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I was born in 1861 on a farm in Madison County, Texas. My parents had moved to the country from Walker County in 1858. They originally came from Tennessee to Texas in 1850. When my father located in Madison County there were only seven white men in the neighborhood where he located. My wife's father hauled the first load of iron that was put on the ground to build up our state penitentiary, which now covers twenty acres of ground. As I grew up I remained on the small farm we cultivated, and in the spring I gathered wild horses and helped brand cattle until 1881, when I went to Bryan with a bunch of cattle, where I found an outfit going to Kansas with a herd belonging to Colonel Jim Ellison of San Marcos. Tom Taylor was the boss and I decided to go along with this outfit and see some of the country that I had heard so much about. I have been told that Tom still lives at Uvalde.
We had 2,500 head to drive and a force of ten men, some of whose names I can't recall. One was named Hamby, and a one-armed boy named Hugh Strong. We went north from Bryan to Cleburne and Fort Worth, and crossed the Red River in Montague County. Just below old Fort Sill we struck the trail for Fort Dodge, Kansas, and passed through the Indian Territory. There was no Oklahoma in those days. When we reached Fort Dodge we continued north until we came to the South Platte River, and from there to Ogallala, Nebraska, on the north side of the river, where I quit the outfit and came home. Ogallala was the town where Sam Bass, the noted outlaw, made his headquarters after holding up the Union Pacific. He later came to Texas and was killed by the Rangers at Round Rock.