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By Cordia Duke,Joe B. Frantz

This booklet of recollections of previous XIT Ranch cowmen places on checklist the typical lifetime of the people who made the ranch run.

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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.

Pulling sucker rods was a snap. We would fasten the blocks up in the tower and hook on to the rods, and maybe I would drive the team the first two or three pulls, as there was considerable weight to a string of sucker rods in a 300-to-350-foot well. Then after that, we just wrapped the lines up on Sierra Grande’s hames, and I worked up in the tower, and Ben on the ground. ” As with Frye, windmilling was only one of a variety of chores for some of the hands. J. W. Armstrong remembers: “My first job was the plowing of ground for the planting of sorghum for feed.

Kimball Corral of the Rito Blanco Division 29. A Herd of Aberdeen Angus around a Windmill 30. Buffalo Springs Headquarters in 1898 31. After a Baptizing at Buffalo Springs, 1906 32. July 4 at the Channing Hotel 33. Cowboys Off Duty 34. A Study in Horse Psychology 35. A Dalhart Roundup 36. A Page from Colonel Boyce’s Tally Book List of Maps The XIT Ranch The XIT Country XIT Trails Six Thousand Miles of Fence “Land … none of them had ever seen” THE RANCH TEXANS IN THE 1870’s cherished the same illusions that they still cling to nearly ninety years later—that Texas should have the largest and greatest of whatever was worth the effort.

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