Among the famous ranch brands of Texas are the T Anchor, JA, Diamond Tail, 777, Bar C, and XIT. And the greatest of these was XIT—The XIT Ranch of Texas. It was not the first ranch in West Texas, but after its formation in the eighteen-eighties it became the largest single operation in the cow country of the Old West and covered more than three million acres, all fenced. The state of Texas patented this huge rectangle of land, at the time considered by many to be part of "the great American desert," to the Capitol Freehold Land and Investment Company of Chicago, in exchange for funds to erect the state capitol building in Austin. This "desert" became a legend in the cattle business, and it remains today a memory to thousands who recall the era when mustangs and longhorns grazed beneath the brand of the XIT. The development and operation of this pastoral enterprise and its relation to the history of Texas is the subject of this great and widely discussed book by J. Evetts Haley, now made available to readers every· where. It is the story of a wild prairie, roamed by Indians, buffalo, mustangs, and antelope, that became a country of railroads, oil fields, prosperous farms, and carefully bred herds of cattle. The XIT Ranch of Texas is the epic account of a ranching operation about which many know a little but only a few very much. It is the one volume that, more than any other, portrays the early-day cattle business of the West.
the xit ranch of texas and the early days of the llano estacado
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A history of the XIT ranch and the early history of cattle ranches in Texas. Includes a "Rules of the Ranch," extensive bibliography of early ranching resources and a log of early cattle trails.
In the winter of 1901, James W. Jarrott led a band of twenty-five homesteader families toward the Llano Estacado in far West Texas, newly opened for settlement by a populist Texas legislature. But frontier cattlemen who had been pasturing their herds on the unfenced prairie land were enraged by the encroachment of these “nesters.” In August 1902 a famous hired assassin, Jim Miller, ambushed and murdered J. W. Jarrott. Who hired Miller? This crime has never been solved, until now. Award-winning author Bill Neal investigates this cold case and successfully pieces together all the threads of circumstantial evidence to fit the noose snugly around the neck of Jim Miller’s employer. What emerges from these pages is the strength of intriguing characters in an engrossing narrative: Jim Jarrott, the diminutive advocate who fearlessly champions the cause of the little guy. The ruthless and slippery assassin, Deacon Jim Miller. And finally Jarrott’s young widow Mollie, who perseveres and prospers against great odds and tells the settlers to “Stay put!”
A native Texan traces the history of his state from territorial disputes to present-day wealth.
From The Lone Ranger to Lonesome Dove, the Texas Rangers have been celebrated in fact and fiction for their daring exploits in bringing justice to the Old West. In Lone Star Justice, best-selling author Robert M. Utley captures the first hundred years of Ranger history, in a narrative packed with adventures worthy of Zane Grey or Larry McMurtry. The Rangers began in the 1820s as loose groups of citizen soldiers, banding together to chase Indians and Mexicans on the raw Texas frontier. Utley shows how, under the leadership of men like Jack Hays and Ben McCulloch, these fiercely independent fighters were transformed into a well-trained, cohesive team. Armed with a revolutionary new weapon, Samuel Colt's repeating revolver, they became a deadly fighting force, whether battling Comanches on the plains or storming the city of Monterey in the Mexican-American War. As the Rangers evolved from part-time warriors to full-time lawmen by 1874, they learned to face new dangers, including homicidal feuds, labor strikes, and vigilantes turned mobs. They battled train robbers, cattle thieves and other outlaws--it was Rangers, for example, who captured John Wesley Hardin, the most feared gunman in the West. Based on exhaustive research in Texas archives, this is the most authoritative history of the Texas Rangers in over half a century. It will stand alongside other classics of Western history by Robert M. Utley--a vivid portrait of the Old West and of the legendary men who kept the law on the lawless frontier.
In the mid 1930s, North America's Great Plains faced one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in world history. Donald Worster's classic chronicle of the devastating years between 1929 and 1939 tells the story of the Dust Bowl in ecological as well as human terms. Now, twenty-five years after his book helped to define the new field of environmental history, Worster shares his more recent thoughts on the subject of the land and how humans interact with it. In a new afterword, he links the Dust Bowl to current political, economic and ecological issues--including the American livestock industry's exploitation of the Great Plains, and the on-going problem of desertification, which has now become a global phenomenon. He reflects on the state of the plains today and the threat of a new dustbowl. He outlines some solutions that have been proposed, such as "the Buffalo Commons," where deer, antelope, bison and elk would once more roam freely, and suggests that we may yet witness a Great Plains where native flora and fauna flourish while applied ecologists show farmers how to raise food on land modeled after the natural prairies that once existed.
As Elmer Kelton notes in his afterword to this book, "Chuck Parsons' biography is a long-delayed and much-justified tribute to Armstrong's service to Texas." Parsons fills in the missing details of a Ranger and rancher's life, correcting some common misconceptions and adding to the record of a legendary group of lawmen and pioneers.
Cowboys are an American legend, but despite ubiquity in history and popular culture, misperceptions abound. Technically, a cowboy worked with cattle, as a ranch hand, while his boss, the cattleman, owned the ranch. Jacqueline M. Moore casts aside romantic and one-dimensional images of cowboys by analyzing the class, gender, and labor histories of ranching in Texas during the second half of the nineteenth century. As working-class men, cowboys showed their masculinity through their skills at work as well as public displays in town. But what cowboys thought was manly behavior did not always match those ideas of the business-minded cattlemen, who largely absorbed middle-class masculine ideals of restraint. Real men, by these standards, had self-mastery over their impulses and didn’t fight, drink, gamble or consort with "unsavory" women. Moore explores how, in contrast to the mythic image, from the late 1870s on, as the Texas frontier became more settled and the open range disappeared, the real cowboys faced increasing demands from the people around them to rein in the very traits that Americans considered the most masculine. Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.