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THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS 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 cowboys. 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 themfor the free institutions which are the result of their daring. J. R. BLOCKER. ORGANIZATION OF THE OLD TIME TRAIL DRIVERS' ASSOCIATION 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 organizationsthe 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' Association: SIRI 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 Associationan 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. 7 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS 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 traila 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 9 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS 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 convention. 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 11 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS 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' Association. SIRI 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 change. 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 states. 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 SIRYour 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 Antonio. 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 present. 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 happiness." 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 Secretary: 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 members." 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 reunion. 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 montha 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, committee." 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 which 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. ORIGIN AND CLOSE OF THE OLD-TIME NORTHERN TRAIL (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 Drivers. THE PUMPHREY BROTHERS' EXPERIENCE ON THE 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 27 THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS 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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