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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

The Cattle Kings of Texas

The Cattle Kings of Texas.

The New York Times says:—A recent letter thus speaks:—"In Texas I notice much more attention of late is given to private pastures. In four years past at least half of many counties west of San Antonio River have been enclosed in immense pastures by post and plank fences. All pastures and no corn. Then the small stock men are growing smaller and fewer, while large stocks are growing much larger. Few of your readers have any idea of the extent to which a single man or firm will carry this business. For their wonderment I will give a few stocks and pastures which I have seen, with names and figures. Allen and Son, east of the Brazos, have 40,000 acres inclosed, 50,000 head of cattle, and ship annually, including purchases, about 20,000 beeves. Foster Dyer, west of the Brazos, has 12,000 acres inclosed, and 40,000 head of cattle. He bought of one party last spring 3,000 three-year-old heifers at 9dols. in gold each. Caruthers and Brother, north of Austin, have 60,000 cattle on the plains. O'Brien, on the Guadaloupe, has 35,000 cattle. Mr. Lowe, west of San Antonio River, has 40,000 acres in pasturage, and 120,000 page 207 head of cattle. A widow farther West has 140,000 cattle on the plains, and sells annually 15,000 beeves. Mathews, Coleman, and Mathews, Rock port, Texas, have 200,000 acres of pasture, and 130,000 cattle; they ship annually, including purchases, 30,635 beeves. Duvuse and Ellison, San Antonio, drove last spring to Kansas 66,000 cattle, and must have at least double that number on the plains. Mr. King, west of the Nueces River, drove to Kansas 33,000 beeves from his own branch, and sold at 33dols. per head; he has 200,000 acres of pasture, 160,000 cattle, and 10,000 horses and mules. Mr. M. Kennedy, his next neighbour, has 100,000 acres of pasture, 8,000 horses and mules, and 130,000 cattle. There are many others, whose stocks are as large, that I have not seen, to say nothing of the 10,000 to 30,000 stocks, but this will suffice. This seems incredible to an eastern, or even a north-western man, and yet in round numbers is very nearly correct. And still there is a very large diminution of the cattle on the plains in five years past. I will give you one of the many instances to show the immense profits of this business, when they can graze all the year round. I withhold the names, as it is not my province to make public the details of any man's private business. Four years ago, certain friends of mine discussed the pasturage question, and began to buy and fence in cheap lands. They have now 250,000 acres of pasturage, are systematic in their business, and opened a stock cattle account, separate from beef account, debited it with all purchases of stock cattle, all ages, and credited it with all sales from said stocks at the prices ruling there. The account shows now 410,000dols. paid out in four years for stock cattle of all ages, and 520,000dols. sale for said stocks, with 110,000 cattle on hand, worth 6dols. per head, or 600,000dols., and the account out of debt, making 770,000dols. profit in four years, and perhaps did not use over 35,000dols. cash in these purchases. Some others have done as well, or even better, on a smaller scale. The wool growers are equally as well satisfied with their business in the past, though wool is declining, while cattle are growing scarcer and higher every year, for people will eat, and the vast grazing plains are being gradually, but surely, taken up by small farmers emigrating to the south-west.