The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 288
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
lenged the editor of the Daily Journal to mortal combat," re-
ported the Weekly State Gazette.19 What the trouble was, and
whether or not the Daily Journal editor accepted the challenge or
moved to wider open spaces than Texas, is not found in subse-
When the six-shooter was standard equipment on the frontier
and when a victim of an editor's pen was unusually hot-tempered,
there was likely to be trouble. An 1876 issue of the Frontier Echo
at Jacksboro carried a story telling of two armed men, angered
by something that appeared in the newspaper, storming into the
journal's office and shooting and killing the proprietor, after look-
ing in vain for editor Robson.20
The barbed-wire fence and the windmill were developed in
1874. These two inventions made it possible for farmers to move
to the plains, and were instrumental in bringing to an end the
era of the cattle drives. The Albany Star accurately forecast this
The price of cattle has advanced 150 per cent in the last five years;
it is now believed the maximum has been reached. The drive this year
will be the last of great magnitude. Hereafter the cattle product will
be sent to market by rail and sail.21
The final blow to the cattle industry as it was known then was
dealt by the collapse of 1885. A drought came, especially severe
in Texas. Thousands of head of cattle died. Prices, which had
declined the year before, hit bottom. Cattle, when they could be
sold at all, sold for little more than they had in 1866.22
Again in 1883 the Albany Star observed:
A general tendency is manifested on the part of the most sagacious
of cattle men to discard the range system, and adopt the plan of en-
closing the herds by fencing, and of improving the quality of the
stock instead of handling large numbers of common cattle by the
present wasteful methods.=
Such news stories were, in effect, the obituaries of the Cattle
Kingdom and of the fearless frontier editors of West Texas who
had reported its rowdy life.
19Weekly State Gazette (Austin), April 27, 1878.
2OFrontier Echo (Jacksboro), June 16, 1876.
2lAlbany Star, March 9, 1883.
22Webb, The Great Plains, 239.
28Albany Star, March 2, 1883.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/313/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.