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I was born in Caldwell County, Texas, three miles west of Lockhart, January 25, 1860. Beginning at the age of nine years, I commenced to handle stock, but at that time I was too small to get on a horse unaided and my father told me not to get off, but every time I saw a rabbit I would get off and throw rocks at it and then I would have to be helped back on my horse.
About 1871 or 1872 I started on my first trip on the trail, going with my father. When near Fort Worth father concluded I was too young to go on account of the danger of Indians, and he sent me back home.
I continued to work with cattle until 1876, and at this date I went to work for M. A. Withers, herding 300 cows, penning them at night, sleeping at the pens and doing my own cooking.
In 1878 M. A. Withers took a bunch of boys to Fayette County, Texas, and bought about 800 head of cattle. At the crossing on the Colorado, at Judge L. Moore's ranch, we had a great experience in two or three ways. We tried first to swim the cattle across the river, but we only succeeded in getting about ten head across that way and had to rope and drag them. We then crossed the others on the ferryboat. Here I saw my first Jersey. She was a heifer and belonged to Judge Moore, and it was a hard matter to keep her out of our herd. Judge Moore thought very much of this heifer and would watch everybody passing there with cattle. When he came out and found the thing in our herd he threatened to prosecute us for attempting to steal her.
In January, 1879, Blanks and Withers began buying cattle and pasturing them, preparing for a drive in the spring. On the first day of April we rounded up the pasture to start the herd north. On the .second we left