Bunch McDaniel is addicted to life, wrote Frank Farmer in an article for the 1972 Jersey Man.
At that time he was 68 years old and worked 50 hours a week at a Springfield service station and also found time to raise a garden so that Madge, his wife, would have fruits and vegetables to can, Frank wrote.
“In addition Bunch oversees the operation of his 140-acre farm in Jasper County, cares for his 80 acre -farm where he lives, and to ‘play’ with his eight registered Jersey cows and 15 heifers.”
Bunch was born Aug. 6, 1904 in Carthage. He was one of 12 children and attended Empire Grade School, Carthage High School and spent a year at the University of Missouri studying agriculture.
During high school he took part in many sports except football which took up too much of his time. He was an active participant in several sports and was a catcher for a baseball team at 62. Bunch quit playing baseball only because the team disbanded.
He married Madge Bowman in 1935 in Oklahoma City and they had two children. Karl Bunch, who is retired, lives in Carthage, and Joy McDaniel Hendrix who is in the banking business in Oklahoma City.
But, most of all, Bunch loved Jerseys. He bought his first Jersey in 1917, began showing in 1923, and was a Jersey owner for more than 60 years.
Bunch’s real love was showing Jersey Cattle. He started showing in 1923 at local fairs and shows. For many years in the 40s and 50s he and a friend would take a show herd on the Midwest Fair Circuit. They traveled from show to show via rail, would be gone for 10 to 12 weeks, and return home with a trunk full of ribbons.
One of his Jerseys – Observer Frolic – was one of two cows to represent Missouri at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.
Bunch was an active participant and leader in many community activities including 4-H, FFA, Farm Bureau, University of Missouri Balanced Farming Program, and many others.
He joined the Center Point Christian Church in 1915 and continued as a member for the remainder of his life. Dick Sunderland, Carthage, was the McDaniel’s neighbor for many years. “Bunch and Madge were active church members and for years at revival time the preacher always stayed with Bunch and Madge,” he said. “Of course, I’m sure that the gracious welcome and Madge’s good cooking were an important reason the preacher kept returning year after year.”
“I really miss them both,” Dick said.
The McDaniels left the farm in 1996 and moved to Oklahoma City to be near their daughter. Bunch died Sept. 13, 1998.
The Missouri Jersey Cattle Club nominated Bunch for the Pioneer Leadership Award.