Posted on 01/19/2009
TEXAS LIVESTOCK JOURNAL, AUGUST 25, 1883–reported a story from the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”
Colonel J.P. Addington, one of the largest cattle raisers of the southwest is in St. Louis and is stopping at the Southern Hotel. In conversation with a reporter this morning on the subject of the stock raising business in Texas he said,”Prices are a little down this year, but we never complain. Last year our beef cattle brought from $32 to $41 a head. Now we are selling at about an average of $30.”…
“Where is you ranch, Colonel” asked the reporter?
“…generally say it is in the region about Gainesville, Texas, but it is not, because we keep our cattle just across the Red River in the Indian Territory. The herd occupies a territory of about 775 square miles, partly in the territory of the Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches.
It is hardly lawful for white people to go over into the Indian Territory, but we have had an understanding with the Indians and they never trouble us, and we are not molested by any other authority. Our headquarters are now about sixty miles southeast of Fort Sill. There are ranches on all sides of us. My brother, Washington Addington, is located just west of me. He has 28,000 cattle; E. C. Suggs on the other side has 18,000 and the Stones have a large herd in that locality also.”
“How many have you on your ranch?”
Addington responds, “About 53,000. We are selling the steers all the time but the herd continues to increase very rapidly, as the cows are never killed or driven away so long as they are young. The steers at three years old are ready for market, and we seldom keep any number of them over till another year. We can get about three and a half cents a pound live weight for them at Gainesville, a drive of about seventy-five miles from the ranch. We sometimes drive to Hunnewell, Kansas, a distance of 260 miles.”
The reporter than asks, “What breed of cattle is raised mostly in that country?”
Col. Addington answers, “The Longhorn Southern cattle mostly but, we are constantly introducing new blood and experimenting on different breeds. The Herefords and the Durhams, have been introduced quite largely and with some success. The Longhorn is the steer for that country, however. He can live through a hard winter and come out as fly as a young colt in the spring, and by the first of June he is as fat as butter and ready for market. If bred too highly they can’t stand the winter well and they will come out too poor in the spring. The well-bred cattle are too tender and sometimes sicken on the drive. I find that from a quarter to one-half Hereford with the Longhorn Southern Texas makes about the best suited for that climate.
KEEP WATCHING – there is a lot more to come.
Bill Benson – Executive Director