The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 6
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
X I T.18 Ranches to the south, such as the Llano, the Slaughters,
and others were having far more trouble than the Spur people.
The Capitol Syndicate enjoyed a peculiar and happy status in the
vexing settler problem. The company had originally obtained the
land for the purpose of colonization. The company stocked its
range with cattle, but the cattle interest was always secondary.
From the outset the company intended to engage in cattle raising
only until conditions were right for disposing of the land to actual
settlers. The X I T lands were solid, and the managers were
never harassed by small armies of settlers running over their
pastures inspecting every alternate section. The X I T people
wanted settlers, but other ranchmen, whose chief interest was
cattle raising, and whose success depended upon keeping their
pastures intact, did not.14
A constant source of vexation and consternation to ranchmen
who had school lands in their pastures was the ever-changing lease
laws of the state. A legislature seldom met without changing or
amending the laws governing school land leases.' The uncer-
tainty of lease laws, together with the never ceasing efforts of
settlers to homestead lands within pastures, forced upon cattlemen
the conviction that their only hope lay in getting "solid pastures.""l
The "solid pasture" had become an ideal highly desired by
ranchmen who foresaw the trouble that would be sure to ensue
from the state's putting on the market the leased school lands
within their pastures.17 Friendly exchanges were sometimes made
with small land owners within the cattleman's range or along the
edge of it for the purpose of "squaring up" the ranch lands."8
After the ranchman had done all he could towards securing a "solid
pasture," he still had to witness the opening for settlement of
school lands within his pastures, the onslaught of settlers, the
scramble among them for possession of the land, and then match
his wits against the successful one for the ultimate possession of
The period of turmoil and confusion which invariably followed
'4Spur Records, X, 575.
"'Spur Records, VIII, 204, 230, 395.
'"Spur Records, XI, 443.
'TSpur Records, X, 40.
"'Spur Records, X, 98.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/10/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.