The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 11
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History of the Cattle Industry in the Southwest
execute the law.33 However, the order was not effectually and
The land problem was partly solved by the State of Wyoming
modeling on the Texan plan. By acts of Congress of 1881,
1888, and 1890, 4,042,160 acres of land were given to Wyoming
partly for educational purposes. Much of this was in sections.
Laws were enacted organizing a lease system 1890-1893. The
land board was made to consist of the governor, the secretary of
state, the state treasurer, and the state superintendent of public
instruction. Rental for nbn-irrigable land without water was two
and one-half cents per acre. The income from leased lands in
1892 was $7,397.47 and in 1902, $95,925.30.
There is something to be said in favor of the slow actions of
the government in leasing or granting titles to large tracts of
land to cattlemen. Land that was apparently unfit for cultiva-
tion has been utilized profitably where irrigation has been brought
about. It took time, experience, and capital to accomplish this
great work of redemption, which is yet unfinished. Cattlemen
failed to admit that land was arable, for that was contrary to
their interest, and if the government had acted hastily much
valuable homestead land might have been made unavailable to
settlers temporarily or permanently.
The next step in the conflict was known as the "Rustlers'
War." The popular notion of this struggle was that it was a
conflict between virtuous cattle owners on the one hand and a
community of cattle thieves on the other. The word "rustlers"
popularly meant cattle thieves.34 But this is hardly accurate.
Originally the word rustler was applied to a cowboy who. received
a fee from his employer for every maverick he found and branded
with the employer's brand. Then the cattle association paid $5
for every head of cattle that he found for the association. It be-
hooved the cowboys to get out and "rustle" for calves. Thus
the word rustler was originated, synonymous with "hustler."'35
With money laid by, the thrifty cowboy bought a few cows and
started in business for himself. As the West settled up along
8aRichardson, J. D., Messages of the Presidents, VIII, 308-9.
"'Chapman, Arthur, "The Last War for the Cattle Range," in Outing,
"Hough, E., The Cowboy, II, 273.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/17/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.