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The Beginning of Tulsa
By J. M. Hall (1927)
(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)
Nothing here is free for the taking. This book is reproduced here with the permission of the copyright holder - see copyright statement.
per cent of the land was used for grazing and three-fourths of the money came through the cowman's hands. Herds by the thousands were pastured here, also wintered.
In the spring of each year the roundup would start from various points and work all territory in every direction. Cowboys would be sent from all ranches. First would be a chuck wagon well equipped with groceries and a cook. The cowboys would usually have two or three horses each and a roll of bedding. The bedding would be transferred from the pack horses to the chuck wagon. The cowboys would then move from one range to another, rounding up the cattle and cutting out what belonged on other ranges, moving them to their own pastures.
In working together each ranchman would get his own cattle as every cowman had his own brand. Of course, there was a chance for an argument over the maverick. The maverick was an unbranded calf that did not know its father and whose mother had run away.
The chuck wagon was the regular "dining car" of the prairies, but food was served in the "a la help yourself" style. Big pots of coffee, big Dutch kettles of beans, beef that had not been in cold storage and sour-dough biscuits that were really hot. Each man went to the chuck box, got his tin plate, tin cup, knife, fork and spoon, helped himself, walked to one side, crossed his legs and sat down on the grass to eat. If you did not get enough to eat, it was your own fault. There was no waiter to tip.
Any time after a hard day's ride, a man could not eat this grub prepared by some old southern darkey, it was time for him to see a doctor and have his teeth x-rayed and look after his blood pressure.
Some people (who don't know) think the cowboy was a tough lad, but not so. He was the biggest hearted and best natured fellow that ever lived out of doors.
Most all of the cowboys of the early days have taken up other vocations: doctors, lawyers, bankers, merchants, oil business and farming. I only know of one still following the cattle, Lem Hooks on the Henry Adams ranch near Hominy, Oklahoma. Thirty-four years ago he was on the Daugherty ranch that covered most of the country between Catoosa and Broken Arrow and in to the head of Adams creek.
In the spring of 1898 Noble and Lassiter of Texas began to ship cattle from Texas to the Indian Territory for pasture. It was near April first when the first trainload arrived, followed by a train each day until several thousand had been shipped.
It began to rain and turn cold about the time the first train arrived and kept it up for several days. The cattle coming from a warmer climate in southern Texas, and, being thin in flesh at that time of the year, would walk out into the cold rain with only a barbed wire fence for protection, and quite a number froze to death.
I had a contract for their hides and when the storm broke and the clouds rolled away we had something over 1,100 skinned cattle scattered around and near the stockyards, where Lewis street now runs.
We used two teams of mules to pull the hides off. We would skin around the head, hook a chain around the cow's head, put another chain around the skin from the head, hitch a team of mules on each chain and drive the teams in different directions. When the teams got about 20 feet apart one team had the skin and the other the carcass. In that way we skinned them very rapidly.
Many of the old cowmen have passed on - Al Hoots, Lew Appleby, George Noble, George Perryman, Bud Wallace and Joe Price (the biggest hearted man I ever knew). Many of them are still living, but most of them have retired. W. E. Halsell, Jay Forsythe, W. O. Woodley, James Daugherty, H. M. Stonebraker, the Thompson brothers, the Shipman brothers, Walter Oliver and many others.
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