A Guide to the Josiah Wright and John Wesley Mooar Papers, 1838-1934
John Wesley Mooar (1846-1918) and his brother Josiah Wright Mooar (1851-1940) were buffalo hunters and businessmen, credited with the beginning of the American buffalo-hide industry. Josiah Wright Mooar, who was also a freighter and a rancher, had sent buffalo hides to his brother in New York City in 1871, and John Wesley sold them to a tanning firm. In 1872 John Wesley moved to Dodge City, Texas, to partner with his brother in the business, and they moved to the Texas Panhandle in 1873, where they were among the first to hunt buffalo. Josiah Wright Mooar was known for opening the Texas Panhandle for hunting and settling, as the location had previously been thought to be for Indians only. The brothers stayed in the Panhandle until 1876, when the herds were close to being vanquished there. They moved to Fort Griffin, and remained in business until the destruction of the buffalo in 1905. John Wesley went on to freight for ranchers in West Texas and finally own land and a carriage agency in Colorado City, and Josiah Wright established a ranch ten miles northwest of Snyder.
Sources: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Mooar, Josiah Wright," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/fmo16.html (accessed June 3, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Mooar, John Wesley," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/fmo17.html (accessed June 3, 2010).
Correspondence, diaries, notebooks, account papers, bank books, letter press books, financial journals, constitution, minutes, pamphlets, newspapers, and photographs comprise the Josiah Wright and John Wesley Mooar Papers, 1838-1934, which pertain to the varied careers of the Mooar brothers as cattlemen, freighters, and ranchers. Included in the papers are the constitution and minutes from the Colorado City Fire Department (1892) and the diaries (1888, 1896) and cash book (1899-1903) of Margaret Adams McCollum Mooar, wife of John Wesley Mooar.
The papers mainly pertain to the buffalo hunting career of the brothers, and also include personal and business correspondence; photographs of World War I soldiers; Pacific Express Company waybills (1906); livery stable feed books; Texas state sales tax receipts (1904, 1906); and Deep Creek Ranch account books. Furthermore, the papers relate to agriculture, commerce, military affairs, and social affairs.
This collection is open for research use.
Josiah Wright and John Wesley Mooar Papers, 1838-1934, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Steve Stappenbeck, January 1998.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers