The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 58
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In San Antonio the trail hands could find entertainment as
long as their money lasted. While the bosses put up at the staid
Menger Hotel, the others could find cheaper lodging elsewhere.
They could lose their money at monte or other games, watch
rooster fights in the streets, attend a bull fight on Sunday after-
noon, or take in a horse race on the prairie turf at the edge of
town. If the chili and enchiladas at the Mexican stands were too
peppery, they could be diluted at any corner bar. At night there
always were girls at the dance halls and in half-dark doorways.
Above San Antonio, feeder trails came in from each side, one
of the most heavily used leading from the fertile grasslands of
Matagorda County. At Austin the drovers took their herds across
the Colorado River, most of them using the Montopolis ford, a
little below the town. Plodding on northward, the herds kept
below the Balcones Escarpment on their west. Usually they found
abundant grass and ample water as they crossed Brushy Creek
and the San Gabriel and Lampasas rivers.
Sometimes the muddy, reddish water of the Brazos gave the
drovers trouble and caused delays. In the earlier years, most of
the herds were swum across at Waco. Later it became more com-
mon to trail on upstream and cross at Fort Graham or Kimball.
By the time the cattle reached Fort Worth, most of them were
well broken to the trail.
Fort Worth, although without a railroad until the summer
of 1876, quickly became an outfitting point for the drovers. It
offered saddles, rope, six-shooters, groceries, and other supplies.
It also provided entertainment as lusty as any cow hand could
At Fort Worth, where hogs still roamed in the streets, cow-
boys primed with firewater could shoot up the town on Satur-
day night without much fear of penalty. In 1876, Fort Worth
had a two-gun marshal, T I. Courtright, better known as Long
Hair Jim. On Saturday nights he and his two policemen might
crowd twenty-five to thirty hilarious cow hands into the two
cells and dungeon of the log jail at Second and Commerce
Streets, but usually the miscreants stayed only long enough to
recover their sobriety.
From Fort Worth, where some of the herds changed hands,
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/71/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.