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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.
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