The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 9
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Problem of Maintaining Solid Rarnge on Spur Ranch 9
grazing on lands owned or leased by ranchmen could be driven into
the "starve-outs" and held as estrays. The ranchman could make
a nominal charge for each animal held by him before releasing it
to its owner. If the owner allowed the animals to stay in the
"starve-out" long they would decline in flesh and strength. This
plan was frequently used by ranchmen, but with rather doubtful
success, as the gates would be opened at night, and the cattle fre-
Settlers often abused ranchmen's hospitality. The following
letter of Fred Horsbrugh is fairly indicative of how the average
ranchman silently bore his anger at this particular practice of
"There are several well traveled roads through our pastures that
are pretty well tracked; and it is the usual and unwritten law
that you must take in parties that arrive about sundown and care
for them in some sort of way. We are a good deal imposed upon
in this way, as it is not customary to make a charge. It is an
imposition, though. I have known men to hang around in the
range until late in the day and come in about sundown. In regard
to the mess wagon on the round-up, there is a lot of barefaced
imposition practiced here by outsiders. We are not the only ones
to complain; the ranches that are being settled up by the nesters
and their families work the mess wagons pretty well and success-
fully. I have been told by Mr. Legertwood of the Matador Com-
pany that it is getting awful what they have to put up with in this
way. When they have a round-up amongst or near the settlers'
houses they have a crowd who make a regular picnic of the
occasion. Sometimes they have seventy or eighty to feed at dinner
time. This is serious, of course, but the trouble is that so much
depends at present on having the good will of the people where
there are so many settlers, that it is better perhaps to feed them
than to refuse them. ... There is nothing right about it,
By 1897 practically all the ranchmen who had school lands in
their pastures realized that their success in the cattle business
depended upon their getting possession of the school lands and
thereby making their "pastures solid." Notwithstanding the fact
that the purpose of the state was to distribute public school lands
among as many people as possible, the self-interest of cattlemen
"Spur Records, XI, 112.
"Spur Records, X, 613.
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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/m1/13/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.