The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 13
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badlands the Marquis de Mores, who bought long strips on each
side of the Little Missouri in 1883, incurred the wrath of his
neighbors when he began to fence his land, as the fences kept
from the river all cattle except his own. The other ranchers got
out their nippers and wrecked his fences. When he had the wire
restrung, they cut it again. Soon afterward three hunters, forti-
fied with drink, protested against the fencing by shooting up the
town of Medora and firing a few bullets into the Marquis' twen-
ty-eight-room chateau. This incident led to a gun fight in which
one man was killed and another suffered a broken leg."8
Elsewhere fencing by settled ranchers and by farmers-nesters
or "fool hoe men" to the cowmen-pushed the cattle trails and
the open range westward and finally closed most of the trails.
At the time of the Texas fence-cutters' war, many cattlemen were
making unlawful enclosures of the public domain in Nebraska,
Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Several Kansans strung their
wire around whole counties.
Hundreds of complaints poured into Washington from western
stockmen whose herds were cut off from grass and water by the
illegal fencing of federal lands. Even some who had no herds
fenced public lands and rented these pastures to cattlemen. In
addition to those fencing public land, many obtained large
tracts by fraudulent operation of the homestead laws. In 1883
the district court at Cheyenne enjoined one of Wyoming's big
cattle companies from fencing public lands and ordered it to
remove a fence by which it had enclosed eleven sections of
federal land, thus keeping the cattle of other owners from grass
and water."3 In 1886 a territorial governor, George W. Baxter,
was removed for having unlawful fences.40 In that year ten large
cattle companies were listed as having had illegal enclosures in
a8Bruce Nelson, Land of the Dakotahs (Minneapolis, 1946), 190-201.
3 Injunction order of District Court, First Judicial District, Laramie County,
Wyoming, in case of United States vs. Alexander H. Swan et al., August o30, 1883,
No. 45, J. 7, p. 172.
40New York Tribune, December 3, 1886; Cheyenne Sun, December 9, 1886; Daily
Boomerang (Laramie, Wyoming), December 13, 1886; Harry B. Henderson, Sr.,
"Wyoming Territorial Governors," Annals of Wyoming, XI, No. 4, (October,
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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/m1/31/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.