The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 17
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Problem of Maintantaining Solid Range on Spur Ranch 17
I shall in the meantime charge that $1500 to the same account as
the $500 was answerable for; if objections are made, I shall just
have to pay it myself.""
Many cattlemen made frequent trips to Austin to lobby with the
legislature or "arrange things" with the Land Commissioner.4"
It must not be supposed that all the iniquitous business of
evading the public land policy of the state was on the part of the
ranchmen. Many of the settlers were no less clever in over-
stepping the spirit if not the letter of the land laws. The Red
Mud community of Dickens County was composed of settlers who
homesteaded on a strip of public domain. At the time when
there were seventy-five homesteads filed upon and supposedly lived
out, there were only twenty-eight heads of families in the com-
munity. Homesteads were filed upon in the names of minors,
relatives who had never been in the county, and legend has it that
a few were in the names of dogs.47 If the transgressions of ranch-
men were more spectacular than those of settlers, it was only
because ranchmen had the means to carry their plans out on a
Another constant source of apprehension to ranchmen was court
decisions. All cattlemen, while the landed interests were in a state
of confusion, stood in considerable awe of the Supreme Court.
They nervously kept informed on all its decisions. Horsbrugh
wrote on June 2, 1902:
"I am getting uneasy about the way the Supreme Court is
answering certain questions put to it regarding state land settle-
ments. There will always be trouble over state land until [all of]
it is sold and patented. And it is evident that shortly it is going
to hold that any people who were favored in getting land as our
settlers were [Horsbrugh's friendly settlers], did so against the
idea of having the State land opened to settlement by the people,
no matter whether they were the kind of settlers intended by the
law or not. Because the land was not thrown open and the coun-
try reduced to a public commons, it will likely be held that the
settlement was illegal. The question has not come up yet, but it
likely will from the way the courts are deciding questions put to
"Spur Records, XI, 38.
"'Spur Records, X, 614.
"Spur Records, VIII, 367.
"Spur Records, X, 541.
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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/m1/21/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.