Heritage, Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 1994 Page: 4
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THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
By John B. Meadows
While many factors have contributed to
Texas' greatness, none have more so than
its ranching heritage. We owe much to
those pioneers and settlers who, with their
livestock, moved to distant and remote
areas. Often the ranchers with their cattle,
horses, sheep, and goats, were the first
Anglos to inhabit such areas.
The search for range to accommodate
their livestock brought many from the relative
safety of more inhabited areas to the
wide open spaces, with all the incumbent
risks and sacrifices. Anyone who has read
about the pioneers and ranchers, or has
listened to their stories, must admire the
fearless determination that inspired them.
I am fortunate to have been raised in a
Midland neighborhood, surrounded by
long-term ranchers who were dedicated,
hard-working, and honest people. As an
impressionable youngster listening to Frank Cowden Sr., Frank
Cowden Jr., and Roy Davidson tell of their ranching experiences,
admiration for the ranching profession came easy. I will always
remember as a young lad, riding on roundups and participating in
branding and cutting of calves at the M and I Cowden Ranches.
My dad, Henry E. Meadows, an historian and story teller in his
own right, spent many hours around the campfire telling his sons
about our ranching ancestors, such as S.E. Couch, who began
ranching in the Ozona area in the 1880s; Howard Cox, who began
ranching in the Fort Lancaster-Live Oak Creek area of Crockett
County, and Captain James Cunningham, who was one of the first
settlers and ranchers in Comanche County in the 1850s, and who
earlier ranched in the Paschal, Travis, and Williamson County
areas. One of the best tales was of the cattle drive by great-greatgrandfather
Thomas Jefferson Holmsley, who, as an early trail
driver, took his cattle herd up the Chisholm Trail from Uvalde to
market in California in the mid- 1800s. T.J. Holmsley continued to
drive cattle from the Uvalde area to Kansas
until the early 1870s, when he settled in
Comanche County to continue his ranching.
Today, many Texas towns are dependent
upon ranching as a primary means of
support and employment. Names such as
Albany, Kingsville, Hereford, Ozona, San
Angelo, and Marfa, conjure the image of
ranching as it has been and always will be.
Though the focus of this issue of
HERITAGE is ranching, in observance of
Black History Month and Women's History
Month, we have also included articles that
recognize the contributions of blacks and
i ^^^^^^ women to Texas heritage.
Also in this issue of HERITAGE, you
will find a new quarterly feature that provides
a follow-up on the organizations and
projects that have received funding grants
from the Texas Historical Foundation. In these follow-up articles,
you will learn exactly how the grant money is being spent and the
progress of the various projects. The grants represent dollars that
you have contributed to THF, and we want you to have a
thorough understanding of how your contributions are helping
to preserve the Texas heritage.
In other Foundation news, the January board gathered in
Laredo, as guests of board member Rose Trevifo. There we were
fortunate to visit many of the missions and colonial structures of
the area. For those who might be unfamiliar with that area of the
state, it is well worth the time to plan a visit to Laredo.
Also, I would again like to remind our members that the annual
meeting of the Texas Historical Foundation will be held in San
Angelo on April 29 and 30, and that it will be held in conjunction
with the annual meeting of the Texas Historical Commission. I
invite each of you to join us.
God Bless Texas.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 1994, periodical, Winter 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46807/m1/4/: accessed February 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.