|Libraries Home | Mobile | My Account | Renew Items | Sitemap | Help|
Select a method to view the page:
saddle pillows, and partook of our frugal fare. Some of these grand old monarchs of the forest still stand— the pride of the Texas cowboy.
It must be realized that we had no fences arbitrarily deciding the bounds of our little empire, and our cattle and horses roamed at will over the hills and valleys, covered with the rich, luxuriant curly mesquite grass, upon which they grew sleek and fat.
After three years' work on this busy ranch none but the life of a cowboy appealed to me. Around the old campfires at night I heard the tales of the older men of their exciting life on the trail, and naturally I felt like going the route that those I knew, admired and trusted had gone. Right here I want to put in that, fortunately for me, I was associated with a few of the grand old stockmen of early days, to whose fine, though rugged characters, I am indebted for that training which carried me safely through many trying times.
In March, 1877, as our boss was not to drive that year, I secured employment with Ellison and Dewees, who were going to drive about six herds up the trail from this section to Ogallala, Nebraska, on the South Platte River. In the six herds there were about fifteen thousand head of mixed cattle, being about 2,500 head to the herd, each herd having its boss and trail outfit, which we will now attempt to briefly describe. The boss is the man in charge of the herd ; then there were eight cowboys, one "horse wrangler" and cook, who drove the wagon, drawn by two yoke of oxen —the wagon containing our provisions and bedding, the provisions being replenished from time to time from the "outposts," sometimes hundreds of miles apart. We received our herd in the western part of Gonzales County, the herd being in charge of N. P. Ellison, a cousin of Col. J. F. Ellison, a grand old cowman, who owned the cattle.
On this trip we had with us the following boys, not a one over twenty-three years of age : W. M. Ellison, son