The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 175
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to mail a letter, see a girl, turn a card, or get drunk, would ride
for Tascosa. Not only that, but trail herds coming up from
the south and bound for Dodge City would water at the Cana-
dian, and bed down on the plain with a light guard while the
main crew took in the town.
Among the big men were these: Goodnight, Beals, Chisum,
Littlefield, and Lee. The big outfits branded LX, LS, LIT, and
XIT, and that most intriguing of all names, the Jinglebob,
brands known from the Rio Grande to the Milk River.
When the valley had filled up with little men and the vast
plains with big outfits, strife was inevitable in and around
Tascosa. Out of this strife emerged the outlaws personified by
Charlie Bowdre and Billy the Kid and their counterfoils, Jim
East and Pat Garrett, and of all these we have heard perhaps
enough. The author makes a wide digression in order to get
the story of the death of Billy the Kid into his volume, and he
does this despite the fact that he is able to stock Boothill with-
out leaving Tascosa, and in his chapter on the Big Fight he has
a contest which makes the death of the overworked Billy the
Kid look like ambush. This was a real fight between the cow-
boys of the big LS outfit and the little men of Tascosa. Three
LS cowboys were killed, along with an innocent and too curious
"poverty-laden" immigrant named Jess Sheets.
The function of this review is to follow the process going on
at Tascosa and not get lost in the pistol smoke. The big outfits
were crowding out the little fellows, intimidating them with
"cowboys who knew how to shoot." The Big Fight grew out
of the enmity thus engendered, and on this occasion the cow-
boys who knew how to shoot got the worst of it. Three of them
were given a joint funeral on Boothill with a dignified Episco-
pal service. Jess Sheets, killed in the cross-fire, was buried in
another part of the cemetery.
The chapter on barbed wire brings the story of Tascosa's
rise to an end. The rest is a story of its decline, for barbed
wire not only fenced the big ranches and the small farms in,
but it just as effectively fenced Tascosa out. The story of the
fencing of the Frying Pan Ranch at a cost of $39,000 is a con-
tribution to the history of fencing, a story that has not yet been
written. The author could have had better sources on this sub-
ject and saved himself some errors, by writing the American
Steel and Wire Museum at Worcester, Massachusetts. Barbed
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/192/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.