The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 8
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Soulhweslern Historical Quarterly
a ranchman had purchased from some settler who had already
lived out his contract and received a deed from the state. The
ground on which the second person re-filed was either a real or
fictitious claim that the original title was faulty. It required
months, sometimes years, of litigation to expel the interloper.
In the meanwhile his cattle were grazing in the ranchman's pas-
ture.21 No settler under such circumstances ever went to the ex-
pense of buying bulls for his herd, for his cows were running with
the registered bulls of the ranch.22 The matter of providing bulls
for a herd is one of the most important overhead expenses in the
It is not to be assumed that all settlers were what some ranch
managers thought they were, that is "thieves," "crooks," and "land
pirates." The majority of them were honest farmers, seeking
homesteads. But whether they were honest or dishonest, as long
as they insisted upon possessing land necessary for the "solid pas-
ture" of the ranchman, they were unwelcome in the cattleman's
range. Manager Horsbrugh laconically remarked, "the richer a
settler gets within our pasture, the poorer gets the company."28
It is not to be supposed that ranchmen tolerated the impositions
of settlers within their fences with benign resignation. They re-
sorted to all measures of retaliation they could contrive. A few
made use of extra-legal methods such as force, intimidation, and
ruthlessness. The great majority, however, were more careful to
stay within the letter of the law than the settlers were. Ranchmen
had the advantage there; for ranch managers, as a rule, were able
and intelligent and understood the law much better than the aver-
age farmer. One method of keeping the settler's stock off the
range was building a fence around the settler's land. This was
expensive, however, as it required four miles of fence to segregate
one section of land. Then, too, if the ranchman was ever able to
purchase the land, he would not want the fence around it.24 An-
other retaliatory method was the building of "starve-outs," or
inclosures where there was water and scanty grass, in which to
segregate cattle belonging to settlers. The law provided that such
inclosures must have water. Any cattle belonging to settlers foun c
21Spur Records, X, 236, 286, 368.
22Spur Records, VIII, 212.
2"Spur Records, X, 230.
"Spur Records, X, 349.
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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/m1/12/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.