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ON THE TRAIL TO KANSAS A Painting by Warren Hunter, from a Description Furnished by George W. Saunders
In his trail driving Mr. Saul had no trouble with the inspectors, and very little with the Indians. When the redskins asked him for a beef they got it.
Mr. Saul now resides on his ranch near Bandera, Texas, and delights to meet up with comrades of those good old days when “going up the trail” was in order.
WHEN THE TEMPERATURE WAS 72 DEGREES
C. C. French, Fort Worth, Texas My father, Joseph H. French, and family left Philadelphia in the late fifties and came west to the Ohio river, then down the Ohio to the Mississippi to New Orleans, then to Galveston by steamer, from Galveston to Columbus by rail, thence to San Antonio by four-mule ambulance. During the Civil War father had a contract for delivering beef cattle to the Confederate army. He was paid in Confederate money and it broke him. After my father's death, my mother took my brother, sister and myself back to Philadelphia.
My brother Horace G. French, was one of the bosses who drove many herds of cattle over the trail. In 1874
C. C. FRENCH he had delivered a herd in Wyoming and while on his way back to Texas, he came to his old home in Philadelphia to visit us. I was then a boy in school, but my brother's narratives about trail driving interested me so that I determined to come to Texas the first opportunity that presented itself. In the spring of 1876 I landed in Austin, and the first sight I had of the trail was that wonderful herd of wild steers Ab Blocker tells about, in the first volume of this book, that were roped on the Perdinales by John and Bill Blocker. It was a sight and it is a great pity that a picture of that herd was not made and kept.
In 1878 a small outfit left Austin in charge of my brother and we received a herd of steers and a herd of cows and calves on the head of Camp Creek in Coleman county. We had a trail wagon in which to carry the calves that were born on the trail. The herd was owned by Col. Wm. Day. We reached Dodge City, Kansas, in good shape, but it was a wretched trip as the calves gave us a lot of trouble. The next year we started a herd of steers from Kimble county for Major Seth Mabry, going to Ogallala, Nebraska. There the herd was re-arranged and we started with 4,000 steers for the Cheyenne Agency in Dakota. Half of the herd went to Bismarck, Dakota. The herd we drove to the Cheyenne Agency was for the United States government and were fed to the Sioux Indians. One day early in December an Indian courier came to our camp with a message from the commander of the post saying that if the mercury went 28 degrees below zero he wanted 250 steers that day, to commence killing for the Indians' winter beef. We delivered the steers and the Indians killed them all in one day. The meat was exposed to the cold for a few days and then stored in an immense warehouse to be issued out to the Indians every week. During the killing period about 800 steers were slaughtered. About 7,000 Indians were present at the killing. It was no uncommon sight to see a squaw at one end of an entrail and a dog at the other end, both eating ravenously. When the killing was completed we had about 600 steers that had to be crossed over the Missouri River on the ice, which was then about 28 inches thick across the channel. After this was done we had to deliver the horses at Fort Thompson. At this time the government thermometer at Peeve recorded 72
degrees below zero. On our way home we were in that fearful blizzard which froze the bay at Galveston and ruined the orange trees in Florida. I have never liked cold weather since that time.
HISTORY OF AN OLD COWMAN
Robert Samuel Dalton, a wealthy stockman of Palo Pinto, controlling extensive and important business interests, wherein he displays excellent business ability,
marked enterprise, and keen discernment, was born March 8, 1859, on his father's ranch on the Brazos River, eighteen miles north of Palo Pinto county, Texas. His parents were Marcus Lafayette and Lucinda Gamble Dalton. The Dalton family, together with the family of Rev. Slaughter, father-in-law of Robert Dalton, were among the oldest and most noted in Northwestern Texas. Marcus L. Dalton was born in Tennessee and came to Texas in 1838, locating first in Red River county, whence he removed to Palo Pinto county in 1855, settling at the mouth of Rock Creek on the Brazos River. It was a wild and unsettled country, infested by hostile Indians, who made raids into this locality from their reservations in Indian Territory. Mr. Dalton was an excellent business man and prospered in the cattle business notwithstanding the fact that frequently his cattle were stolen by the Indians. As the years passed his lands and cattle increased in value. He made many trips over the trail with his cattle to Kansas and on returning from one of these trips he was killed by the Indians, November 4, 1870, in Loving's Valley, six miles north of the present town of Mineral Wells and twenty miles east of his home on the Brazos. He had left Weatherford, Texas, and from that town he was accompanied by James Redfield and James McCaster. The latter was driving a bunch of horses, while Mr. Redfield and Mr. Dalton each had a wagon and team. They were attacked by the Indians at the point mentioned and all three men were killed, the Indians taking everything they could carry but leaving an iron-bound leather trunk in which there was $11,000. In Mr. Dalton's shoes were $11,000 in bills of large denomination, which was not taken by the Indians.
Mr. Dalton of this review still has one of the bows from which was shot the arrow that killed his father. The three men were scalped and their bodies mutilated in an inhuman manner.
Robert S. Dalton was reared upon the home ranch to the life of the cattle trade, his boyhood days being fraught with exciting incidents and dangers characteristic to that period in the development of Palo Pinto county, when it was a largely unsettled district and the Indians were on the war-path. In the course of time he embarked in the cattle business on his own account and his entire career as dealer in the stock has been successful and free from financial embarrassment of any kind even in times of widespread financial depression. He is today one of the largest taxpayers and one of the wealthy citizens of that part of the state. His first in