updated 9:52 PM EDT, Mar 26, 2015
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Every year, artist Bill Smith hand-crafts knives as the centerpieces of the Salado  Education Foundation Cattlemen’s Ball, but this year  he promises something very special.

Smith has made a replica Musso Bowie knife to be auctioned off on Oct. 19 as part of the 14th annual Cattlemen’s Ball.

“It is such a labor intensive process because I choose to make them the old way by not using modern tools,” Smith said of the Bowie knife. Earlier this year, he donated one to the Alamo, where it is now on display in the museum there. “I fire my forge with coal, hammer by hand, and draw file the blades. I do, however, use the lathe to make the bottle shaped nut on the end of the handle.  If I made another I would need to charge too much.”

Bill made several Bowie knives and sold them before he found out one was appraised for $25,000. The knife is an exact representation of the original Bowie knife brought back to America by Joe Musso. 

Smith used the same methods and like materials as James Black, the blacksmith who forged the first Bowie knife.

For the past 11 years Bill has drawn plans, cut out, and built two or three one-of-a-kind  custom knives  for the  Salado Education Foundation  auctions, which have raised thousands  of dollars for local scholarships. 

Last year alone, his three  knives raised $7,500 for SEF scholarships for  Salado seniors and  grants for teachers.  

Salado Education Foundation hosts its 14th annual Cattlemen’s Ball on Oct. 19 at Tenroc Ranch. Freddie Fuller will perform for guests as they arrive and sign-in at 6:30 p.m. 

A steak  dinner grilled  by Johnny’s Steaks  and Bar-Be-Que in Salado will begin at 7 p.m.

This year, the Salado Education Foundation

 has awarded more 

than $20,000

in scholarships and $5,000 in innovative teaching grants.

Tickets are available at First Community Title Salado office, Century 21 Bill Bartlett, The Haire Shoppe and the Superintendent’s office.