Of the death of Ira C. Jennings, which occurred December 27, 1922, the San Antonio Express in its Cattle Clatter column had the following to say:
"All that was mortal of Ira C. Jennings was laid to rest Friday in the old Humphreys cemetery at Martindale in Caldwell county, and in his passing there is a distinct loss to the ranks of the big cattlemen of Southwest Texas. For twenty years he had ranched in Zapata county, holding extensive acreage and specializing in the raising of cattle, rather than in buying and selling. Always he was the cowman of the family as differentiated from the steer man. Every year he had for sale or to keep a crop of calves. Born in Hayes county, removing to Guadalupe county, where he grew to manhood, he lived for a time at Pearsall, then in La Salle county. From La Salle he went to Zapata. His ranch lay about 30 miles east of Laredo, and in that city he had for years maintained a home, and there he died. For about three years he had been in poor condition following a stroke of paralysis which came up on him while branding calves one hot summer day. He liked to 'run' the brand on the calves himself, and fell in the branding pen with the heated iron in his hand. His condition had become so bad that he was confined to his bed for about three months before the end. In his youth he drove the cattle trail to Kansas, and while passing through the Indian Territory had an adventure with the redskins in which he won by getting more speed out of his horse than the band of pursuers could get out of theirs. He was a member of the Old Trail Drivers' Association, and two years ago was able to attend the meeting in San Antonio, although in failing health. He is survived by his sons, T. C. and Roy, and a daughter, Mrs. J. W. Neal of San Antonio, whose husband is a conductor on the I. & G. N.
Railway. Also he is survived by his two brothers, W. H. and R. H., both well known to all the cattlemen of the country. His wife died in 1911 and he was laid to rest beside her in the country graveyard where his parents and four sisters are buried. W. H. and B. H., the two brothers referred to above, are all that are left of the family of seven children. The great Mystery came upon him at 7:20 P.M., Wednesday, in the 65th year of his age, and those who know him best, say he left none but friends to grieve for him, having no enemy at all. Nothing finer could be said."
A TRIP TO KANSAS IN 1870
W. R. Massengale, Rio Frio, Texas
I went with a drove of 700 big steers, about the first of April. We put the road brand on them at the Strickland ranch, a few miles east of Helena, on the Yorktown road.
The first night it came a little rain and wind and hail and the cattle not being used to herding out we had one of the worst stampedes I was ever in up to this time. We only had a small opening to hold them on and it was very thick brush all over that country so in less than twenty minutes they were cut up in five bunches and running as if they had tin cans tied to their tails. We crossed the San Marcos River below San Marcos town; there we met with John Campbell. He was bossing a herd for Choate & Bennet, and we camped close together that night. He penned his cattle. We herded out that night and had a
bad thunderstorm and hard rain, but we held our "old mossy heads," all right till about one o'clock. It quit raining but the lightning kept up and the whole herd went to grazing and scattered all over the country, so Mr. Drake sent word to all hands to come in and let them alone. W. H. Mayfield was owner of the herd.
Just as we were all getting together a Mexican rode up and asked for Spencer (one of our men). Spencer asked what he wanted and the Mexican told him that his brother, Ran, was dead, so we all turned and went to Campbell's camp. We found Spencer sitting against a tree, his head drooped down just like he was asleep. We got down and took him to a nearby house and laid him out. A young man by the name of Fly had his head on Spencer's legs and was struck also, but did not die until next day.
We crossed just below Austin where we had to rope two and drag them up the bank and roll them off in the river. It was about half bank full. One of them got half way across and turned back, so when he came where we were we turned him back, and I turned my horse over to Vicento Carvajal and got the old scalawag by the tail—well if you never saw an old steer scared in swimming water you have no idea how fast one can swim. After we got our cattle broken in I think we had the best herd on the trail. We had a very good time. At Austin was the last ferry boat so we had to cross all the streams without a boat. At Belton we took the "New Chisum Trail," went by the way of Fort Worth, which was a small village of one or two small business houses, a blacksmith shop and I think a school house and about 20 families. The Indians were bad in that section and we had a double watch on every night which made it hard for us. Some nights the cattle would run the first watch and maybe we would be up all night. I have gone three days and nights, without sleep, on the same horse, and with very little to eat.
We crossed the Red River about the 20th of May at Red River Station. It was up swimming and there were at least 20 herds balled up there waiting for the river to run down. It was a bad place to hold cattle, so many herds close together, so the boss, Mr. Drake, held a council with us all; some wanted to drive back a few miles and wait.
We crossed the Wichita the next day. From the time we crossed Red River we never saw a house till we got to Wichita. We soon began to have a little trouble with the Indians. They would come and want a beef or two, but we would send them on to the next fellow, so we did not have to give them any at all, but they would stampede the cattle at night. We got into the buffalo country, and they gave us a little trouble. Once just as we were getting our herd on the trail, a little after sunrise, a man from the herd just ahead of us loped back and told us that the buffaloes were coming, so we held our herd up. I went to the top of a little hill and I saw a black string. It looked as though it was coming straight to our herd. I went back and we rounded our cattle up so we could hold them if the buffaloes did strike them but they passed just ahead of us. Our cattle got a little nervous, but we held them all right. It took the buffaloes two hours to pass us. Sometimes they would be one behind the other, and then they would come in bunches of 300 or 400. I don't know how many to guess there was, but I think there must have been at least fifty thousand. Another time a bunch of about 300 ran through our herd while they were grazing.
We had some bad storms while we were on that long stretch across the plains. We crossed the Arkansas River at Fort Wichita about the 15th of June. About the 20th of June we stopped on a little creek called Beaver Creek. There Mr. Mayfield met us, and the hands all went back but myself and a Mr. Mimms, Charley Angermiller and the cook, Bill Payne. We stayed in that
camp till about the first of September, and had a good time.
In October we started back to Texas. When we got to Red River there were at least 100 families waiting to cross coming to Texas and it looked like we were not going to get across at all, so I told Mimms and Angermiller if they would let me, I would come alone. They said all right, so I came on. I got down to Belton and "swapped" horses with a man and gave $25 "to boot," and got a dandy saddle, and sure "went yonder." I had written to my wife to write me at Austin so when I got to Austin I got some very interesting news. I stayed in Austin that night, but the next morning by sun up I was on the road home. The next day at 3 o'clock I landed at home, 110 miles from Austin.
It was on Sunday and there were several ladies there. Two of them had young babies, so after a kiss and a general handshake I wanted to see my baby (which had been born during my absence) and there were three all on one bed and all the same size, so they told me to take my choice. After looking at them all I took a little red-headed girl baby, and that same red-headed baby is living at Rio Frio, Texas, and is 45 years old.
[photos omitted — JOE HENDERSON and WM. T. LYTLE]
FROM THE "HISTORIAN OF THE PLAINS"
[photo omitted — W. E. HAWKS, "Historian of the Plains"]
The following letter was written to George W. Saunders, president of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association, by William E. Hawks, of Bennington, Vermont. Mr. Hawks is the acknowledged "Historian of the Plains" and is collecting true data of the early days. He says:
"I want to thank you, for myself, and for every old timer who is lucky enough to get a copy of your book, for staying with the old timers until you got those letters and then having them published. I have spent thirty years gathering true data of the good old days, when men were men, and would offer you everything they had, even to their lives, and they thought it was right. I worked out on the old Overland Stage Coach and Pony Express trail long before Boot & Connelly pub-
lished their book, which is an epic. The Chisholm Trail, the Old Shawnee Trail, Middle or West Shawnee Trail from Red River north to Abilene and Baxter Springs. The Southern Texas Trail extended from Red River to the Coast. Joe McCoy started his yards at Abilene, Kansas, July 1, 1867, and sent W. W. Suggs down to pilot the herds to the new shipping place. The first herd to cross the Nation on that trail was Wheeler, Wilson & Hicks of 2,400 head bound for California. This herd drove within thirty miles of Abilene and stopped and were later shipped from Abilene. The second herd to cross the Nation and drive direct to Abilene was owned by Mr. Thompson, who sold them in the Nation to Smith, McCord & Chandler, and by them driven to Abilene and shipped. The first cattle shipped out of Abilene was on September 5, 1867, and there were 36,000 shipped from that point during the balance of that year.
"The Chisholm Trail is said to be named after a semi-civilized Indian who broke the road for government supplies to go to Fort Cobb from the Arkansas River.
"I have never seen but one of Joe McCoy's books and that is owned by Harvard College. Have been there and read it through several times. It names Wm. Perriman, James Ellison, J. M. Choate, James Daugherty, R. D. Hunter, George R. Baise, Hough-Reeves & Co., John Salisbury, W. H. Kingsbury, Holmsley, Ran Nichols, White, Allen & Co., R. C. White, Hunter, Patterson & Evans, L. M. Hunter, J. B. Hunter, Noffiner & Co., Tom Bigger, W. H. Winants, Noah Ely & Co., D. W. Powers, Joe Tanner, John Hittson, W. K. Shaeffer, G. W. Groves, Pedro Armego, Chas. Goodnight, D. Sheedy, Albert Crane, J. S. Driscoll, H. M. Childress, E. B. Millett, J. J. Myers, J. W. Tucker, Willis McCutcheon, J. H. Stevens, J. D. Reed, Seth Mabry, W. F. Tompkins, J. M. Day, Shanghai Pierce, Jonathan Pearce, J. T. Alexander, Tom Allen, J. S. Smith, Andrew Wilson, J. D. Smith, Rogers, Powers & Co., and others. I have pictures of
Chas. Goodnight, Oliver Loving, J. W. Poe, Pat Garrett, "Billy the Kid," Tom Ketchum, Big Foot Wallace, Wild Bill Hickok, J. S. Chisum, J. B. Dawson, E. B. Bronson, Clark Stocking, Cal Joe, Jim Bridger, Jim Baker, Calamity Jane, and hundreds of others. I gather only true data, and hope to live long enough to publish some of it for the benefit of the old boys who helped to make it possible for the punks to occupy the whole West.
"You can take a hackamore on your arm and you can't find in any place west of the Old Muddy, five people who know what it was used for. The only use I have for the West is the old timers and I don't want to be the last one to go.
"I hope some day to attend one of your old timers' reunions and shake with every man there. I sure know the pleasure of it."
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 brother-in-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
Grande, Las Vegas and Fort Union, a government post. At Fort Union we sold our beeves at $35. We met Chas. Goodnight and Old Han Curtis between Fort Union, N. M., and Trinidad, Colorado, sold them our yearlings at $7, the balance of the herd at about the same rate without tallying. We then went on to Trinidad and Pueblo, Colo., then went down the Arkansas River to Bent's old fort, Santa Fe, N. M., crossed the Arkansas River, and took the stage to Fort Wallace, then the terminus of the Kansas Pacific R. R., thence by rail to Brenham, Texas, thence by land home, Round Rock, Williamson county, Texas. Here we sold our currency exchange we got for our cattle in Austin for seventy cents on the dollar for gold.
In 1869 we drove a beef herd from Llano county to Abilene, Kansas. I can't recall the name of the Red River crossing at that time. The Indians came on us in the territory and drove off 140 beeves, which the Government paid us for after a long fight. We sold out at Abilene, Kansas.
In 1870 we drove 5,000 head of cattle, the first herds that crossed the Kansas-Pacific R. R., and went on to the Union Pacific at Schuyler, Nebraska, seventy-six miles west of Omaha on the main Platte River.
In 1871 we drove the first cattle on to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and continued to make Cheyenne our headquarters until 1885, our last drive.
In 1872 we sold a herd to John Tierman, Ingram & Co., of Salt Lake, and delivered them on Goose Creek in Nevada.
In 1873 we ranched a part of our drive on the Sobiel near Ft. Loring in Wyoming and also drove 400 head to Idaho and ranched them near old Ft. Hall reservation on Snake River. The market went to the dogs in that country and we sold our stock cattle the next year and drove our beef cattle to Cheyenne and got a fine price for them.
In 1877 I contracted to Mr. J. W. Iliff of Denver, Colo., 17,500 two- and three-year-old steers, which we delivered in June and July, 1878, at Julesburg, Colo. Mr. Iliff died in February, 1878, and at the earnest request of Mrs. Iliff we took charge of the entire cattle business of the estate and wound up the estate part in three years and we bought the business in connection with Mrs. Iliff, D. H. and J. W. Snyder & Company, which we maintained until 1887.
We adopted three rules for our cowboys to be governed by on our first drive in 1868, as follows:
First: You can't drink whiskey and work for us.
Second: You can't play cards and gamble and work for us.
Third: You can't curse and swear in our camps or in our presence and work for us.
These rules we kept inviolate as long as we were in the cattle business.
I am past eighty years old and have been blind more than eight years. If I had my sight I could take time and make this much more interesting and give much more information.
Georgetown, Texas, December 27, 1913.
According to George W. Saunders, there was a certain Texas cowboy boarded a train at Denver, Colo., after having driven trail from Texas to that salubrious clime, back in 1880, or thereabouts, says "Cattle Clatter" in San Antonio Express. He walked into the sleeper with a bundle of blankets and asked the Pullman conductor if there was any place where he could bed down. The conductor said sure there was; the cowboy could have either upper or lower. The cowboy said any place would do for him, not knowing what was meant by the upper or lower. The conductor continued, saying: "The
lower is higher than the upper. The higher price is for the lower. If you want the lower you will have to go higher. We sell the upper lower than the lower. In other words, the higher the lower. Most people don't like the upper, although it is lower on account of its being higher. When you occupy an upper you have to go up to go to bed, and get down when you get up. You can have the lower if you pay higher. The upper is lower than the lower because it is higher. If you are willing to go higher it will be lower." When the conductor looked around the cowboy had spread his blankets down in the aisle of the Pullman, using his boots and pistol for a pillow. He ordered the conductor to stop talking, as he did not understand his chin-music anyway. The conductor fell in a faint, the cowboy went to sleep, and Mr. Saunders left the train at the next station—which was a peculiar thing to do, considering the fact that he had no business there.
All manner of persuasion has failed to induce Mr. Saunders to reveal the true identity of the aforementioned cowboy.
JAMES WASHINGTON WALKER
J. W. Walker, who lives on Laxson's Creek, three miles east of Medina, Texas, was born in Grimes county, Texas, December 25, 1847. His father, Jesse Walker, a San Jacinto veteran, died when the subject of this sketch was quite small. Sometime in the 50's the family moved to Gonzales county. In 1862, when James Walker was fifteen years old, he came to Bandera county and worked for Berry C. Buckelew, herding cattle for $7 per month, which place he held all winter, then went to Camp Verde where he had two brothers in the Confederate service. He tried to enlist at that time but Major Lawhon, in command of the troops stationed there would not accept him because he was too young. Sometime later, how-
ever, he succeeded in getting into the service, and a few days after his enlistment four of the companies at Camp Verde were transferred to South Texas, leaving only a few men to garrison the post and look after the camels there. Henry Ramsey was in charge of the camels at the time and young Walker was put to herding them. He says the animals, numbering about 75 head, were a source of great annoyance and trouble. They ate but little grass, and could not get up the rough places to get to brush which they had to eat. Through the winter they were fed on corn that had to be brought from San Antonio. Mr. Walker now has a bell which was used on those camels, and prizes it very highly as a relic of those frontier days.
At the outbreak of the war between the states, Camp Verde was taken over by the Confederate forces under Gen. Ben McCulloch, and remained under the Confederate control until the war ended, when the post again passed to the United States, and a small force of Federal troops were placed there.
In 1869 Mr. Walker went to California with a herd of 1,500 mixed cattle belonging to Damon Slater of Llano, Mr. Slater being his own boss. Those who went on this trip were Jim and Charlie Moss, Jim Walker, Alf Anderson, Bill Denison, a man named Perryman, John Dupont, John and Riley Billings, Billie Click, a German named Mahaley, Jack Hamilton and Damon Slater. They took a route up through the Concho country to the Pecos and crossed at Horsehead Crossing, out by old Fort Stanton, through Tularosa Valley, across Sacramento Mountains to the Gila River, crossing the Colorado River, passing Tucson and Fort Yuma, and went on to the Winters Ranch in California where they delivered the herd. On the trip they had some trouble with the Indians, particularly with some of the Pima tribe who were trying to run a bluff and secure some cattle from a herd belonging to a man named Crockett Riley.
Mr. Walker and several of the Slater hands went to Riley's assistance and found him surrounded by about 80 Indians. They were off their reservation, and did not really want a scrap, so when they fired into them they hastily retreated. Mr. Walker killed the chief's horse at a distance of 500 yards. He was later arrested by the Indian agent, and Slater gave the Indians five head of cattle to satisfy their claims for loss of the chief's horse.
After delivering the cattle at the Winters Ranch the cowboys scattered, and only two of them, Billings and Riley, came back to Texas together. Mr. Walker went to Los Angeles and San Francisco and struck up with a man named Jacob Sanders who was from Ohio, and they decided to go to New York. Accordingly they secured passage on a steamer, the Golden City, which sailed one Sunday morning. On the following Tuesday the steamer was wrecked in Mexican waters and the crew and 450 passengers were forced to take to lifeboats and landed on the barren coast. In company with a guide the shipwrecked people walked a distance of twenty-five miles to a cove, and were there taken aboard a vessel that carried them back to San Francisco. While on the coast they were without food and had but very little water from Tuesday until Saturday. As Walker and Sanders paid transportation to New York, the steamship company allowed them passage on another vessel and they again started. He says they crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and took a big steamer which carried them across the Gulf of Mexico and ran direct to New York. Arriving in that city, Mr. Walker decided he had seen enough of the world and immediately started back to Texas by water, reaching Key West, Fla., and from there proceeded to Galveston and when he hit land again it was to hike straight for home. He had been absent one year and four months, and came back rich in experience, but mighty poor in pocket. On the same day he was ship-
wrecked off the Mexican coast, February 22, 1870, his brother, Riley Walker, was killed by Indians on Bell Mountain in Llano county.
On February 10, 1864, Mr. Walker was happily married to Miss Melvina Bandy of Bandera county. To them have been born 13 children, 11 of whom are still living: Thomas Walker, Mrs. Ada Moseley, Mrs. Alice Smith, Jeff Walker, all of San Antonio; Jim Walker, killed in Oklahoma by a falling tree; Jesse Walker, died in infancy; Mrs. Ida Fines of Tuff; C. C. Walker of Caddo, La., R. L. Walker of Medina, Mrs. Mary Davis of Vanderpool; Miss Myrtle Walker of Medina; Mrs. Ruby Neely and Charlie Walker of Yoakum.
In 1895 Mr. Walker located on his present homesite, where he has resided all these years, quietly following farming for an occupation and raising his sons and daughters to be useful men and women. He has had an active part in the development of the country, and recalls many intrusting events that transpired in his section.
ANDREW G. JONES
The Jones family has been one of the solid, representative and substantial families of Bandera county since the early days of settlement. "Uncle Andy," as he is familiarly known, is one of the best citizens Bandera county has ever produced, and his sons and daughters are numbered among the quiet, thoroughly honorable and upright citizens of the county. He was born in Bexar county, February 24, 1853. His father, John A. Jones, true type of the Texas pioneer, came to Bandera county in 1864 with his family, and located on Myrtle Creek, Mr. Jones dying there in 1895, and his good wife, Mrs. Mahala Jones, surviving him until 1920, when she
died. There were eight children in the family of John A. Jones, five boys and three girls, namely: Sam Jones, deceased; Jim Ike Jones of Parker Canyon, Ariz.; Ranse Jones, deceased; John L. Jones, for many years sheriff of Kimble county, now deceased; Andy G. Jones, the subject of this sketch, Mrs. Margaret Stevens, now deceased; Mrs. Mahala Brown, deceased; Mrs. Eliza Brown, lives on the Nueces River.
Andy G. Jones was a small boy, about 11 years old, when his parents moved to Bandera county. He grew to manhood, married and raised his family here, and today lives on a beautifully located ranch not far from the location made by his father in the early days. He went to school in a little clap-board shack with a dirt floor, which stood at the forks of Bandera and Myrtle creeks.
In 1874 Andrew G. Jones was married to Miss Anna Stevens. They had six children, five of whom are yet living, Mrs. Dora Duncan of Medina Lake; Mrs. Lelia Emsley, died in 1910; John Henry Jones, lives in Kerr county; Lou B. (Baker) Jones, lives on Bandera Creek; George Jones lives near his father; Mrs. Noma Smith, lives near Camp Verde. Mrs. Jones died in 1889. Mr. Jones next married Miss Laura Nerthlin, and to this union were born six children, as follows, Florida, Pink, Virgil, Gervis, Manila and Salome Jones, all of them being at home.
In relating some of his frontier experiences, Mr. Jones said:
"I was a member of Robert Ballentyne's company of minute men, organized for the protection of the frontier. We had to scout twenty days in each month, and our pay was $20 per month. We furnished our own grub and mounts, while the state supplied us with guns and ammunition, and gave orders how we should take care of our horses. When in camp we had to stake and sideline each animal and put out a guard. A Mexican named Manuel, who had been an Indian captive for fif-
teen years, was our trailer and guide, and he was a good one. He knew just how to follow all signs and trails, and he thoroughly hated an Indian. One day we struck an Indian trail on Mason Creek and followed it to where the San Antonio road crosses Privilege Creek. Here the trail led up the creek, and we found a Mexican that had been killed by the Indians. The Mexican was at work building a fence when he was attacked, and when he was struck with a rifle ball he ran and took refuge in an old chimney which was standing where a frontier cabin once stood, and there he died. We found his body in this chimney in a sitting posture, with his pistol in hand ready to shoot. From there we went on and came to a house which the Indians had pillaged. They carried off a number of articles and trinkets, some of which we picked up as we hastily followed the trail. We then found where they had stopped and painted themselves, preparatory to an attack on Jim and John Scott, who were clearing land, but they probably discovered our approach and fled, scattering in several directions, so that we could not successfully follow their trail. We then went to the Bladen Mitchell ranch and decided to go over to the Casey ranch on the Hondo and try to intercept the Indians as they came out of the country. We patrolled that region, two men each twenty miles apart scouting and observing signs, but without success. Then we crossed over to West Prong of the Medina, and here we found a bunch of wild beef steers. Our captain told us to kill them and we shot eight of the big fellows, and as wild as cattle ever got. Taking a supply of the beef we went on to head of the Frio, Tom Click and I patrolling. We found a place where the Indians had left fourteen Indian saddles, and also where they had made a great many arrows and mended moccasins. We stayed there four days expecting the Indians to come and get their saddles, but as they did not show up we burned the rudely made saddles and left there.
"I remember when the Indians killed Mr. and Mrs. Moore on North Prong of the Medina River. We took their trail the next day and followed it across the mountains. They went into a dense cedar brake where it was impossible for more than one or two men to go together. F. L. Hicks was with us on this scout and when we came to the dense cedar brakes our captain said it was unsafe to go in, and several of the men turned back, but Mr. Hicks said to me: 'Andy, let's go in; we can whip every red rascal in there,' so we went. It was a risky thing to do, but Mr. Hicks was a man absolutely without fear and when duty called he was always ready to respond. It is said that Indians will not kill a crazy man, so I guess they thought we were crazy for entering that big thicket.
"The next scout we made we hired old man Smith with his three yoke of steers and went to the Frio Water Hole, where we built a good pen, and then we went to Bull Head on the Nueces and gathered 400 steers which we intended to bring to Bandera and sell to Schmidtke & Hay for $2 per head. We appointed Sam Jones as our boss on this mavericking expedition. While on the Nueces we captured two government horses on the range with halters on. They had escaped from some post months or years before and had become wild. We brought the steers into the pen as we gathered them, and one night they stampeded and seventeen of them were killed by running against cedar stumps which had been left in the pen. About ten miles this side of the water hole was another pen which was called Post Oak, and we brought our steers to it. Four men had to stay with the wagon, and as we were coming to the Post Oak pen, Jim Brown, Jim Gobble, Lum Champion and myself intended to reach a spring at the head of the hollow. There were some Indians there, but I suppose they heard the wagon and hid out, as we did not see them. Near the spring I picked up a pair of moccasins and a small
mirror which had been dropped by them. Leaving Champion and Gobble with the wagon, Jim Brown and I scouted around the spring to try to locate the Indians, but without success. We found where they had killed a cow just a short time before and taken some of the beef. They were afoot, evidently coming down into the settlements on a horse-stealing expedition. When we reported our discoveries to the captain he said we could not leave the cattle to follow the Indians, but to guard against attack. That night old Manuel and I stood guard around the horses, and at different times during the night the horses showed signs of alarm and we made ready to secure an Indian scalp, but they did not come. We delivered our steers in due time and received $2 per head for them, and also received $50 for the two government horses we had captured, and we thought we were making money. Somebody reported that we had gathered the 400 steers, and our arms were ordered to be returned and we all got fired from the Ranger service.
"When I was a boy on my father's ranch the government kept a lot of camels at Camp Verde. One day we hobbled three or four of our horses and turned them loose near the house, and fourteen of those old camels came lumbering along. The horses took fright at the sight of them, and we did not see those horses' again for many days. My brother and I penned the camels, all of them being gentle except one. We roped the wild one, but never wanted to rope another, for the old hump-backed villain slobbered all over us, and that slobber made us deathly sick. We had a jolly time with those camels when we got rid of the foul, sickening slobber, and as we often rode broncos and wild steers we rode those camels too. The camel has a swinging pace and is easy to ride when you catch the motion of its gait. They could easily travel 100 miles in one day. The Indians seemed to be afraid of the camels and, of course, never attempted to steal any of them."
FOUR BANDERA PIONEERS
Bandera county has become noted for its extremely old people. Living in that county are many pioneers who came when that region was a wilderness, among those we mention Amasa Clark, now 96 years of age; George A. Hay, aged 87; W. D. (Seco) Smith, aged 87; and Ben Batot, aged 83. All of these pioneers are actively engaged in some calling and are able to attend to their own affairs. Amasa Clark was born in New York State in 1828, and enlisted in the United States Army when just a lad seventeen years old. He saw service with General Scott in the invasion of Mexico, marched from Vera Cruz to Mexico City and was in all the desperate engagements that occurred along the way. Coming out of Mexico in 1848, he came to Texas, and to Bandera county in 1852, where he has resided ever since. His life story is full of thrills and reads like a romance. He owns a nice little farm five miles from the town of Bandera, and recently marketed a thousand bushels of pears which he sold at $1.00 per bushel.
[photo omitted — AMASA CLARK]
George Hay was born in Scotland in 1836, and came to America while yet a small boy. He located in Bandera in 1854, and for many years was engaged in the mer-
cantile business. He sent a number of herds up the trail during trail driving days, and is well known to all the old timers of southwest Texas. For the past few years he has held the office of Justice of the Peace at Bandera, and only recently retired from that office.
[photo omitted — GEORGE HAY]
W. D. (Seco) Smith was born in Mississippi in 1836, and located in the Bandera region in 1857. He was a noted scout and Indian fighter during the early days, and was a warm friend and admirer of Big Foot Wallace. He now resides on a pretty farm near Medina City, in Bandera county, and looks after his crops and live stock personally.
Ben Batot was born in Germany in 1841, and came with his parents to Texas to the Castro Colony on the Medina River in 1843. He lived in Medina county many years, but later moved to Bandera county, and now lives on his farm near the town of Bandera.
All of these old pioneers have raised large families, Amasa Clark being the father of nineteen children and Seco Smith being the father of fifteen.
It has been a pleasing task to compile this wonderful book, and I feel that something should be said of the efforts of Mr. George W. Saunders to "round up" all of the old boys and get their history in print so that the coming generations may read of the hardships and dangers they encountered and the splendid achievements of his comrades of days gone by. For years Mr. Saunders endeavored to interest men in the publication of this kind of a book. At the Old Trail Drivers' convention held at San Antonio in 1917 the first steps were taken in this direction when the cowboys there present each volunteered to write a sketch of his life and send to Mr. Saunders for publication in the Trail Drivers' Book. Some of them sent in the sketches in due time but some of them failed to respond promptly, and then the "round-up" started. Letters were sent out, phone and telegraph requests were made, and finally a sufficient number had been corralled to make an interesting book. Arrangements were made to have it printed. An editor was employed to compile the sketches and get them in shape, and the editor and printer mere going to get them out for Mr. Saunders. Suddenly the editor "went all to pieces" with a nervous breakdown, and the printer closed shop and departed for parts unknown, taking along all of the manuscripts and letters that had been sent in. But nothing daunted, Mr. Saunders, set about again to roundup the old boys, and after two years' effort the first volume of the "Trail Drivers of Texas" was brought out, but it was incomplete, although it contained 500 pages. The old trail drivers were delighted with the book and decided to have an additional volume. It was my happy privilege to write, compile and edit the first volume, at the behest of Mr. Saunders, and when it was decided to get out a second volume he insisted that I take charge of the work.
I have been handicapped in several ways, chiefly because I never was a cowboy, never put a rope on anything larger than a milk calf, never rode a yearling, forked a bronco or adorned my boot with a pair of "cornbread" spurs, and only by accident am I entitled to membership in the Old Trail Drivers' Association. Some time in the remote past my father, John Warren Hunter, helped to keep up the drags with a herd going north, and thereby made me a son of a trail driver. My father was born in Alabama, but came to Texas when he was about nine years old. His father was a Methodist preacher, and settled near Sulphur Bluff, in Hopkins county, where he was living when the Civil War broke out. My father, being about fifteen years old at the time, was employed as a teamster to haul cotton to Brownsville, the only port open to the Confederacy. He spent the term of the war on the Rio Grande, where he became well known for certain daring feats. After the war he spent awhile in Lavaca county and returned to his home in Hopkins county to find that home broken up, his father dead and his brothers and sisters scattered to different parts of the country. He went to Tennessee where he was happily married to my mother, Mary Ann Calhoun, and went to Arkansas where he farmed for a season, but he longed to get back to Texas, and returned in 1878, and became a school teacher. For many years he taught school in Gillespie, Mason, Menard and McCulloch counties, being one of the pioneer teachers of that section. In 1891 he quit the school room to take up newspaper work, having purchased the Menardville Record, later moving the plant to Mason and establishing the Mason Herald. He was one of the fearless editors of that time and the Herald became known as an outspoken weekly. Often-times he had to back up his assertions with muscle and brawn, but he was of Irish descent and really enjoyed a fisticuff, and when the match had been pulled off he was
San Angelo in 1907, and for several years was connected with the San Angelo Standard. His death occurred January 12, 1915. For many years prior to his death he had been engaged in collecting historical data and manuscript pertaining to the early history of Texas, and became recognized as one of the leading historians of the state. Naturally I became interested in this kind of work and have tried to follow the same line, with the result that I fell right in when Mr. Saunders announced that he was going to print a book of reminiscence sketches of the early cowmen. I realized then that it would be a wonderful contribution to the historical annals of Texas, and that the time was ripe for its publication, as the older fellows are passing off the stage of action at an alarming rate and that within a few years not many would be left to tell the tale. I realized then, which fact has been made apparent since, that I was not qualified for the task that has been assigned me, but I have done my best, and that is all anyone can do. It has been a great pleasure to perform this task under the direction of Mr. Saunders, for he has been very considerate and patient, and left matters very much in my hands. The Old Time Trail Drivers, as well as the youth of Texas, owe him a debt that can never be paid for thus rescuing from oblivion and preserving this important link in the chain of Texas history.