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In 1876 I drove a herd for Ellison & Dewees. That year about 40,000 head of cattle were put on the trail, known as the Western Trail. This was real experience. We started from San Antonio over an unknown route and where no road or trail was to be followed. We were the pioneers who made the first tracks that marked the Western Trail. We reached Ogallala, Neb., after about three months' straight drive, passing through some hard country and often forced to go long distances without water. Food was an object, but we, of course, managed to get by. In all my trail driving I was fortunately never molested by bandits or thieves. I had men with me that were dependable and, with their assistance, I made what I called a success. Our meals consisted of just whatever we could find that would do to eat. In 1878 I took a herd from Bob Stafford's ranch near Columbus to Dakota, this time for Ellison & Sherrell, and my experience was about as is usually encountered on such drives. Then, in 1879, I took an interest in a herd and drove over the same ground. Was successful beyond my fondest expectations. The profits were not much, but it was in the days when a little money looked like a whole lot.
After that I bought and sold cattle in a small way in and around East Texas, often shipping to West Texas and selling cattle to stock the western range. In 1880 I went into the ranch business in Tom Green County and ranched there for about two years, being associated with W. D. Kincaid. In 1882 we moved to Haymond, in Brewster County, where we ranched until 1898. While there the firm name was Combs & Kincaid Brothers, being composed of D. S. Combs, W. D. Kincaid and J. M. Kincaid. We sold out to E. O. Louchausen and in 1900 I bought our present ranch, which is located at Marathon, Brewster County, Texas, where my son, Guy S. Combs, has managed the same for the Combs family, all being partners in the ranch.
The greatest pleasure I have is in thinking of many