The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 11
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Problem of Maintaining Solid Range on Spur Ranch 11
that he would be forced to sell his land to the company. On
September 2, 1900, Horsbrugh wrote to his directors:
"I am sending the list of lands until lately leased from the
state. It is better to do this than be over-run by hoards of land
seekers with all kinds of stock. I will buy them out as soon as
possible, but will be very careful not to make any agreement
whereby the land could be forfeited. I will lease what land the
settlers do not need until they've lived out their three years. I
know three whose time will be up soon, and I want to buy their
land, but am afraid they will not wait until I can get permission
from London. I think they will come to me first, since I've
helped them get the land."20
The same general policy was carried out by the Matador Com-
pany. The Matador manager was given discretionary power to
purchase land from settlers up to amounts of $5,000 without
referring the matter to the home office. The bonuses paid the
settlers by the Spur and Matador companies ran from $1.50 to
$2.00 an acre. The manager of the J. A. Ranch paid as high
as $3.00 an acre and bought the settlers' cattle at the top market
Ranch managers of foreign companies had no end of trouble
even with their "friendly nesters." Manager Horsbrugh seemed
"a bit taken down" when he wrote on September 2, 1900:
"The people to the north, who have been given waivers of our
lease on certain lands on condition that they lease it back to us,
have sold out to people we didn't want-people who have cattle
I had allowed a widowed sister (with a large family) of
one of the hands to take up land. She sold out before I got a
chance to even lease the land, after I had helped her. It makes
me remember old Mr. Weller's advice as bewaring of Vidders,
they being unsafe to tie to. I am trying to lease from the one she
sold to. . . . I think, though, that I'll get things straightened
out some day, and shall have a state of affairs exactly opposite to
that intended for us by politicians and demagogues, and shall have
a place to carry on the cow business in spite of them. . . . I
am on constant lookout, as all our lands are threatened, and every
day or so an attempt is made to get a footing on our land."31
A year later Horsbrugh, writing his directors, explained at
2OSpur Records, X, 238.
80Spur Records, XI, 12.
31Spur Records, X, 238.
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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/m1/15/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.