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My brother, J. W. Snyder, and myself made our first drive of cattle to the Northwest in 1869. We bought our cattle in Llano and Mason counties, and received them on the Llano River above Mason, paying $1.50 per head for yearlings, $2.50 for two-year-olds, $4 for cows and three-year-olds, and $7 for beef steers. We bought all on the credit, giving them our notes payable in gold coin. That country above Mason had plenty of range hogs in it and they were all fat in the spring on the dead cattle that had been killed and skinned for their hides. It was said that thousands of these hides were sold in Mason, Fredericksburg getting the largest share.
We drove from the Llano, where we received our cattle, to the Kickapoo and Lipan Springs and on to head of Main Concho River. Here we laid up two days doing all of our cooking and parching coffee to do us for our trip across the plains, ninety miles to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, without water. This drive we made, driving day and night, in seventy hours. John Chisum was the first to cross the plains on this route in 1868. His herd was all captured by the Indians except seventy head of cripples and tailings, up above where Roswell is now situated. Chisum, John Hitson of Palo Pinto county, Rube Gray and White, his brotherin-law from San Saba county, John and Tom Owens of Williamson county, Martin Cosner of Llano county, and our herd are the only herds I remember crossing that route in 1868, with no settlements of any kind on the route from head of Main Concho to Bosque Grande, the Apache Indian reservation this side of Las Vegas, New Mexico. These Indians were moved from the reservation here to Arizona in the spring of 1868.
We drove on from Horsehead Crossing to Bosque