A Guide to the Mark A. Withers Papers, 1869-1938
Born in Paris, Missouri in 1846, Marcus Allen “Mark” Withers had a notable career as a trail driver. The Withers family moved to Texas when Mark was six, and seven years later Mark made his first trail drive. In 1862, he joined the Confederate Army’s Thirty-sixth Texas Cavalry, Company I. After the war, Withers drove cattle for himself for himself until 1887. He had as many as 15,000 cattle on the trail drives throughout the Great Plains and Western states. Early in his career, Withers roped buffalo in St. Louis and Chicago as part of America’s first “Wild West Show.” Following driving, he ranched with various partners and formed feeding pens throughout the state, though this business was less lucrative than driving livestock. In 1869, Withers married Annie Weyland, with whom he had five children. After Annie’s death in 1880, he married Mattie Rebecca Bagley in 1888 and fathered three more children. Withers died in 1937 at his ranch near Lockhart.
Withers, Zona A. "Withers, Marcus Allen [Mark]" Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed March 14, 2011.
The Mark A. Withers Papers, 1869-1938, comprise newspaper clippings, Livestock Commission letters, farm machinery advertisements, legal documents, bills, and his reminiscences of life on the trail. The collection documents cattle driving and the livestock industry in the late nineteenth century. Wither’s reminiscences describe his cattle driving days throughout Texas, the Great Plains, and the West. Chronicling Withers’ ranching career, the collection also consists of general grocery bills; pasture agreements and legal documents from the Land Office; an 1894 letter from Greer, Mills and Co. Livestock Merchants reporting livestock prices; as well as a certificate documenting cattle brands and marks.
This collection is open for research use.
Mark A. Withers Papers, 1869-1938, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Detailed Description of the Papers