Paul Hines, who was known as the "Buffalo Man" because of a bison herd he kept on his Churchville farm, died of cancer Oct. 13 at his residence. He was 77.
Born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Alliance, he served in the Army during the Korean War and retired after 20 years as a Signal Corps photo officer and instructor. He moved to Maryland in 1968 and worked part-time as a postal carrier in Bel Air and a clerk in Churchville.
Family members said Mr. Hines raised bison for 25 years on the 60-acre Cedarvale Farm, which had been in his wife's family since the mid-1860s.
A 2003 Sun article detailed his interest in raising buffalo: "His first brush with bison came when, as a child vacationing in South Dakota, he tried some of the meat at Mount Rushmore. `It was the best meat I ever had.'"
Some years later, while in the Army, he saw a herd of bison in Alaska and decided to raise them. "They're just a superior animal," he said in The Sun article.
"He taught thousands of schoolchildren and adults everything he knew about bison," said his wife of 57 years, the former Sarah Emily Coale. "The farm fit into studies about the Native Americans and the West. We ourselves learned a lot by going to conferences."
She said that until he sold the herd in 2005, the farm was visited by many people, some of whom purchased buffalo meat and hides.
"He was strong and energetic, and whenever he got interested in something, he did it full-tilt," his wife said. "He enjoyed being known as the Buffalo Man."
On a trip to Ocean City, Mr. Hines observed kites being flown on the beach and decided to take up the activity. He bought a sewing machine and made kites of nylon and other materials.
His family said that Mr. Hines flew his red-white-and-blue kites at Fort McHenry several times a year -- and always on New Year's Day. He recently flew his airfoil kite behind his son's boat on the Chesapeake Bay. He also belonged to the Wings Over Washington Kite Club, American Kitefliers Association and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Kite Clubs.
He was a co-founder of the annual Bel Air Kite Festival held in the spring at Rockfield Park. At this year's festival, he flew a large Ravens kite he had made for his daughter's birthday.
He was also an enthusiastic croquet player and officiated at the Liriodendron Croquet Tournament in Bel Air for several years.
Mr. Hines, who was a Mason and belonged to the Mount Ararat Lodge, was also a member of the Harford Choral Society. He was a past president of the Churchville Ruritan Club.
"He loved his country and was very patriotic, and was responsible for installing the flags and flagpoles at several locations in Churchville," said his daughter, Joanne Coale Hines of Havre de Grace. "One of his last projects before he died was to hang flags over I-95."
After his wife was nearly killed by a drunken driver in 1989, Mr. Hines became a volunteer for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He was the Harford County chapter's vice president.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 3 at Churchville Presbyterian Church, 2844 Churchville Road, where he was a member.
In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include two sons, Donald R. Hines and David P. Hines, who live on the family farm; a brother, Ronald R. Hines of Lincoln, Neb.; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.