Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Matador Land and Cattle Company Records, 1882-1951



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Matador Land and Cattle Company
Title: Matador Land and Cattle Company Records
Dates: 1882-1951
Abstract: Correspondence, news clippings, and reports comprise the Matador Land and Cattle Company Records, 1882-1951, and relate to the company’s business operations.
Accession No.: 1942
Extent: 3 ft., 8 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Sketch

In 1878, Texas cattleman Henry H. Campbell sold a herd of longhorn cattle in Chicago, formed a partnership with Chicago banker A. M. Britton, returned to Texas, and established a ranch in Motley County near the Upper, Middle, and Lower Pease Rivers. The partners reorganized the venture as the Matador Cattle Company in 1879. In 1882, they sold the company to a group of businessmen from Dundee, Scotland, who organized the endeavor as a joint-stock company and incorporated it as the Matador Land and Cattle Company, Limited. Henry H. Campbell remained at the company as the ranch superintendent and oversaw a program of land improvements, including fencing, windmill and tank construction, and the purchasing of additional land. Alexander Mackay served as the company’s longtime secretary from 1882 to 1936.

In 1890, Murdo Mackenzie, a well-known Scottish cattleman in Colorado, became the manager of the company and improved the herd by introducing purebred strains. Mackenzie resigned in 1912 to manage a cattle company in Brazil, and his nephew, John MacBain, became his successor. Land sales in the Texas panhandle were suspended in 1919 due to the possible presence of oil and reinstated in 1921 after unfavorable geological reports. By 1933, Matador’s holdings totaled almost 900,000 acres in Texas, Kansas, Montana, South Dakota, and Canada. After surviving the lean years of the Great Depression and dust bowl, the company was sold to a number of individuals and groups.

Sources:

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Matador Land and Cattle Company Records," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/aqm1.html (accessed July 26, 2010).

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Mackenzie, Murdo," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/fmabf.html (accessed July 26, 2010).

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Scope and Contents

Correspondence, news clippings, and reports comprise the Matador Land and Cattle Company Records, 1882-1951, and relate to the company’s business operations. The records contain transcripts of the correspondence of Alexander Mackay, Secretary to the Board of Directors, 1890-1907; Henry H. Campbell, Ranch Superintendent, 1890; Murdo Mackenzie, General Manager, 1890-1912; John MacBain, General Manager, 1912-1915; and the American National Livestock Growers Association, 1905-1907. Additionally, a small portion of the correspondence consists of photostatic copies. The records also contain transcripts of company reports, 1882-1918. A scrapbook and news clippings compose the remainder of the records.

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Restrictions

Use Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Mackenzie, Murdo, 1850-1939
Mackay, Alexander, 1855-1935
Campbell, H. H. (Henry Harrison), 1840-1911
MacBain, John, 1867-1922
Subjects (Organizations)
Matador Land and Cattle Company--Archives.
American National Livestock Growers Association
Subjects
Ranching -- Texas.
Land companies--United States--History.
Places
Motley County (Tex.)
Texas Panhandle (Tex.)
Montana
South Dakota
Kansas

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Related Material

See also the Southwestern Collection, Texas Tech University.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Matador Land and Cattle Company Records, 1882-1951, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

Contact repository for more information.

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