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Chisholm Trail 150


Series #3

Posted on 01/19/2009

Brand Burners kill cattle. Texas cattlemen such as Capt. S. B. Burnett, Col. Addington and C. C. Slaughter became influencial leaders in the livestock industry as it evolved out of the historic Tail Drive Era. Cattlemen, in those days faced great threats to their survival! Another well-known rancher, Waggoner, headquartered in north Texas, also started his great livestock enterprise by driving thousands of cattle to Kansas. The following appeared in TEXAS LIVE STOCK JOURNAL , Fort Worth, Texas Saturday May 10, 1884- Vernon Guard:

“…About thirty-five cows belonging to Dan Waggoner & Son, were killed in the southern portion of this county by brand burners, and a corresponding number of motherless calves were found in the same vicinity, everyone of which had been recently branded, but not in Waggoner’s brand, however. Mr. Waggoner’s brand is three Ds, and of course all calves belonging to the three D cows, whether branded or unbranded, are his property. The calves of these cows that were killed, were young, and had not yet been branded by Mr. Waggoner, and the brand burners, in order to make the ownership of them a difficult matter to establish, killed the mother cows. Fortunately, however, their infamous work was quickly discovered, and the motherless calves that were standing around the dead three D cows, although freshly branded with the double diamond and other brands given by notorious alleged brand burners, were taken charge of by Mr. Roberts, Waggoner & Son’s foreman.

Brand burners demanded of Mr. Roberts to turn these calves over to them but he very wisely and emphatically refused to do so, whereupon they swore out writs of sequestration which were placed in the hands of Sheriff Doughlas. Mr. Roberts was apprised of this fact, and in order to give the officer as little trouble as possible, drove the cattle near the court-house, and there held them for several hours, but the brand burners weakened and refused to point out to the officer those for which they had gotten out the writs of sequestration. Mr. Roberts had no intention of offering any resistance to the law, but would have replevied and held his property. C.M. Byars, one of our county commissioners, and who is also a notorious alleged brand burner and crook, and who was indicted for cow stealing by our last grand jury, claimed a number of these calves, his brand being the double diamond.”

Bill Benson – Executive Director