The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 7
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Problem of Maintaining Solid Range on Spur Ranch 7
the opening of school lands within a ranchman's pasture lasted
from three to five years. In the meanwhile the cattle interests
of the ranchman were materially injured. It often happened that
the ranchman's lease to a block of school land would expire some
time before the Land Board placed the land on the market. In
the interim one person had as much right on the land as another.
Prospective settlers, usually from four to ten to each section,
"squatted" on the land until the date of filing. Many of them
had stock which they turned loose on the land. School sections
were not fenced; and the law prohibited a ranchman from ejecting
from his pasture the stock of any person who was enclosed by the
ranchman's fence. The law protected prospective settlers as well
as those who had actually filed on their land; with several would-
be settlers "squatting" on each section their combined stock was far
out of proportion to the amount of land they were claiming. The
ranchman was left to swear and fuss while he watched the grass
of his overstocked range being devoured by the lank, mongrel
animals of the "land pirates." It was estimated by conservative
ranchmen that for each section opened by the state in this way
the grass of four or five adjoining sections was ruined for at least
In order to get cheap grass, many men with small herds and
no land joined in the scramble for school lands. It became a
common trick for such men to file on land with no intention of
living out their contract. With grazing lands at one dollar an
acre the settler had to pay only one-fortieth of the amount down,
which amounted to only two and one-half cents an acre. He could
hold this one year, then forfeit it, and his year of grazing would
have cost much less than if he had leased the land; for four cents
an acre was the minimum price on leases. He enjoyed another
advantage. Unless the ranchman fenced off the small owner's
land, his cattle could run at large in the ranchman's pasture.
Custom allowed the settler one animal for each ten acres owned
by him in the large pasture. Crafty settlers were often able, with-
out being apprehended, to run twice as many cattle as custom
Another trick for the purpose of getting free grass was worked
repeatedly. A person with cattle would file on school lands that
1"Spur Records, X, 614.
"2Spur Records, VIII, 204.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/11/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.