FCTV interview with William McEnery about the cow.

Last August, .

When it came to the company's signature fiberglass cow that had sat in front of the Gas City headquarters since 1976, I wrote:

I hope we discover that a certain prodigious cow still has a home on South LaGrange Road.

As of Monday, that cow, Elsie, is no longer a Frankfort resident.

READ: Our Gas City Section Has Complete Coverage of the Company's Bankruptcy

"She" moved—actually, was moved—to McEnery's home in Homer Glen, according to Sun-Times Media. The cow was considered personal property in the Gas City bankruptcy case, which ended Monday, but could end up in front of a Creamery ice cream shop location at a future date, the report stated. The Creamery chain, which was once a fiefdom of McEnery's Gas City kingdom, is now owned by McEnery's son, William "Billy" McEnery, and McEnery Enterprises, the Gas City company's successor. Of course, has a location in Frankfort, within milk-spitting distance of the cow's old home.

Although the company had talked to about Elsie's possible relocation to somewhere else in the village or elsewhere, village officials weren't told about Monday's move, said Village Administrator Jerry Ducay, who found out about it when he drove by the Gas City building as they were preparing the flatbed for the cow.

"I thought it was a moo-ving experience," Ducay said of witnessing Elsie's departure. (And yes, I told him I was obligated to quote him after that.)

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Mayor Jim Holland said the cow has earned the local status of being "a little bit of an icon," and it has some meaning to residents.

"As for the cow, I can’t speak for my fellow officers, but since I grew up in Frankfort I remember it from my days in high school (late 80s)" Cmdr. Kevin Keegan said. "For me, it will be strange not seeing it anymore, but as with anything else, change happens."

That change isn't simply the relocation of a corporate mascot. It's the relocation of a whole corporation. Gas City—or McEnery Enterprises, if you prefer—no longer resides in Frankfort; its new offices are in Tinley Park. (Incidentally, calls to McEnery Enterprises went unanswered Tuesday.) Elsie's move is the symbolic setting sun of Gas City's dynasty in the village, the end of a 45-year reign.

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"It was kind of bittersweet," Ducay said of the move. "It did represent the end of an era for us. They were great corporate citizens."

"We will miss them," Holland added.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Does Elsie's departure bring a tear to your eye? Or are you happy to see the cow wind up in someone else's backyard? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Joe Vince May 02, 2012 at 05:50 PM
In hindsight, I really should have put out a cattle call for the best cow pun by a reader. Oh well, no use in crying over spilt milk. It does sound like people would really like Elsie to stay in Frankfort. However, it might take bovine intervention for that to happen. OK, I'll stop now. Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort
Billy M. May 02, 2012 at 08:12 PM
It was only a piece of plastic reminding us of how bad McEnry actually screwed everyone and how bad the employees were actually treated !!!!
jan May 03, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I remember the cow from the south side of Chicago....Gas City. (It was on the roof). It was there to announce the sale of milk at the gas station. Back then it wasn't common place to sell milk at the same place where you purchased gasoline. Not sure why it was moooved to corporate but I will miss her and want to see her at the creamery where she belongs!!!
wayno May 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM
sad to see the only reminder leave of a business owner like bill that screwed sixty plus employees from a.d.conner,in violation of the federal warran act, and also kept all vacation monies owed also,even after ruled upon in washington d,c by the n.l.r.b.
John Stachulak May 03, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Who cares about the cow he fired all of us no warning. We were loyal snow rain ice,ghetto at night. verbal abuse from the shop and the union busting vp. The vp would cuss an employee out at the drop of a hat. Look for a job just b-4 the holidays. So technically the cow reminds me of no heart I will not worship the vile idol.


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