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367And since I have no gold to give,
Trail driving of cattle from Texas to Northwestern States in the old trail days was reduced to almost a science, and large numbers of cattle were moved at the minimum cost.
To illustrate, I drove fifteen herds in 1884 from South Texas to the Northwestern States. It required a minimum of 165 men and about 1,000 saddle horses to move this entire drive. In other words, these cattle were driven in droves of 3,000 to each herd, with eleven men, including the boss, and each man was furnished with six horses.
The salaries of these eleven men, including the boss, were $30.00 each for the ten men, including the cook, and $100.00 a month for the boss. This gave an outlay of $400.00 a month, and estimating $100.00 for provisions, there was an expense of $500.00 a month to move a herd of 3,000 cattle 450 to 500 miles. Briefly speaking, in those days it was possible to drive 3,000 cattle 3,000 miles for $3,000.00, or, in other words, from South Texas to Montana a herd could be driven of 3,000 head for not to exceed $3,000.00. My average expense on the fifteen herds in 1884 was about $500.00 per month. The average distance traveled by these herds was from 450 to 500 miles per month, and when I had sold and delivered all of these cattle to Montana, Dakota and Wyoming ranchmen I had lost 1,500 head, or 3 per cent.
Today it would cost $25,000 or $30,000 to move 3,000 steers from Southern Texas to Montana, and the only