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Hudspeth counties, Texas, estimated to be the largest and best equipped ranch in Texas. He maintains his headquarters at Daugherty, Texas. Uncle Jim has made many trail drives, starting as a boy in his teens in 1886 and continuing until 1887, during which time he has
In the spring of 1866 I made my first trail drive. Starting from Denton county, Texas, with a herd of about 500 steers and five cow hands and myself, I crossed Red River at a crossing known at that time as Preston. From there I drove to Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, and from Fort Gibson I drove to Baxter Springs, Kansas, close to the Kansas and Indian Territory line. I had started to Sedalia, Missouri, where I intended shipping the cattle by rail to St. Louis. On arriving at Baxter Springs I found that there had been several herds ahead of me that had been disturbed by what we called at that time Kansas Jayhawkers, and in one instance the Jayhawkers had killed the owner, taken the herd, and ran the rest of the cowboys off. This herd belonged to Kaynaird and was gathered in the southern part of the Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory.
After hearing this news I decided to stop and lay up for awhile, and stopped with the herd on what was then known as the Neutral Strip, a strip of land about twenty miles wide that ran across the northern part of the Indian Territory, next to the Kansas line. Here I left the herd and my cowboys and I started to ride alone up the trail to investigate conditions.