The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 74
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"individualism" in the free atmosphere of a new and undeveloped
In March, 1906, Post journeyed to West Texas, and purchased,
at a cost of about three-quarters of a million dollars, several
adjoining ranches to the total of two hundred and twenty-five
thousand acres.5 Half of this land was on the level plains and
the remainder in the rough "breaks" below the Cap Rock.
With hopes of a speedy development of his projected colony,
Post selected as general resident manager W. E. Alexander of
New York, at a salary of five thousand dollars a year. He in-
structed his manager to proceed at once to Fort Worth, where he
would set up temporary headquarters for materials, men, and means
of transportation to the land of promise. Neither Post nor his
manager could discern at the time how enormous was the enter-
prise they were about to launch. The scene of settlement was a
bald prairie, eighty miles from a railroad. There would be mere
trails for roads, bridgeless streams, high water, blue northers,
breakdowns, sick mules. Lumber, posts, wire, machinery, cement,
lime, and provisions for man and mule had to be shipped by wagon
over rough, unimproved roads from Big Spring to the place of
settlement. Lines had to be surveyed, construction gangs organ-
ized, rock quarries established, wells drilled, and gravel hauled.
Post hoped to see his settlers raising crops by 1907, on farms that
had not yet been surveyed, fenced, or broken. He began advertising
his Texas lands in middle western newspapers in the fall of 1906.
Hundreds of inquiries had already poured into the Battle Creek
office. When prospective buyers learned that the lands were raw
prairie, forty miles from the nearest town and eighty to the nearest
railroad, many decided to look elsewhere.6
In Indiana twenty-four big wagons were provided, in Missouri
seventy-two giant mules were purchased and shipped to Big Spring.
Harness, wagon sheets, axle grease, and extensive equipment for
mule skinners were bought. When all was ready the mules, wearing
new collars, leather harness, and bridles with heavy leather blinds,
were hitched to wagons with shiny red wheels and green bodies.
The whole town of Big Spring turned out to witness the glittering
5Dallas Semi-Weekly News, March 6 and March 10, 1906.
6Memorandum by Alexander, Post Records, Correspondence, Vol. XIII,
pp. 64, et seq. These records, containing over 100,000 pages of manu-
script materials, -are in the library of Texas Tech College.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/82/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.