Page images
PDF
EPUB

were there all the balance of the day getting across the river. Everything went well for several days. The day we went into the TX pasture at the foot of the plains, it began snowing again and we had to water the herd at troughs at some squatters in the TX pasture, and we worked most all day at that. When this was finished our boss ordered us to start on while he would help the cook fill up the water barrel on the wagon. On going upon the plains that night we tried to set a rat den on fire so we could warm, but were so cold we could not strike a match. It was then agreed to go back and tell our boss we could not hold them that night on the plains. Jess quickly agreed with us and we turned the herd loose and struck camp there in the sand hills at the foot of the plains. Every day we would wrap our feet in old gunny sacks and ride the string of fence and keep the cattle turned back as much as possible. One of the hands that worked on the TX Ranch was lost and stayed out all night and had both his feet frozen. We were several days late and as Mr. Pruitt had gone on the train to Midland and could not hear anything of us, he hired a horse at a livery stable and started out to find us. We were out of grub and started the wagon on to Midland after more provisions when they met Mr. Pruitt. He came on and stayed several days with us. When we started to gathering the cattle again, we found most of them and went on with them. Things went smoothly for some time. Our next blizzard was not so bad, as it only rained and drizzled for some time. This was an unusually bad time for moving cattle.

MONT WOODWARD WAS A FRIEND

G. O. Burrow, Del Rio, Texas Mont Woodward was born in San Antonio about serenty-five or seventy-six years ago; was raised out on the

frontier; and was a Confederate soldier. After the war he married Miss Helen Thomas of Austin, moved out on the Leona and lived there for years in ranch business. He drove lots of cattle on the trail, and in 1876, he and Slaughter drove 7,000.

Mont Woodward was an honest cowman. If he promised to brand your calves for you, you could rest assured that he would do it.

His ranch was on the Leona about twenty miles west

[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]

of Frio Town, where everyone passing was welcome to stop and rest, sleep and eat.

This little sketch of Mont's life would not be complete without saying something of his wife. When she married Mont Woodward she had never cooked a meal of victuals in her life; she was raised in the city, and came right out on the Leona with him and no man had a better wife than Mont Woodward. She stayed on that ranch as long as eighteen months without seeing any other woman. She sat in her door of the ranch several times and saw Indians rounding up the saddle horses.

Mr. Woodward's ranch was a great stopping place for people going to Carrizo and Eagle Pass, and it made no difference what time of day or night you got there, Mrs. Woodward would get up and get you something to eat and do it with pleasure.

To show you what our old Texas women were made of, I will say that in 1873, when we were all gone to Kansas the Indians came into the country acting awfully bad. This was the same bunch of redskins that killed old man Massey. Mr. Woodward's father, who lived in Frio Town, went out to the ranch to bring Mrs. Woodward and the children into Frio Town. On the way back they came over a brushy hill out on a prairie and saw five or six Indians coming towards them. Mr. Woodward wheeled the hack around back into the brush and unhitched the horses and told Mrs. Woodward to hide the children. He got his gun and walked out in front and looked around, and there stood Mrs. Woodward with her gun. He said: Helena, what do you mean out here? Go back to those children." And she answered, “No, I will not. I will stay here with you and fight for those children."

The Indians squabbled around awhile and went off. This only shows what the old frontier women had to go through with. Mrs. Woodward lives at Pearsall now.

Mont Woodward went to Arizona and was brutally murdered for twenty-eight dollars, while giving two tramps a supper.

The world is better off that Mont Woodward lived in it.

DREAM WAS REALIZED

Charlie Bargsley, San Antonio, Texas I was born near Austin, in Travis county, Texas, July 25, 1867. My father was a native Texan, and was born in 1829. He fought during the Mexican War, and also fought Indians during the Civil War. He was a farmer and stock-raiser, not exactly what you would call a stockman, but he had enough cattle to make a cowboy out of

me, and like most young boys of that day and time, the dream of my life was to go "up the Trail” with a big herd of cattle, and the dream of my life was realized in 1883 when I went with John and Bill Blocker. Louis Deets was foreman. Then in 1884 I went with Mayberry

[graphic][merged small]

Photo Taken at San Antonio Old Trail Drivers' Rodeo in November,

1922, When He Caught His Steer in 742 Seconds

& Houston. Tom Buntin was foreman as far as Brady City, then he turned back and Andrew Duff, of Santa Anna, went as foreman for the rest of the trip. I will not relate any of my experiences on these trips, but will leave that for the older fellows to do, as I am sure their trips were more exciting than mine.

WHEN HE GOT BIG ENOUGH TO FIGHT, THE

INDIANS WERE GONE

,

W. T. (Bill) Brite, Leming, Texas

I was born in this, Atascosa county, July 24, 1856, and I am now the oldest native-born white man in the county. My father moved from Caldwell county in 1854 and settled seven miles above Pleasanton. This county was then a part of Bexar county, and was organized in 1856.

I think he was the first treasurer the county ever had. In the campaign he and Captain Peter Tumlinson were candidates for the position and father was elected. He died in 1859. There were only three children in our family; Charles, four years older than myself; he died in 1911; Dan, two years older than I, died in infancy. My mother moved to Bee county in 1860,

and we lived in Beeville for a time during the Civil War. Coffee was then a dollar a pound and lots of people parched meal bran and sweet potato peelings for coffee. Flour bread was unknown to me until about 1867, and the first biscuits I ever saw I thought were about the prettiest things in the world. The only biscuit we had was the little fellow that was always cooked in the middle of three pones of corn-bread baked in a skillet with a lid on it.

Indians were very bad in this country during the Civil War, but when I got big enough to fight them they were all gone. I saw lots of them, but the folks always put me under the bed when the Indians came, so I have never fought any Indians. They would make raids down

[graphic]

BILL BRITE

« PreviousContinue »