The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 84
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
these conditions, history and legend in Dimmit County combine to
contribute a colorful character to the lore of the southwestern fron-
tier in the person of King Fisher, who is said to have posted the
audacious sign: "This is King Fisher's road; take the other !'"1
Cattlemen organized to stop cattle thieving, engaged in some san-
guinary conflicts, principally with Mexicans, and hung at least one
Mexican for cattle stealing. Notices of rewards for the capture of
cattle thieves appear in the Javelin as late as 1899.
Sheep were introduced in the late seventies. They were tended
by Mexican pastores and sheared by Mexican shearers, who came
seasonally from across the Rio Grande. During the entire decade
of the 80's sheep exceeded cattle in number, but only in 1881 and
1882 did they exceed in assessed valuation. Largely because of a
fall in the price of wool, their numbers declined rapidly during the
late eighties, and by 1892 there were less than 5,000 sheep where
there had been 131,000. The industry has never recovered, except
to a small extent in 1923 and 1929, when 20,000 and 12,000, re-
spectively, were recorded. The cattle industry continued stronger,
although with fluctuations, and a generally downward trend. It
slumped rapidly in 1911 with the coming of farmers, and again
more seriously during the past two or three years, in 1929 reaching
a figure of 11,000, lower than at any time since 1881.
From the end of the sixties to the middle or late seventies the
cattle of Dimmit County ranchers were driven up the old Chisholm
Trail to Dodge City and Abilene, Kansas, or up the western trail
to Colorado and Wyoming, a practice ended when the International
and Great Northern Railroad was built through Cotulla. Early
fencing was of the trammel type, and on a very small scale. In
the early eighties wire fencing was introduced on a large scale by
Asher Richardson. It was rapidly extended, and by the middle of
the decade was completed. This put out of business those persons,
both Mexicans and Americans, who owned herds and flocks, but no
land, and caused some of the Mexicans to return to their native
country. The open range was gone.
the thefts are committed with their consent and participation." Informe,
de la comisi6n pesquisidora de la frontera del norte . . . en cumpli-
miento del articulo 3 de la ley de 30 Sbre. de 1872. Consulted in edici6n
de "El Porvenir," Brownsville, Texas, 1915, p. 387.
"The lore (and not a little history) of the fascinating country between
the Nueces and Rio Grande has been presented admirably by J. Frank
Dobie in A Vaquero of the Brush Country, Dallas, 1929.
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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/m1/94/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.