|Libraries Home | Mobile | My Account | Renew Items | Sitemap | Help|
Select a method to view the page:
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 F4 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.