The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 14
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
were driven back into Wyoming. To aid the cattle men, the gov-
ernor of Colorado issued a proclamation that the sheep were in-
fected. Herds began arriving from Utah but the trail was soon
strewn with heaps of mutton.
The war is not over. As to open fighting it has ceased, but
the range is constantly dwindling. Irrigation and dry farming
are winning. The large areas are being cut in twain, and it is
probable that the sheep men will eventually win out as a natural
consequence of conditions. Be that as it may, the country is
older and the institutions more firmly established. The rustler's
war itself taught the cattle men that their safety lay in rever-
ence of law. Even though the old struggles go on, they are now
fought out in the courts instead of on the ranges with guns.
A barren pasture will not produce beef any more than the
ancient Hebrew could produce bricks without straw. The cattle
men became their own most dangerous enemy by their practice
of over stocking. In 1867 a traveller reported that three hun-
dred cattle could thrive on one square mile of pasture, but in
1898 not more than fifty cattle could be supported on a square
mile of Texan pasture.30 The great boom of the latter seventies
and early eighties encouraged overstocking. The coming of the
Texas Pacific Railroad about 1883 made the owners think that
the beginning of the end was at hand and that the settlers would
eventually drive out the cattle. They determined to get all they
could from the free range while it lasted. The land was seri-
ously overstocked, eaten bare, trampled hard, and permanently
injured. No seeds were saved to bring up the next year's crop.
Much of the land in Texas and in other range districts needs
reseeding with seeds of grass native to the ranges. Such seeds
are obtainable back fifteen or twenty miles from the water. The
leasing system may eventually encourage greater care in regard
to the grasses by the rancher.
V. SOCIAL AND EcoNoMIc PHASE'S
The range industry was of necessity a frontier industry, re-
quiring large areas of unsettled land. If it becomes possible by
irrigation or dry farming to settle all the land, the range indus-
1U. S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin, No. 72, p. 7.
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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/m1/20/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.