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THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS - Old Cardboard Vintage Baseball Cards


  • pg 1
   Before the advent of railroads the marketing of cattle was a problem
that confronted the man who undertook the raising of cattle in Texas.
The great expanse of unsettled domain was ideal for the business. No
wire fences were here to limit the range, grass was knee high, and cattle
roamed freely over the hills, valleys and prairies of Texas. The
long-horn was in the hey-day of his glory. The limitless range, broken
by no barrier, extending from the Gulf to Kansas, offered ample
opportunities for the man with nerve and determination in this great
out-of-doors. There being no fences he allowed his cattle to scatter
over the range, but at times he would round them up and throw them
back in the vicinity of the home ranch when they strayed too far away.
In the spring the big "round-ups" usually took place, when all of the
cowmen of each section would participate, coming together at a stated
time, gathering all of the cattle on the range, and branding what was
rightfully theirs. Be it said to their credit, those early cowmen seldom
claimed animals that belonged to a neighbor. If a cow was found
unbranded, and there was any evidence that she belonged to some
cowman not present, or who lived over in the "next neighborhood," the
owner was notified and usually got his cow. There was a noticeable
absence of greed in those days in the cattle business, for the men who
chose that means of livelihood were of that whole-souled, big-
                 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                         2

hearted type that established a rule of "live and let live," and where a
man was suspected of being a thief he was watched and if the
suspicions were realized that man found that particular neighborhood to
be a mighty unhealthy place to live in. Being sparsely settled in those
early days, the ranches being from ten to fifty miles apart, counties
unorganized and courts very few, every man in a way was a "law unto
himself," so that speedy justice was meted out to offenders whose
deeds were calculated to encourage lawlessness.
    Gradually the country began to settle up with people, some coming
from other states to establish homes in the great Lone Star State, and in
the course of time the cattle industry became the leading industry in
this region. Farming was not thought of, more than to raise a little corn
for bread. Beef was to be had for the asking, or wild game for the
killing. Mustangs furnished mounts for the cowman, and these horses
proved their value as an aid to the development of the cattle industry. A
good rider could break a mustang to the saddle in a very short time, and
for endurance these Spanish ponies had no equal. Then loomed the
problem of finding a market for the ever-increasing herds of cattle that
were being produced in South and Southwest Texas. In this state there
was no demand for the beef and hides of the long-horn, but in other
states where the population was greater the beeves were needed. Then
it was that some far-seeing cowman conceived the idea of getting his
cattle to where the demand existed, so it was that trail-driving started.
A few herds were driven to Abilene, Kansas, on the Atchison, Topeka
and Santa Fe Railroad, and the venture proved so successful financially
that before a great while everybody began to send their cattle "up the
trail." These drives were not unattended by many dangers, as a great
portion of the route was through a region infested by hostile Indians,
and many times the redskins carried off the scalps of venturesome
   3              THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

    For many years the trail-driving continued, or until those great
arteries of commerce, the railroads, began to penetrate the stock-raising
region, and then gradually the cowpuncher, whose delight was to ride
his pony "up the trail," was deprived of that privilege, and now instead
he goes along with a trainload to "tail 'em up" when the cattle get down
in a stock car.
    With the passing of the trail came a better breed of cattle, the
long-horn gave place to the short-horn white face Hereford, less vicious
and unruly. The free range passed away, wire fences came as a new era
set in, with the encroachment of civilization. The Texas cowmen
formed an association with regular annual conventions, where ways
and means for the improvement and betterment of their business were
devised. These gatherings are a source of much pleasure to the old-time
stockmen, and it was at one of these conventions a few years ago that
George W. Saunders suggested that an auxiliary association of old-time
trail drivers be formed, to be composed of men who "went up the trail"
in those early days. But inasmuch as such an association would detract
from the usual business transacted at the meetings of the parent
association it was eventually decided to form a separate association
with a different time for its meetings, and thus the Old Trail Drivers'
Association sprang into existence, and met with popular favor, so much
so that within a year from its organization it had a membership of over
five hundred.
    The ranks of the old trail drivers are becoming thinner each year, but
there still remain many who knew the pleasures and hardships of a six
and eight months' trip to market with from fifteen hundred to three
thousand head of cattle. They are scattered from Texas to the Canadian
border and from California to New York. Many are rated in Dun and
Bradstreet's in the seven-figure column, while others are not so well off
financially. The stories some of these old fellows could tell would
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                            4

make your hair stand on end, stories of stampedes and Indian raids,
stories with dangers and pleasures intermingled and of fortunes made
and lost; they made history which the world docs not know a thing
about. To perpetuate the memory of these old trail drivers, who blazed
the trail to greater achievement, is the aim of every native-born Texan
who knows what has been so unselfishly accomplished. To stimulate
it, and keep it alive in the hearts of our Texan youth, will inspire a spirit
of reverence and gratitude to their heroic fathers for the liberty which
they have given themfor the free institutions which are the result of
their daring.
                                                         J. R. BLOCKER.

    The following, taken from the Secretary's record, gives an outline of
the first steps that were taken toward organizing the Old Trail Drivers'
Association: "A number of the old time trail men in San Antonio met in
the Chamber of Commerce hall on the afternoon of February 15, 1915,
for the purpose of organizing an association to include in its
membership those surviving who had shared the dangers, vicissitudes
and hardships of the trail.
    "After a general discussion it was unanimously resolved to perfect
the organization and prepare for the enrollment. George W. Saunders
outlined the plan of formation, and the following officers were elected:
J. R. Blocker, president; George W. Saunders, vice-president; Luther A.
Lawhon, secretary, and Colonel R. B. Pumphrey, treasurer."
    At that time it was suggested that the Association affiliate with the
Texas Cattle Raisers' Association, and hold joint meetings with that
organization. At the Cattle Raisers' convention on March 9th and 10th,
1915, a great
   5              THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

many members were added to the new association, and in March, 1916,
the Old Trail Drivers had their first roundup when the Cattle Raisers'
convention met in Houston. We give below the complete proceedings
of the Old Trail Drivers' meeting, in which is included the report of the
Secretary, and a list of the officers and directors of the association:
    Minutes of the First Annual Convention of the Old, Time Trail Drivers'
    Association Held in the City of Houston, Texas, March 21, 22, 23, 1916
   In accordance with the date and place selected by the Texas Cattle
Raisers' Association, with which the Old Time Trail Drivers'
Association is affiliated, these two organizations convened in the city
of Houston on Tuesday, March 21, 1916, in annual convention.
   Headquarters for the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association was
established in the lobby of the Rice Hotel, with Vice-president and
Organizer George W. Saunders, Secretary Luther A. Lawhon and G. D.
Cannon in charge. Badges and buttons, furnished by the association,
were distributed to the members, of whom quite a large number were in
attendance, and the books of the association were opened for the
enrollment of new members.
   At 10 o'clock A.M. Tuesday, 21st, the two organizationsthe Texas
Cattle Raisers' Association and the Old Time Trail Drivers'
Association, met jointly in the city auditorium for the opening
exercises, which were associately conducted, the Hon. Joe Jackson,
President of the Texas Cattle Raisers' Association, presiding.
   After preliminary prayer and introductory speeches by the Hon. Pat
Garrett, the Hon. Ben Campbell, mayor of the city, delivered the
address of welcome. This was responded to on behalf of the Texas
Cattle Raisers' Association by the Hon. G. W. Armstrong, of Fort
Worth, and on behalf of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association, by
Secretary Luther A. Lawhon. The joint
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                         6

preliminary exercises having been concluded, the Old Time Trail
Drivers' Association recessed until 2:30 P.M.
                              Afternoon Session

   Promptly at 2:30 the members of the Old Time Trail Drivers'
Association assembled in the ballroom of the Auditorium, which had
been kindly placed at the disposal of the Association by the city of
Houston. Owing to the absence of President John R. Blocker, who was
indisposed, Vice President and Organizer George W. Saunders
presided. In calling the Association to order, Vice President Saunders
in a forcible address, reviewed the history of the organization, its aims
and its purposes, and dwelt with especial pride upon the cordial and
hearty endorsement which had been given the Association by the "Old
Trailers" throughout the country, as evidenced by the many
applications for membership which the Secretary had received during
the current year.
   At the conclusion of Vice President Saunders' address, Secretary
Luther A. Lawhon presented the following annual report, which wa s
unanimously adopted:
HON. JOHN R. BLOCKER, President, Old Time Trail Drivers'
   SIRI have the honor to herewith submit to you for the benefit of
the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association my annual report as Secretary
of the Association. I congratulate the membership upon the rapid
growth of the Association, and for the deep and fraternal interest which
has been unanimously manifested for its maintenance and welfare.
   Assembled as we are in our first annual convention, I trust it will not
be deemed inappropriate to refer briefly to the origin of our
Associationan organization which has taken such a strong hold upon
the hearts of the old-time trail men, and the motives and the influences
which called it into being.

   As is well known to most of the membership, the name of George
W. Saunders, our vice president, is indissolubly linked with that of the
Old Time Trail Drivers' Association. Mr. Saunders, an old-time
cowboy, and one of the first to go up the trail, had urged through the
press, as well as orally, the desirability and importance of an
organization that would include and perpetuate the names of those
survivors who had shared the dangers and the hardships of the traila
condition and a society long since passed away. The proposition
awakened a responsive chord in the hearts of the old-time trail drivers
through a call published in the San Antonio Daily Express, a number of
prominent cattlemen residing in San Antonio, with others of nearby
counties, met in the rooms of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
on the afternoon of February 15, 1915, and formally organized the Old
Time Trail Drivers' Association with the election of the following
officers and board of directors:
  John R. Blocker, President.
  George W. Saunders, Vice President.
  Luther A. Lawhon, Secretary.
  R. B. Pumphrey, Treasurer.
    J. M. Bennett, Sr., W. J. Moore, George W. West, J. H. Presnall, W.
H. Jennings, T. A. Coleman, Ike T. Pryor, J. D. Houston, San Antonio,
Texas; D. H. Snyder, Georgetown, Texas; John Pumphrey, Taylor,
Texas; W. B. Blocker, Austin, Texas; P. B. Butler, Kenedy, Texas; R.
B. Masterson, Amarillo, Texas; J. B. Irving, Alpine, Texas; John
Holland, Alpine, Texas; J. H. Paramore, Abilene, Texas; Clabe
Merchant, Abilene, Texas; T. D. Wood, Victoria, Texas; George W.
Littlefield, Austin, Texas; M. A. Withers, Lockhart, Texas; Charles
Schreiner, Kerrville, Texas; Jim Scott, Alice, Texas.
    By resolution all those are eligible for membership who went up the
trail with cattle or horses during the
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                          8

years from 1865 to 1896. A membership fee of One Dollar was
authorized to be assessed.
    The Cattle Raisers' Association of Texas, at its annual convention
held in San Antonio, March 9th, 10th, 11th, 1915, generously extended
its fraternal recognition of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association, by
passing a resolution inviting the latter to meet with the former in its
annual convention. In this connection I desire to return thanks to the
editor, A. G. Williams of The Cattleman, the official organ of the Cattle
Raisers' Association of Texas, and Assistant Secretary of that
organization for the courteous consideration which he persistently
extended to the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association.
    In May, 1915, your secretary addressed to each member of the
Association a letter signed by Vice President George W. Saunders,
asking that the parties addressed would write their reminiscences,
incidents and adventures of the Trail for the benefit of the Association.
 In response to these letters the Secretary has received a number of
communications, which are not only highly interesting, but are valuable
contributions to the frontier history of Texas. It is expected that at this
convention the Association will take such steps as it may deem proper
to have these chronicles edited and properly arranged for the press, that
they may be ultimately published in book form for sale to the general
public, and for the benefit of the Association.
    On February 5th, 1916, at a meeting of the Executive Committee
composed of the officers and Board of Directors, held in San Antonio,
a resolution was passed making the sons of the old time trail drivers
eligible for membership. This was done at the urgent solicitation of
many of the younger cattlemen of Texas, whose fathers had been trail
men, and who felt an interest in, and a desire to become identified with
the organization.
    In addition to appreciating the interest shown by the

sons of the old-time trail men, the Executive Committee recognized
that in a few years at best, the old-time trail men will have passed
away, and the incorporation of the young cattlemen would be the
means of perpetuating our organization. We now have a membership
of 375, scattered through the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona,
New Mexico and Texas.
   The Executive Committee, also at this meeting, decided to have a
button manufactured for the members to wear permanently in the
buttonhole of the lapel of their coats. Vice President Saunders wa s
authorized to select the design and arrange for the manufacture. In
obedience to this, Mr. Saunders designed and has had manufactured a
button which is artistic, appropriate and worthy to be worn by the
membership of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association. He also had
badges printed for distribution to the members attending this
   I regret to have to report that since our last meeting death has taken
from our midst the following members:
   J. H. Winn, Pleasanton, Texas; William Choate, Beeville, Texas; S.
R. Guthrie, Alpine, Texas; O. C. Hildebrand, Brownsville, Texas; T. D.
Woods, Victoria, Texas. In the death of these members, our
Association has suffered a severe loss, and I submit that this convention
pass appropriate resolutions to their memories.
   In conclusion I desire to return my sincere thanks to the officers and
members of the Association for their cordial cooperation in behalf of
the Association, and for the uniform courtesy and consideration which
they have extended to me. For the past twelve months I have, as
Secretary, served the Association to the best of my ability, and I trust
that the interest of our honored Association will continue to advance for
the future as it has in the past.
                                          LUTHER A. LAWHON , Secretary.
                 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                       10

   The Secretary's report having been adopted, the Association went
into discussion of the origin, start, route and terminus of the "Old
Chisholm Trail." There was found to be a considerable difference of
opinion as to details pertaining to this famous historic highway, and it
was finally decided to leave the subject for further discussion at the
1917 convention, the Secretary, in the meantime being instructed to
correspond with as many of the original trail men as possible, that the
origin and route of this famous trail might be definitely established at
the succeeding annual convention. To this end, the Secretary was
especially instructed to write to the following "Old Trail" men for such
data and information as they might be able to furnish: Bud Daggett,
Fort Worth, Texas; John Coffee, Knoxville, Texas; Eli Baggett, San
Angelo, Texas.
   Acting President Saunders appointed a committee to draft
appropriate resolutions on death of deceased members. The committee
in due time reported, and the resolutions were unanimously adopted.
On motion of Acting President Saunders, the Association unanimously
voted a monthly salary of Thirty Dollars to Secretary Luther A.
Lawhon for the succeeding year, or for such time as he should continue
to act as Secretary for the Association.
   After disposing of further routine matters as claimed the immediate
attention of the convention, there was a general interchange of old-time
reminiscences, incidents and experiences. A number of ladies were in
attendance on the convention, who were interested listeners, and who
evinced a deep and patriotic interest in the proceedings of the
Association. Having disposed of all business to be transacted, the
convention adjourned sine die.
                                          LUTHER A. LAWHON , Secretary.
   The second annual reunion of the Old Trail Drivers' Association was
held in San Antonio, Texas, July 2 and

3, 1917. It was estimated that fully two hundred and fifty of the old
trail men were in attendance. The meeting place was in the ballroom of
the Gunter Hotel. Addresses of welcome were delivered by Hon. Dave
Woodward as representative of Mayor Sam G. Bell, by Hon. J. H.
Kirkpatrick, representing the Chamber of Commerce; Col. Ike T. Pryor,
President of the American Live Stock Association, and Vice President
George W. Saunders of the Old Trail Drivers' Association, who
responded on behalf of the Association. Following is Secretary
Lawhon's report as adopted at this meeting:
   HON. JOHN R. BLOCKER, President, Old Time Trail Drivers'
   SIRI have the honor to herewith submit to you, and through you to
the members of this Association, my annual report as Secretary for the
years 1916-17.
   Assembled as we are in our second annual reunion, I am proud to be
able to congratulate the Association upon its continued growth in
membership, and upon the loyalty and zealous interest which has been
manifested by the membership at large. This is an incentive and an
encouragement to further effort on our part, individually and
collectively. Therefore, judging the future by the past, I believe I am
not indulging in an unwarranted assumption when I say the Old Time
Trail Drivers' Association is destined to take its place as one of the
permanent and popular associations of our country.
   Within a few days after adjournment of our reunion at Houston last
year, your Secretary addressed a letter to each of those members who
were not in attendance on the Houston reunion, and enclosed a badge
and the Association button with concise mention of the meeting. With
this effort I am persuaded that the members at large have received their
badges and buttons to be worn in the lapels of their coats. There are,
however, some exceptions to this assertion. A few of the letters so
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                         12

addressed were returned to your Secretary "unclaimed." I assume that
the members in question had changed then-residence after enrollment at
San Antonio in 1915, and had neglected to acquaint me with the
    While our Association is not yet two years old, we have in the
neighborhood of five hundred members' names upon the Association's
books, or, to be exact, 488 members are now actively identified with
the Association. Eight of these are sons of the old-time trail drivers.
This list is being rapidly augmented by new accessions, and our
membership as it stands today shows the names of members resident in
Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and other
    During the past twelve months, so far as your Secretary has been
able to ascertain, the hand of Providence has lain lightly upon the
membership of our Association. Since our last meeting, death has
claimed but two of our members, Jesse Presnall and M. Standifer, both
of San Antonio. The former was well and favorably known throughout
the state as one of the old-time cowmen, while the latter, though not
actively engaged in the livestock industry, was one of the "old trailers,"
and took a deep interest in the organization. In the death of these two
members our Association has suffered a grievous loss.
    After the reading of the Secretary's report a general discussion of the
origin and terminus of the Old Chisholm Trail was indulged in. A
letter on this subject, written by W. P. Anderson, was read in which the
writer gave many facts concerning the origin and route of this famous
highway, stating that this trail was named for a half-breed, John
Chisholm, who ranched in the Indian Territory, and who in the early
sixties had driven a herd of cattle through the Indian Territory to the
government forts on the Arkansas River, and that subsequently when
the great drives from Texas commenced these herds would intersect
and follow for a considerable distance
   13             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

this Chisholm Trail in the Indian Territory, and for this reason became
familiarly known as "The Chisholm Trail." This version of Mr.
Anderson's was unanimously adopted by the Association as being
authoritative and authentic:

                       Origin of the Old Chisholm Trail

MR. LUTHER A. LAWHON, Secretary, Old Time Trail Drivers'
         Association, San Antonio, Texas.
    DEAR SIRYour letter of April 13th came to hand after following
me through the Cattle Convention to the Northwest and was finally
received at El Paso, Texas, last week on my way here from San
    In reference to the Old Chisholm Trail I notice that you spell the
name Chism. Another version is" Chissum," but probably the
correct one is "Chisholm." As I understand the history of these trails,
the original Chisholm Trail was named after John Chisholm, who was a
Cherokee cattle trader, who supplied the government frontier posts with
their cattle supply in the early part of the occupation of frontier posts
and during the Civil War.
    Among the first herds that started north from Texas was that of
Smith and Elliot, and their guide was a gentleman who was formerly a
soldier with Robert E. Lee, who had to do with the civilized tribes of
the Indian Territory and used the old military trails, which were
supposed to run from Texas to Sedalia, Mo., and crossed the Red River
at Colbert's Ferry, and who afterwards was a citizen of San Antonio
and whose children reside here now. The name I do not recall at
    The first diversion from this trail was where the trail left the Sedalia
trail for Baxter Springs. It was originally used by this same John
Chisholm, the Cherokee Indian cattle trader, to supply Fort Scott, Kan.
 The basic ground for the commencement of this trail was
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                          14

probably about the mouth of the Grand River where it emptied into the
Arkansas. The most prominent branch of this trail runs directly up the
Arkansas River as far as Fort Zarah, which was about a mile east of
where Great Bend, Kan., now stands. From along this trail there were
diversions made by these cattle that went into the army supply at Fort
Riley, Fort Harker, near Ellsworth; Fort Hays, near Hays City; Fort
Wallace, now Wallace, Kan., the main base being in the Arkansas
bottom on what is now called Chisholm Creek near the present city of
Wichita, the trail continuing on west as far as Fort Bend and Fort Lyon
in Colorado, for the delivery of these cattle, hence all cattle trailed from
Texas across the Arkansas River would, perforce, strike at some point
the old Chisholm Trail, and hence practically all cattle, whether by
Colbert's Ferry, Red River Crossing or Doan's Store or elsewhere
intermediate, would naturally use some part of the original Cherokee
Indian Chisholm Trail on some part of its journey to Western Kansas.
   In about the late 60's or early 70's, Mr. Charles Goodnight went the
western route up the Pecos into the Colorado country, establishing what
was known as the Goodnight or the Goodnight & Loving Trail,
afterwards trailing the "Jingle Bobs" or the John Chissum cattle north,
laying the old Tascosa route out to Dodge City, Kan., which became
famous as the Chissum Trail and naturally produced the confusion as to
the identity of the original Chisholm cattle trail. Nominally every man
that came up the trail felt as though he had traversed the old Chisholm
Trail. The facts hardly establish the original of either the New Mexican
John Chissum Trail or the John Chisholm Cherokee Trail leading to
western frontier army posts as originating in Texas.
   In reference to Mr. Goodnight's allusion to my "blazing" the trail for
the Joe McCoy herd, my recollection of the first herd that came to
Abilene, Kan., was that
   15             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

of J. J. Meyers, one of the trail drivers of that herd now living at
Panhandle, Texas. A Mr. Gibbs, I think, will ascertain further on the
subject. The first cattle shipped out of Abilene, that I recollect, was by
C. C. Slaughter of Dallas, and while loaded at Abilene, Kan., the billing
was made from memorandum slips at Junction City, Kan.
   The original chapters of Joe McCoy's book were published in a
paper called The Cattle Trail, edited by H. M. Dixon, whose address is
now the Auditorium building, Chicago. It was my connection with this
publication that has probably led Mr. Goodnight into the belief that I
helped blaze the trail with McCoy's cattle herd. This was the first paper
I know of that published maps of the trails from different
cattle-shipping points in Kansas to the intersection of the original
Chisholm Trail, one from Coffeyville, Kan., the first, however, from
Baxter Springs, then from Abilene, Newton, then Wichita and Great
Bend, Dodge City becoming so famous obviated the necessity for
further attention in this direction.
   There are many interesting incidents that could still be made a
matter of record connected with the old cattle trails that I could
enumerate, but I will reserve them for another time.
        Yours truly,                                  W. P. Anderson.

                             Election of Officers

   Then followed the election of officers for the ensuing year. George
W. Saunders was elected president; J. B. Murrah, vice president; Luther
A. Lawhon, secretary, and R. B. Pumphrey, treasurer. On motion of
MT. Murrah the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
   "Resolved, That in his voluntary retirement from the presidency of
the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association, we extend to Hon. John R.
Blocker our sincere appreciation of the able and patriotic manner in
which he has
                 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                      16

presided over the destinies of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association,
and we extend to him our sincere wishes for his future health and

   Vacancies in the Board of Directors occasioned by death were filled
by the election of John Doak of Del Rio, J. M. Dobie of Cotulla, Texas,
and W. S. Hall of Comfort, Texas.
   The wives and daughters of members of the Association were made
eligible for membership.
   It was resolved that all communications intended for the proposed
book of trail and frontier reminiscences must be received by the
Secretary of the Association on or before January, 1918.
   San Antonio was selected as the place for the next reunion. The
convention adjourned, after passing a number of resolutions which are
of but little concern to the readers of this book.
   During this convention the members of the Association, with their
wives, daughters and friends, were given an automobile ride through
the city and out to the Saunders ranch on the Medina River, where an
old-fashioned barbecue which had been prepared by George W.
Saunders and T. A. Coleman was tendered the visitors.
   Owing to the World War, which was in progress at the time
scheduled for the meeting in 1918, no reunion was held that year, and
the funds which had been appropriated for the reunion were used in the
purchase of $500 worth of Liberty Bonds. But on September 10th and
11th, 1919, the Association again met in San Antonio, and following is
the report of the proceedings of that meeting, as furnished by the
   17             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

          Minutes of the Annual Reunion of the Old Time Trail Drivers'
                    Association, Held in San Antonio, Texas,
                         September 10th and 11th, 1919

    After a recess of two years on account of the World War, the
members of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association met in annual
reunion September 10th, 1919, in the ballroom of the Gunter Hotel, in
the city of San Antonio. The meeting had previously been called by the
Board of Directors for September 10th and 11th. Promptly at 10 o
'clock A.M., President George W. Saunders rapped for order, and
declared the annual reunion of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association
to be in session. Chaplain J. Stewart Pierce, who was elected chaplain
of the Association at a former reunion, and who is also chaplain of the
15th Field Artillery, U. S. A., delivered an impressive invocation, after
which Luther A. Lawhon, secretary of the Association, as the
representative of Mayor Bell, delivered the address of welcome.
Secretary Lawhon was followed by Judge S. H. Wood of Alice, Texas,
who in an eloquent address, which was frequently applauded,
responded in behalf of the membership of the Association. Addresses
were also made by J. D. Jackson of Alpine, Texas, ex-President of the
Texas Cattle Raisers' Association, and by Nat M. Washer, prominent
merchant and citizen of San Antonio. Mr. Washer's eloquent and
patriotic sentiments were frequently loudly cheered. In the interval
between the addresses the orchestra played popular and patriotic songs.
 After the morning's program had been concluded, the reunion took a
recess until two o'clock P.M.
    On reassembling, the afternoon's session was devoted to a general
discussion of business matters affecting the interests of the Association,
and the passage of resolutions. President Saunders appointed J. D.
Jackson, J. B. Murrah and Luther A. Lawhon a committee to draft suit-
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                        18

able resolutions on the death of deceased members. The committee
reported as follows:
   "Whereas, It has pleased Divine Providence to remove by death
from our midst the following members of the Old Time Trail Drivers '
Association: E. E. Rutledge, John Hoffman, Maxey Burris, John H.
Meads, W. J. Moore, Joe Farris, Walter J. Dunkin, B. M. Hall and E. R.
Jensen, all of San Antonio; W. B. Houston of Gonzales, J. A. Martin of
Kenedy, John B. Pumphrey of Taylor, Tom Perry of Bracketville, J. H.
Jaroman of Abilene, S. R. Guthrie of Alpine, W. M. Choate of Beeville,
J. H. Winn of Pleasanton, T. D. Wood of Victoria, J. A. Kercheville of
Devine, Henry Rothe of Hondo, W. T. Mulholland of Jourdanton, C. C.
Hildebrand of Brownsville, W. D. Crawford of Dilley, R. D. Peril of
Jewett, Hart Mussey of Alice, A. H. Alien of Eagle Pass and Ed
Dewees, Wilson County; therefore be it
   "Resolved, That we deplore the loss of these old pioneers. We feel
that their families have suffered an irreparable loss and we extend to
them our heartfelt sympathies; and we further recognize that in the
death of these members the state has lost some of its worthy citizens
and this Association some of its most active, zealous and worthy
   At the close of the afternoon session of the first day's meeting it was
announced that there was free admission for every member of the
Association for the evening performance at the Princess Theater. On
motion of President Saunders the members of the Albert Sidney
Johnston Camp of Confederate Veterans, were made honorary
members of the Association.
   The morning session of the second day of the reunion (September
11th) was devoted to a general discussion or old-time "pow-wow," as
some of the boys termed it. These interesting proceedings continued
until eleven o'clock, when the members entered automobiles and were
driven to the Saunders ranch, some twelve miles from
   19             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

the city, where, upon the banks of the beautiful Medina River, an
old-time barbecue had been prepared for the "Old Trailers" and their
friends. After partaking of the bountiful repast, speech-making was
indulged in and old-time reminiscences were recounted, after which the
members and friends returned to the city for the closing session of the
    On reassembling in the ballroom of the Gunter Hotel, the election of
officers was the first to be considered. This resulted in the re-election of
the following officers: George W. Saunders, president; J. B. Murrah,
vice president; R. F. Jennings, secretary, and R. B. Pumphrey,
treasurer. Rev. J. Stewart Pierce was unanimously reelected chaplain.
On motion of J. D. Jackson the annual dues, which had been put at one
dollar, were raised to two dollars, in accordance with the expressed
wish of the Association that the Secretary should be paid a salary of
thirty dollars per montha part of which sum was to be expended by
the Secretary for postage, stationery, etc. The following resolutions
were unanimously adopted before final adjournment:
    "Resolved, By the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association, that we,
each and every one, appreciate the warm hospitality which has been
accorded by the city of San Antonio, and we look forward with
pleasure to our visit here next year.
    "Resolved, That the thanks of the Old Time Trail Drivers'
Association are hereby extended to Percy Tyrell, manager of the Gunter
Hotel, for the many courtesies which he has extended to this
Association during this reunion.
    "M. W. S. Parker, J. D. Jackson, J. B. Murrah, M. A. Withers,
    At the close of the afternoon session of the second day (September
11th) the annual reunion of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association,
was declared at an end. This concluded two days of solid enjoyment, in
                 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                           20

some three hundred "Old Trailers," many of them with their wives and
daughters, took part. These old pioneers had gathered from all sections
of Texas and neighboring states to renew old friendships and recount
the incidents of frontier life and dwell once more upon the hardships
and adventures of the old trail days.

            (Compiled by George W. Saunders and Read at the Reunion
                   of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association)
   The following, prepared by President George W. Saunders, was read
at the 1917 reunion of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association.
Embodied in the article are statistics regarding cattle movements in
early days, which are graphically portrayed by Mr. Saunders, and
worthy of preservation:
   Very few people realize at this late date the important part played by
the old-time trail drivers towards civilization and development of the
great State of Texas. At the close of the Civil War the soldiers came
home broke and our state was in a deplorable condition. The old men,
small boys and negroes had taken care of the stock on the ranges and
the state was overstocked, but there was no market for their stock. In
1867 and 1868 some of our most venturesome stockmen took a few
small herds of cattle to New Orleans, Baxter Springs, Abilene, Kansas,
and other markets. The Northern drives proved fairly successful,
though they experienced many hardships and dangers going through an
uncivilized and partly unexplored country. The news of their success
spread like wildfire, and the same men and others tackled the trail in
1869. At that time it was not a question of making money; it was a
question of finding a market for
   21             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

their surplus stock at any price. There was very little money in the
country, and no banks or trust companies to finance the drives. In this
great undertaking some of them drove their own stock and others
buying on credit to pay on their return, giving no other security than a
list of brands and amounts due. The 1869 drives proved successful,
which caused many other stockmen to join the trail drivers in 1870. By
this time going up the trail was all a rage; 1870 was a banner year at all
the markets. The drivers came home and began preparing for the 1871
drives. Excitement ran high; there was never such activity in the stock
business before in Texas. Drivers were scouring the country,
contracting for cattle for the next spring delivery, buying horses and
employing cowboys and foremen. Many large companies were formed
to facilitate the handling of the fast growing business. Capital had been
attracted from the money centers and financial arrangements to pay for
the stock as received in the spring were made. Thus opened the spring
of 1871, also all the drivers increasing the number of herds previously
driven and many companies and individuals driving ten to fifteen herds
each. Imagine all the ranchmen in South, East and Middle Texas at
work at the first sign of spring, gathering and delivering trail herds.
    This work generally lasted from April 1st to May 15th. The drivers
would receive, road-brand and deliver a herd to their foremen, supply
them with cash or letters of credit, give the foremen and hands
instructions and say "Adios, boys, I will see you in Abilene, Dodge,
Ellsworth, Ogallala, Cheyenne," or whatever point was the destination
of the herd. Then riding day and night to the next receiving point,
going through the same performance, then on to the next until all herds
were started up the trail. Some of the drivers would go on the trail,
others would go by rail or boat to the markets, lobby around waiting for
their herds, sometimes going down the trail several hundred miles to
meet their herds, often
                 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                        22

bringing buyers with them. I made my first trip up the trail in 1871 for
Choate & Bennett. John Bennett, Sr., was a member of the firm. They
sent fourteen herds up the trail that year. Dunk Choate, now deceased,
counted and delivered this herd to Jim Byler, our boss, on the Cibolo
near Stockdale, Wilson County, pointed our herd north and left, saying,
"You boys know the rest, I must leave you and receive other herds."

   The first few years there was no market for cow ponies at the cattle,
markets. In 1871 we brought back over the trail 150 cow ponies and
several chuck wagons from Abilene, Kan., belonging to Choate &
Bennett and W. C. Butler; but later, after ranches were established
throughout the Northwest those ranchmen learned that our Spanish
ponies were better for the range work than their native horses, and after
that cow ponies were ready sale and the cowboys came home by rail or
boat. Later there was a demand for Texas brood mares. This proved a
bonanza for Texas ranchmen, as our ranges were overstocked with
them and they were almost worthless. I drove 1,000 in two herds to
Dodge City in 1884. It was claimed that 100,000 went up the trail that
year and more than 1,000,000 went up the trail from the time the horse
market opened until the trail closed.

   1871 was not a successful year, but it did not prevent a grand rush
for the 1872 drive. Some of the drivers had made government contracts
to supply Indian agencies, some had contracts with Western ranchmen
for stock cattle and young steers; others driving on the open market.
1872 proved a successful year which caused a great rush for the 1873
drive. Those that sold early, had contracts or got tips from the money
centers, did fairly well, but a panic clogged the wheels of commerce.
Some sold at heavy losses, some wintered herds, thinking a steer in
good condition could live where a buffalo could;
   23             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

a cold winter and a sleet-covered range caused many losses. The 1874
drive was lighter and profitable, which caused a larger drive in 1875.
Those losers in 1873 patched up weak places and were on the trail
again; such men would not stay broke. By this time the drivers had
become acquainted with the Western ranchmen. Large companies were
formed and many large ranches were established in the Indian Territory
and the Northwestern ranges. The drives continued, but they did not
always have smooth sailing. The market fluctuated, some had heavy
losses from losing stock on the trail on account of drouths, late spring,
cold weather and many other causes. During all these years the Texas
ranchmen were not idle. With the proceeds of cattle sold to trail men
they were able to improve their stock, establish new ranches, all the
time pushing west and forcing the savages before them. At the close of
the war all the country west of an air line from Eagle Pass to
Gainesville was uncivilized and sparsely settled. Every ranch or village
above this line was subject to an Indian raid every moon. The
government had a string of posts across the state above this line, but the
Indians made many raids between these posts, murdered men, women
and children, stole stock and made their escape without seeing a
soldier. The soldiers did their best, but the cunning savages generally
outwitted them. The trailers and ranchmen were the most dreaded
enemies of the Indians and Texas Rangers next, most of them being
cowboys. The savages were forced back slowly but surely by the
trailer and ranchmen and were finally forced into the mountains of New
Mexico, Old Mexico and Arizona, their number being reduced to a
small band led by the notorious Geronimo, chief of the Apaches, which
was captured by the government troops in 1885. This ended Indian
depredations in Texas. The co-operation of the trailers, ranchmen and
rangers with the government troops accomplished this great feat, but
the most credit belongs to the old-time
                   THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                           24

trail driver, the starter and finisher of the destiny of this great state, and
the men that blazed the way that led to many great commercial
enterprises, besides stocking and causing to be stocked the ranges from
the Rio Grande to British possessions that before that time were a
desert (not bringing a cent of revenue to the state's treasury) inhabited
by wild animals and savages. From 1885 the drives were lighter up to
1895, when the trail which had been used twenty-seven years was
closed. Nothing like it and its far-reaching accomplishment ever
happened before and will never happen again. It is estimated by the
most conservative old-time trail drivers that an average of 350,000
cattle were driven up the trails from Texas each year for 28 years,
making 9,800,000 cattle at $10 a head received by the ranchmen at
home making $98,000,000; 1,000,000 horse stock at $10 per head
received by the ranchmen at home, making $10,000,000, or a total of
$108,000,000. This vast amount sounds like a European war loan, but
it was not. It was all caused by a few fearless men making the start in
1867 or 1868. No one had any idea that the cattle, the staple product,
would blossom out thus and bring such prosperity to our state and heap
so much glory on the heads of the old-time trail men. The circulation of
the billions of dollars produced by the industry, passing as it did,
directly into channels that were opened to receive it, produced the
prosperity that has been in evidence in Texas for so many years, the
cowman, the merchant, the farmer, the day laborer, profited thereby,
and the vast volume of gold that flowed through these channels is
absolutely incomprehensible.

   Had these old-time trail drivers not looked for and found this market
our vast herds would have died on the ranges and the vast unstocked
ranges would have lain dormant and unproductive. Our ranchmen
would have left Texas disgusted and broke, and it would have been
   25             THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS

a difficult matter to re-inhabit our state; therefore development would
have been checked for many years; possibly no iron horse would have
reached the Rio Grande up to this time as the inducement would not
have been attractive. No one knows what would have happened had the
Northern trail never existed, but it is plain that all commercial
achievements, civilization, good government, Christianity, morality,
our school system, the use of all school and state lands making them
revenue-bearers, the expansion of the stock business from the Rio
Grande to the British possessions, which is producing millions of
dollars; the building of railroads, factories, seaports, agricultural
advancement and everything else pertaining to prosperity can be traced
directly to the achievements of the old-time trail drivers. The many
good things accomplished by the untiring efforts of these old heroes
can never be realized or told just as they were enacted, and it would be
the father of all mistakes to let their daring and valuable efforts be
forgotten and pass to unwritten history. Our Association now has 500
members and by resolution we made the sons of the old-time trail
drivers eligible to membership. There are many old-timers that have
not joined, but I believe every one will when the importance of
perpetuating the memory of the old-timers is fully understood by them.
It is our purpose to write a history dealing strictly with trail and ranch
life and the early cattle industry. This book will consist of letters
written by trail drivers only, giving the minutest details of their
experiences of bygone days at home and on the trail, and will contain
facts and be full of thrills. Such a book has never been written; all the
books published on this subject have been by some author who spent a
few months on some ranch, then attempted to write a book,
understanding very little about stock or the stock business, and
consequently having them pulling off stunts that have never been
pulled off anywhere else but in the fertile imagination of some fiction
writer. We
                  THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS                        26

are now assessing the old members $5.00 each and are charging $5.00
each for the enrollment of new members. This fund will be used for
compiling and printing our history and paying the necessary expenses
of the Association. Each member will get a book free. If there is any
more left it will stay in the treasury to be used with the proceeds of the
sale of our history as directed by the directors or by the Association as
a whole. I am in favor of building a monument somewhere on the old
trail, between San Antonio and Fort Worth, to the Old Time Trail

                       By J. B. Pumphrey of Taylor, Texas

    I am glad that the Old Trail Drivers' Association is making up a
collection of letters and stories of the "Boys Who Rode the Trail," and
it will he fine to read them and recall the old days. I am pleased to hand
you a brief sketch of myself and some of my experiences.
    My mother was a Boyce, one of the old pioneer families of Texas,
and my father came from Ohio as a surgeon with General Taylor during
the war between the "United States and Mexico, and afterwards settled
in Texas. My oldest uncle, Jim Boyce, was killed and scalped by
Indians on the bank of Gilleland's Creek, near Austin.
    I was born at old Round Rock on the 10th of November, 1852, and
had the usual schooling of that time, when the "Blue Back Speller" and
"Dog-wood Switch" were considered the principal necessities for the
boy's education.
    All of my life I have been engaged in the cow business, taking my
first job in 1869 at $15.00 a month, for

eighteen (18) hours a day if necessary, with horses furnished.
   In February, 1872, I made my first trip on the long trail helping to
gather a herd at the old Morrow Ranch, about two miles from Taylor,
and from there we went through to Kansas, and then rode back, making
about a four months' trip in all, and then I felt like I was a real
graduated cowboy. I would like to see this ride in '72 compared with
the longest ride that was ever made. My wages on the trail were $60.00
per month, I furnishing six head of cow ponies. This trip was made
while working for Cul Juvanel, who was from Indiana and had a lot of
Indiana boys with him, whom we called "Short Horns." Myself and
two others, Beal Pumphrey, my brother, and Taylor Penick, were the
only Texans in the bunch. When we reached the South Fork of the
Arkansas River it was night, and about five o'clock in the morning,
after waking the cook, I was on my way back to the herd when I saw
our horses were being hustled, and was afraid they would stampede the
herd, when just then the cook yelled "Indians," and sure enough they
had rounded up our horses and were going away with them. A heavy
rain was falling and the boss said, "You Texas boys follow the Indians
and get those horses." The two others and myself rode one day and
night, having to swim rivers and creeks with our clothing fastened on
our shoulders to keep them dry, making the hardest ride of my life, but
we did not overtake the Indians; and I am now glad that we did not.
We were left with but one horse each, with this herd, but had another
herd near by and, throwing the two together, making about six thousand
head, we took them through to Kansas.
   I remember one trip later in the year with Dave Pryor and Ike Pryor,
when we were working for Bill Arnold of Llano County. We got back
home on the night of December 24th, and rolling up in our blankets,
slept in the yard, where the folks found us in the morning.

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