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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 Fé, 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.
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.
RATHER CONFUSING 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, however, 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