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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