Posted on 01/20/2009
Colonel C. C. Slaughter – giant Texas rancher was interviewed while visiting Chicago. His comments appeared in the “TEXAS LIVE STOCK JOURNAL SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 1882…At the conclusion of the war (Civil War) he entered upon the (cattle) business on a very small scale in northern Texas but after a few years abandoned it as unprofitable. The district was at that time overrun with a lawless horde of thieves, with whom the respectable and honest cattle raisers found themselves utterly unable to cope. So they sold out or held out until the marauders had driven off their entire stock. For nearly four years there was little or no cattle raised in northern Texas…But the advantages of the country were not long overlooked and a year or two later a determined, enterprising lot of cattle breeders had again located there and by organizing for mutual protection they were soon able to enforce all the existing laws regarding cattle stealing, and to get new and more effective ones enacted.
The four years he (Slaughter) was absent from the state he spent in raising stock in Kansas. He purchased in Kentucky some 300 of the very best Short-horn bull calves, and then going into southern Texas purchased 1,500 yearlings of the Long-horn Spanish breed, mostly heifers. It had long been his idea that a cross between these two breeds would produce a very excellent animal not only for the market, but for the stock raisers. His success proves the point. He is now impressed with an idea that this cross, when made as he made it with Shorthorn sires, has the character of the Shorthorn breed too predominant and he is now experimenting upon what he terms a three-forth cross. The range which he goes to select in Montana is intended for the steers he proposes to send to market, as he is full of confidence that the steer will do better north than in the Texas climate. Each year all the three-year-old steers on his southern Texas ranch will be sold off into a separate herd which will be driven to the northern range to be fattened up for the market on the rich, pulpy grasses which abound in the West.
Mr. Slaughter’s range in Texas is on the head waters of the Colorado river, about fifty miles north of the Southern Pacific railroad and embraces 320 sections, having a circumference of 114 miles. His stock consist of 40,000 head of cattle and several hundred horses. Some idea of the value of the stock may be gained from the statement that Mr. Slaughter recently sold steers weighing upwards of 1100 pounds at $7 per hundredweight, delivered at the cars…In conclusion, Mr. Slaughter had a kind word to say of stock raisers as a class. Nearly all the large owners knew each other personally and by their combined efforts had made the business as reputable in all its branches as any other. He had also something to say for the cowboys. The blood-thirsty young fiends who as cowboys made Texas and adjoining states so notorious ten years ago, had nearly all disappeared and in a few years would be entirely extinct he thought. The coming cowboy were young men of character, rude in all their ways of course but hospitable and law-abiding.
Bill Benson – Executive Director