A resident of Texas was called a “Beef-Head” by at least 1864. The name is related to Texas’s famous cattle industry and was similar to “cowboy.”
“Beef-Heads” appeared on many state nickname lists in newspapers until about 1920, but the term was otherwise infrequently used.
(Dictionary of American Regional English)
1872 Harper’s Mag. 44.318/1, Texas, Beef-Heads; Vermont, Green Mountain Boys.
1937 Shankle Nicknames 521, The Texans are called Beef-heads.
1968 Adams Western Words, Beef head—A Texan.
(Dictionary of Americanisms)
Beef-Head, a nickname for a Texan, obs.
1872 Harper’s Mag. Jan. 318/1 Texas, Beef-Heads; Vermont, Green Mountain Boys.
1886 Chi. W. News 29 Apr. 4/3 Texas is the Lone-Star state,...its people are Beef-Heads for some unknown reason.
25 July 1864, Indianapolis (IN) Daily Journal, “National Nick-Names,” pg. 4, col. 2:
June 1865, The Wisconsin Journal of Education, pg. 328:
The following are the “nicknames” of the native inhabitants of the different States:
... Texas, Beef=Heads; ...
1 December 1865, The Rescue (Sacramento, CA), “National Nicknames,” pg. 3, col. 3:
... Texas, Beef Heads; ...
9 April 1866, Cleveland (OH) Daily Plain Dealer, “Geographical Nicknames,” pg. 2, col. 5:
The natives of these States are:
Texas, beef heads; ...
Dei-, Spitz- und Spott-Namen
(Surnames and Nicknames.)
Hoboken, NJ: Hudson County Journal
Beef Heads, f. Texas.
11 February 1869, Jackson Sentinel (Maquoketa, Iowa), pg. 2, col. 2:
Texas, Beef Heads.
28 April 1870, Decatur (IL) Republican, “National Nicknames,” pg. 1, col. 4:
...Texas, Beef Heads;...
Compiled by John P. Mains
San Francisco, CA: L. P. McCarty, Publisher
NICKNAMES OF STATES AND THEIR INHABITANTS.
TEXAS—The Lone Star State. Beetheads. (Probably a typo for “Beefheads.”—ed.)
An Index to the United States of America
Compiled by Malcolm Townsend
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop Company
NICKNAMES APPLIED TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATES.
Texas...Beef-heads...Owing to its chief occupation of raising cattle through natural State advantages in its vast grazing lands.
Universal Dictionary of the English Language
Edited by Robert Hunter and Charles Morris
New York, NY: Peter Fenelon Collier, Publisher
Texas. Beef-heads (derived from the grazing industry).
2 July 1904, Grand Forks (ND) Herald, “Nicknames of States,” pg. 2:
Texas is the Lone Star state because that was the emblem of her flag before she was admitted to the union. Texans are “beef heads” because their chief occupation is cattle raising.
by Gilbert Milligan Tucker
New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
“BEEF-HEADS OR COWBOYS, People of Texas and the West of U. S. A., the general employment of the inhabitants being the harrying of cattle.” Beef-head is a new word to me, though I cannot say it does not exist.