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value of his property gradually increased. He had, all his life, been a ranchman, a cattle grower of the oldest and best type; but never a speculator. He followed in the footsteps of his father, who certainly can be accepted as the true type of a cattleman, since his history as such antedates the history of the state, and even of the republic which preceded it. The colonists at San Felipe had no cattle except a few which were purchased along the Louisiana line, and John F. Pettus got his first cattle in exchange for horses driven by himself and Captain John York to Louisiana. There were no "cowboys" in those days, and the first to be given that name were a number of reckless young fellows who would make trips into the Rio Grande country, gather cattle among the Mexicans and drive them East in search of a market.
W. A. Pettus always conducted his business in an honest and honorable manner, believing that ill-gotten gains can never prove of actual benefit to their possessor. His father never branded a "maverick" in his life, and neither would he permit his son to do so, and the Pettus family— father and sons— have always stood in readiness to assist in putting down cattle stealing or any other lawlessness. The reputation earned by W. A., or "Buck" Pettus, in this work of necessity and general importance is universally known throughout the Southwest. He was for years a terror to the cow thief, the "rustler" and evil-doers of other descriptions, and aided very materially in making the sinister efforts of such characters unsafe and consequently unpopular.
The banner years of our subject's life, so far as his record as cattle grower goes, were 1877-88. His herd then numbered about 10,000 head ; but the depression in price led Mr. Pettus to reduce his holdings considerably. He possessed a large number of cattle, mules and horses, and about 60,000 acres of land altogether. His home farm embraced about 325 acres of good bottom land, all in cultivation. He had also another farm of about the