The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 7
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fences were demolished. At the stone store at the crossroads
village of Trickham, one harassed Coleman Couilty ranchman,
J. L. Vaughn, said he wished the man who invented barbed
wire "had it all wound around him in a ball and the ball rolled
Ranchers in Tom Green County suffered from an epidemic
of fence-cutting late in 1883.16 Night workers cut the fence of
L. B. Harris for nineteen miles, using their nippers between
each pair of posts. Then they piled a carload of wire on a stack
of cedar posts and lighted a six-thousand-dollar fire.'7 John R.
Nasworthy and John R. Frost suffered similar losses. C. D. Foote
not only had his fence cut but lost ten head of shorthorn cattle,
including a fine imported bull. The cutters who drove off these
animals left on a post a crudely lettered sign that read, "If your
bull you hunt for, call at the first ranch this side of hell, and
brand him when you get him.""
Ranchmen whose fences were cut held indignation meetings
and devised neighborhood strategy against the marauders. The
Law and Order Association of Tom Green County, formed late
in 1883, was one of several groups that tried to check fence-
cutting and to prevent the enclosing of land not owned or leased
by the fencer." But rewards offered for the conviction of fence-
cutters generally went unclaimed. One of the few convictions
was that of an army lieutenant who, with others on a hunting
trip, removed posts and wire to get through and failed to replace
Occasionally defensive gunfire was effective. One moonlight
night Ed Featherston, a young preacher-farmer in Central Texas,
went out with a neighbor youth, Will Satterwhite, to guard
fences. Ed fell asleep in a thicket but was awakened by the
sound of wire-clipping. He and Will skirted about in the live
s1Harry Hubert in Semi-Weekly Farm News, Dallas, April 4, 1924.
XFort Worth Gazette, December 11, 1883; R. D. Holt, "The Saga of Barbed
Wire in the Tom Green Country," West Texas Historical Association Year Book,
IV (June, 1928), 32-49.
I'Fort Worth Gazette, December il, 1883.
1sGalveston News, December lg, 1883-.
n Texas Wool Journal, January 1, 1884.
20Fort Worth Gazette, December 13, 1883; Austin Daily Statesman, December
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/25/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.