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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