« PreviousContinue »
dalen. The next morning a thousand Indians passed us going from Niobrara and going southward. We talked and traded with them through their agent. The squaws had their children strapped to their backs.
At Brookville, Kansas, in 1874, I took charge of 3,000 beeves for Dick May and Bill Gentry, and took them to Shenandoah, Iowa, where I delivered them on Christmas Eve to Mr. Rankin on his large ranch. I experienced many hardships in Iowa on account of the blizzards. In order to secure water for the cattle I had to break ice for over a month. Dick May was taken very sick and I started back with him. When we reached Kansas City we put up at the Lindell Hotel, and were assigned a room on the highest floor, but for some reason or other I objected to it, and we were given a room on the lower floor. We left next morning for Brooksville and when we reached there we learned that the Lindell Hotel had burned down.
The year 1875 marks the end of my going over the famous old trail, with its excitements of killing buffalo and elk, meeting Indians, and swimming streams. I have swam the Red River, often half a mile wide, as many as thirteen times in one day, always going ahead of the herds, and right here will say that after all of my good swimming I was finally nearly drowned in a small creek named Elm near St. Joe. I was asleep when the noise of the rush of water brought about by a cloudburst caused the cattle to stampede. Jumping on my horse I made a dash to cross the stream to get to the cattle when the water swept my horse from under me. Jim Skipworth saw my peril and threw a rope around me and dragged me to shore. After hard work they succeeded in resuscitating me, but I was unconscious all day. My faithful pony was drowned. I made the last trip with May & Hickey, to Ellsworth, Kansas. While we were returning home, and when east of Fort Sill, the Indians got on the warpath on the night of July 24, 1875, and burned all the stage stands from Caldwell, Kansas, to Red River Station in Texas. They rounded up three government wagons, killed the drivers, shot the oxen, burned the wagons, and stole the horses. We crossed the river just in time to miss them and saved our lives.
On October 5, 1875, I was married to Miss Jane Hogan in Yoakum, Lavaca county, and to us were born seven children, all yet living. They are John H. Tucker, Alfred Tucker, San Antonio; Lorena Dullye, San Antonio; Mary Kuenstler, Yoakum ; Rosa Dullye, Yoakum; Vira Sheffield, Yoakum; Minnie Buenger, Edna, Texas.
DAVID C. PRYOR
David Christopher Pryor was born on a plantation near Alexandria, Louisiana, March 27, 1850, of ScotchIrish descent. His parents were David C. and Emily A.
His father died when he was four years of age and his mother four years later. Mr. Pryor was reared by a maternal aunt and uncle jointly in Alabama and Tennessee. In 1870 his eldest brother, A. M. Pryor, then living in Texas, visited relatives in Alabama and Tennessee and advised
his brothers, David C. and DAVID C. PRYOR Ike T. Pryor, to return with
him to Texas and seek their fortunes. Immediately on their arrival in Texas, David C. was employed as a cowboy to help drive a herd of cattle up the trail. This occupation appealed to him, so he drove to Western markets for several years. Then came the railroads with rapid transit, and trail driving ceased to be the popular route for marketing cattle, after which time he made his home in Austin, Texas, and in the state of Colorado, following various occupations. Finally in 1889, when Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, he was “on the ground," secured a claim, and has lived there ever since, save a few years in which he managed a West Texas ranch for his brother, Ike T. Pryor. For some years he has been engaged in oil development in Oklahoma. By nature Mr. Pryor is a gentleman of the “Old South”; is well informed on historical and current events, fond of literature, of a literary mind and has written some clever verses. In politics he is a Democrat, takes a lively interest in both State and National politics. While not actively engaged in the cattle business, nothing delights him more than to meet the “boys” of the early seventies and live over the good old days of trail driving, “chuck-wagon eats,” night watch and when the Indian and buffalo roamed the plains.
HELPED DRIVE THE INDIANS OUT OF BROWN
By J. W. Driskill, Sabinal, Texas
I was born in Missouri on January 15, 1854, and moved to Texas with my father's family in 1858 and settled four miles south of the town of San Marcos.
I made my first trip to Kansas in 1871 with William Hewitt and my father's cattle; in 1872 with West & Musgrove's cattle; in 1873 with Sam Johnston's cattle and my uncle, J. L. Driskill's cattle in 1874 and 1875. Then I quit the trail until 1880.
In the fall of 1875, I moved to Brown county with about three hundred and fifty head of cattle and helped to drive the Indians out of that country. I settled on the Pecan Bayou seventeen miles below Brownwood. Stayed on the Pecan Bayou forty-two years. That was a good stock country when I moved there. Then I drove mine and my brother's, S. L. Driskill's, cattle. That was a dry year and when I got to the Indian Territory,
I had to make a drive of ninety-six hours without water. I thought my time had come, but on the fourth day, just about sundown, I struck water and all the old trail drivers can guess how those cattle looked. I had about fourteen hundred and fifty head, drove them to Dodge City, Kansas, with
four men and myself and only J. W. DRISKILL
lost one cow.
live in Uvalde county, at Sabinal. The latch string hangs on the outside of the door and if any old “trail driver" should chance to come this way, stop and see me. I have had many ups and downs in this life but I am proud of one thing: I have plenty to keep me and my wife the rest of our days.
ROBERT E. STAFFORD Robert Earl Stafford was born March 27, 1834, in Glynn county, Georgia, of English-Welsh descent. His parents were Robert and Martha A. Stafford. He received an academic education at Waynesville, Georgia. His nature was highly unselfish, his mind broad, generous and enterprising, and his spirit courageous. His purse was ever open to the calls of charity and his ear attentive to the appeals of the unfortunate. Having, unaided fought his way, encountering many of the vicissitudes of life, his heart instead of becoming hard and cold was capable of a warmer and wider humanity. December 27, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Zouks of Liberty county, Georgia; to this union seven children were born, of which only one survives them. Ambitious and progressive, his attention was attracted to Texas as offering a fine field for financial advancement, so in 1858 he came to this state and located in Colorado county and engaged in stockraising and farming on a small scale. When war was declared between the states in 1861, he joined the Confederate Army as a volunteer in Company B, commanded by Captain Upton, Fifth Texas Infantry, John B. Hood's
R. E. (Bob) STAFFORD Brigade. He was as faithful a soldier as any who shared the fortunes of that band of veterans. At the close of the war, he like many others, came home penniless, but resumed the conduct of his affairs with an energy that knew no diminution and an ability capable of accomplishing any undertaking. In the spring of 1869 he drove a herd of cattle to Kan
This venture proved successful and he enlarged his business by purchasing all the brands in his section that were for sale. In 1872 he entered into a contract with Allen Poole & Co. to supply beef for the Havana, Cuba, market. The returns of his enterprise not being satisfactory he abandoned it and engaged in selling cattle to Western men for Indian contracts. In 1878, when the firm of Allen Poole & Co. failed he bought their cattle, ranches, etc. His fortune increased rapidly and finding it profitable to manage his own exchange in 1882 he organized a private bank, R. E. Stafford & Co., of which he was president and sole owner.