By Cordia Duke,Joe B. Frantz
This booklet of memories of previous XIT Ranch cowmen places on checklist the standard lifetime of the people who made the ranch run.
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Additional info for 6,000 Miles of Fence
When I got in to the ranch the boys helped me to unhitch so they could have the mail. I wouldn’t let ’em have it until they did. “The Boss said, ‘Blue, what did you do in Amarillo? ’ I said they told the truth. “I learned to paint, freight, plow without a plow, drive six mules with one line. “I forgot to tell about running the mower—that was expensive experience learning a cowboy how to mow hay. I did not know how to get the sickle in the guards; so with Jo Anderson’s help we went to cutting the guards off with a cold chisel.
There was, however, a way out. By the treaty which brought Texas into the Union and other settlements of the next decade the state retained her public lands, so that in the period following the Civil War Texas still had millions of acres to dispose of. Since so much of the public land was in that semiarid section known as the Panhandle and was not likely to attract individual buyers within the immediate future, the state liked to grant the land in that area to encourage railroad building or similar projects.
I had a gun on the night with the Apache Indians, but I didn’t let them know it. “When I left the Spur Company about June, 1887, I went up to the Quaker colony Estancia on the Plains out about eighteen miles from Blanco Canyon and stayed that night with Mr. Dockeen. Before that he had been located down in the Spur Range in an early day and had a store and post office known as Dockeen’s Ranch. … He was a New York man and had been a Union soldier. His wife was also a New York woman, very nice people.