of Texas Began in 1876
To Capt. W. S. Ikard of Henrietta Belongs the Credit of Having Established the First Purebred Breeding Herd - Lone Star State Now Leads in Number of Registered Whitefaces.
"Who took the first registered Herefords to Texas?" is a question that appears destined to go down in history unanswered along with such classic queries as "Who killed Cock Robin?" and "What became of Charley Ross?" There is no doubt that the first registered Herefords taken to the Lone Star State were bulls, and it is possible to approximate the date of is momentous event. Undoubtedly was in 1876, or there abouts.
The preponderance of evidence largely supports the claim, often made, that to Capt. W.S. Ikard of Henrietta is due the honor of having imported the first registered Hereford bulls into Texas. How he came to take an interest in Herefords was, several years ago, by Captain Ikard in a letter to The Hereford Journal as follows:
"I attended the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in September, 1876, and the first thing I went to see was the cattle. The Shorthorns and Herefords were out, and, as I remember, were being judged. I walked up to the late T.L. Miller of Beecher, Ill., who had Success and Dolly Varden and others at the exposition, and asked him what kind of cattle he had. He smiled and said, 'Herefords.' I never had seen or heard of a Hereford. Hall C. Burleigh of Maine also had Herefords there, including the noted bull Compton Lad. My first thought and impression was that they were the best cattle I had ever seen, and I was sure they would make good on the range. We fed nothing in those good old days.
Ticks Take Heavy Toll.
"After I returned home and Mr. Miller had his cattle back in Beecher, his nephew, T.E. Miller, was in Weatherford, Tex. I met him, went home with him, and bought ten head of yearling bulls. I shipped them to Denison, Tex., the terminus of the M.K. & T. Railway. Our cowboys drove them 140 miles to the ranch, and the last night, with but four more miles to go, three of the bulls died from tick fever. We lost eight out of the ten bulls from the same cause. T.L. Miller had sent a yearling bull with ours as a present to Col. Kit Carter, president of the Texas Cattlemen's Association, and it, also, died of fever. Of all the Herefords I brought to Texas in those days, I nearly always lost a large percentage, but still they made plenty of money."
So far as the writer has been able to learn after years of research, the only formidable rival of Captain lkard's for the honor of having taken the first registered Hereford to Texas is Reynolds Bros. of Ft. Griffin. The first volume of the Hereford Herd Book shows the bull Cotmore 666, bred by Gov. W.W. Crapo, Flint, Mich., as owned by Reynolds Bros. This bull was calved June 12, 1875, but there is no information available as to when he was taken to Texas. He was probably taken there as a yearling, which would be in 1876, the same year that Captain Ikard made his purchase from Miller. John Larn of Ft. Griffin appears in the Herd Book as the owner of Fremont 760, bred by Miller. This bull was calved May 23, 1875, and probably was taken to Texas the same time the Reynolds Bros. bull was.
First Breeding Herd Founded.
The credit for having founded on an enduring basis, the first breeding herd of registered Herefords in Texas undoubtedly belongs to Captain Ikard. By the way, the Ikard herd was run under the name of W.S. & J.B. Ikard, and in the first volume of the Hereford Herd Book it appears as Ikard Bros. As a matter of fact, the "W.S." and "J.B." were the initials of Captain Ikards's two daughters. The fact that the initials of one of the daughters were the same as those of her father led some confusion as to ownership.
It does not appear, however, that the first registered Hereford female in Texas was imported by Captain Ikard, nor that the first Hereford eligible to registration dropped in Texas was dropped in the Ikard herd. W.D.M. Lee and E.A. Reynolds, constituting the firm of Lee & Reynolds, were extensive buyers of buffalo robes, noted Indian traders and freighters, and army beef contractors. Their address was given variously as Ft. Elliot, Ft. Griffin, and Trygillo, Texas, and Camp Supply, I.T. They established the LE Ranch on the Canadian River near the Indian agencies. They began introducing registered bulls into this herd along about 1878 or 1879, and a little later purchased some registered Hereford females.
First Texas-Bred Calf Recorded.
The first registered Hereford bulls purchased by Lee & Reynolds were a son of the noted bull Canadian from John Merryman, Cockeysville, Md., and a son of Seventy-Six from T.L. Miller of Beecher, 111. Later purchases were made from William Powell of Beecher, 111. Lee & Reynolds appear in the first volume of the American Hereford Record, published in 1880, as the owners of Pink 1761, bred by William Powell, and calved Dec. 24, 1878. They mated this cow with the Merryman bull, Grateful 940, and she dropped a heifer calf,Lillian Lee 3856, calved Jan. 24, 1881. So far as the records show, Lillian Lee was the first Texas-bred Hereford entered in the American Hereford Herd Book. Lee & Reynolds owned also the cow Miss Aileen 3860, bred by Charles Gudgell, Independence, Mo. She was calved Nov. 9, 1878, and was sired by Picture 1403, a bull that was bred by F.W. Stone of Canada and used by Gudgell before the firm of Gudgell & Simpson was organized and before the importation of Anxiety 4th and North Pole. They owned also the cow Sultana 3862, calved Feb. 28, 1879, and bred by R. Humphries, Elyria, 0.
It appears that Captain Ikard did not buy any registered Hereford females until the early 80's. His first purchase of females consisted of two yearling heifers from T.L. Miller. Both died of fever. At the same time he bought the heifers from Miller, Captain Ikard bought a bull, Tredegar, and a heifer, Aprilbloorn 21839, from T.C. Ponting of Moweaqua, Ill., both yearlings. Aprilbloom was dropped April 10, 1885, and was the dam of Ikard 2d of Sunnyside, a noted sire in the Ikard herd. Lee & Reynolds did not found a permanent breeding herd. Ikard persisted in buying females in spite of his heavy losses by fever, and to him is undoubtedly due the credit of having established the first breeding herd of registered Herefords in Texas. His only formidable rival for this honor is F.M. Houts of Decatur, Tex. Houts purchased some registered females from J.S. Hawes of Colony, Kas., and Frank Learned of Pittsfield, Mass., in 1882 or 1883. He owned Fairlad 10032, the second son of Anxiety 4th recorded by Gudgell & Simpson, but does not appear to have recorded any calves sired by him. Fairlad was a full brother to Fanatic 27402 that later was a noted sire in the herd of J.B Clough of Elyria, 0. Houts used the imported bull Wilfred 20595, a son of Lord Wilton. Later he bought some females and the bull Harkaway by Tregrehan, from Fowler & Van Natta of Fowler, Ind. The first calf of his own breeding recorded by Houts was calved in October, 1885. The Houts herd was purchased by Rhome & Powell of Fort Worth in 1889.
The "Unknown Hereford Bull."
A few years ago the writer, in an article in The Hereford Journal, suggested that a monument should be erected to the "Unknown Hereford Bull' that started the revolution of the beef-cattle industry in Texas. He said: "The state of Texas owes it to the memory of the leader of this memorable invasion of its soil to do something handsome in his honor. The arrival of the first Hereford bull was one of the most important events in the state's history, comparable with the establishment of independence of Mexico and its admission into the Union.
"The first Whiteface invader, looking out over the vast empire which he was to make his own, was the forerunner of a host that was to sweep down across the broad plains and up over the wide tablelands of the state, and revolutionize the industry that played the leading part in the early development of the commonwealth. The Hereford bull was to double and treble the value of the millions of acres of grazing land that never could have much value save for the production of beef. He was to make two or three pounds of beef grow where one pound grew before. He was to bring in his wake thousands of miles of railroad built largely for the purpose of carrying to market the wealth he produced. He was to lay the foundation for vast fortunes which were to be employed in the building of cities and the development of the varied and rich natural resources of the state.
"Many individuals whose contributions to the good of mankind were not comparable to that of the Hereford bull to the welfare of Texas have had monuments erected to their memory by grateful posterity. The fact that this first Hereford bull to tread the soil of Texas remains nameless
William Powell and Col. B.C. Rhome.
Work of Judge O. H. Nelson.
Much credit for the establishment of Herefords in the range herds of the Texas Panhandle is due to Judge O. H. Nelson of Romero. In the spring of 1883, the firm of Finch, Lord & Nelson of Burlingame, Kas., of which Judge Nelson was a member, took between 500 and 600 head of young cows and twenty registered Hereford bulls, purchased in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, to Swisher County, Texas, and located them on the range near where Tulia is now situated. The cows were mostly of Shorthorn blood, but some were one half and three-quarters Hereford. The bulls cost $300 to $600 a head. Later the same year the herd was sold to Col. Charles Goodnight and became the foundation of the noted JJ and JA herds later owned by Mrs. C. Adair. Only registered Hereford bulls were used on the herd. Later a herd of registered Herefords was established it is still operated by Fred Hobart of Canadian.
In the summer of 1883, Finch, Lord & Nelson arranged with J.R. Price & Son of Williamsville, Ill., who were making a large importation of Herefords from England, to bring over for them 100 head - 80 bulls and 20 females. Forty bulls for this importation went to Adair & Goodnight at around $400 a head. The females and some of the bulls were added to the Finch, Lord & Nelson herd at Burlingame, Kas. Between 1881 and 1888 this firm sold 10,000 bulls to Panhandle cattlemen, practically all of them after the first two years, being Whitefaces. The bulk of them were one-half and three-quarters Hereford, but many of them were purebred Herefords.
In 1889, Judge Nelson withdrew from the firm and established a herd near Romero which he maintained for several years, in the meantime buying many bulls in the Cornbelt states and selling them to Panhandle ranchmen.
Herd Built on One Cow.
Perhaps the oldest herd in Texas today, from the standpoint of continuous existence, is that of J.C. Dibrell & Sons of Coleman. At the Dallas fair in 1887, J.C. Dibrell purchased a heifer, Breeze 21st 31984, and a bull, Bangor 28747, from William Powell. The heifer was calved March 3, 1887. Mated with Bangor, she dropped her first calf July 2, 1889, and her second May 11, 1890, both heifers. For 20 years not a single female was added to the herd by purchase, and up to the time of the death of Breeze 21st in 1903, 162 of her descendants had been sold. In 1920, Mr. Dibrell stated that he had recorded 1,040 cattle, every one a descendant of this cow.
In 1889, the Capitol Freehold Land and Investment Co. began the work of systematic improvement of the herds of XIT cattle it had established on the 3,000,000 acres in the Panhandle it had received from the state in exchange for a new capitol building. J. Evetts Haley, in "The XIT Ranch of Texas," says: "Colonel Babcock, in recommending the establishment of the ranch in his report of 1882, had the use of thoroughbred bulls in mind. In 1876, Goodnight brought about 150 head of highgrade Shorthorn cows into the Panhandle with his first herd. These did not prove satisfactory. Polled Angus were scarce and high of price, and Panhandle cowmen turned to the Hereford. In 1882, O.H. Nelson brought the first registered Hereford bulls to the Panhandle. During the next eight years he placed over 10,000 grade Hereford bulls upon Panhandle ranges.
Herefords in the Panhandle.
"The demand for Herefords in England in 1883 was said to have been ,phenomenal,' and breeders were taxed to supply the American demand. By the late 80's this demand had so depleted the supply and increased the price upon highgrade males that the XIT was unable to use them in large numbers. Many lowgrade bulls were placed upon the ranch in the late 80's, but better ones were bought each year until 1892, after which date only purebred bulls were bought.
"The use of Herefords in the Panhandle was widespread. Herefords were among the first grade bulls to be bought by the XIT, and soon four divisions were devoted to them. The Syndicate bought Herefords from some of the most prominent breeders of the country. Early purchases were made from the noted breeders, William Powell and T.L. Miller of Beecher, 111. In the very early 90's a string of good bulls were bought from Goodnight and placed upon the Yellow House division. In 1892, a registered herd of 44 bulls and Ill cows were bought from T.L. Miller, which, with a few registered cows from Garwell Broghers of Montezuma, Ia., formed the basis for a registered herd of Herefords for the ranch. By 1894 registered bulls had been placed in the Sod House pasture on the Yellow House, and soon T.F.B. Sotharn was coming there to purchase grade calves for eastern feeders. The Herefords were preeminently good rustlers, hardy, prolific, and possessed of fine beef qualities. They continue to be, by far, the most popular breed of range cattle in the Southwest. "
Hereford Growth in the 90's.
Herefords increased rapidly in popularity in Texas during the last decade of the 19th century. Afthe beginning of this decade, 1890, there were but seven members of the American Hereford Association in the state, although there were some owners of registered Herefords who had not become members of the association. The seven were G. W.P. Coates, Albany; F.M. Houts, Decatur; W.S. & J.B. Ikard, Henrietta; T.H. Mathis, Rockport; T.P. McCampbell, Goliad; Ellis Richardson, Baird; and Wiess & Donalson, Victoria. At least one of the seven - F.M. Houts - had disposed of his herd by 1890. By 1900, there were 78 members of the association in Texas. Amoung them were the following, most of whom were to become prominent in the development of the breed in the state: George M. Boles, Lubbock; L. R. Bradley, Amarillo; Capitol Freehold Land & Investment Co., Channing; Combs & Worley, Amarillo; J.W. Cook & Son, Beeville; W.C. Dibrell, Coleman; Hovenkamp & McNatt, Fort Worth; W.S. & J.B. Ikard, Henrietta; W.T. Jones, Ft. Davis; Lee Bros., San Angelo; John R. Lewis, Sweetwater; W. H. Myers, Blue Grove; William Powell, Channing; B.C. Rhome, Fort Worth; Scharbauer Bros., Midland; C.C. Slaughter, Dallas; J.C. Stribling, Llano; Thomas Trammell, Sweetwater; U.S. Weddington, Childress, and Whitman & Edwards, Amarillo.
One of the largest herds of registered Herefords in the state in 1900 was that of U.S. Weddington, Childress, recently purchased from Alfred Ogden of Brooklyn, N.Y. The Ogden herd was established about 1889 by the purchase of the herd of Jon C. Vanatta of Montmorenci, Ind., and was added to by purchases from Finch, Lord & Nelson. The herd was dispersed about 1910, among the buyers being E.D. Hunt and L.C. Parker of Childress. Prominent among the Texas herds established in the 90's was that of Jon R. Lewis at Blackwell near Sweetwater. It was founded in 1895 with purchases from the herd of C.R. Cross, Emporia, Kas. This herd has been in continuous existence ever since, and is now owned by WT. Lewis of Lubbock and C.W. Lewis of Sweetwater. Around it in the vicinity of Sweetwater was built one of the most thickly populated Hereford districts in Texas.
Noted Purchase of Anxietys.
Scharbauer Bros., in 1892, established near Midland a herd that did much to improve the quality of the herds of Texas. They purchased from Gudgell & Simpson of Independence, Mo., 50 cows, daughters of such noted sires as Anxiety 4th, Don Carlos, North Pole, Don Juan, Don Quixote and Brainard. These cows were carrying calves to the service of such noted sires as Beau Brummel, Don Carlos, Don Quixote, Druid, Roseland, Lamplighter, Earl of Shadeland 47th and Chesterfield. Gudgell & Simpson breeding did not at this time enjoy the popularity it attained later. Corrector, bred by T.F.B. Sotham of Chillicothe, Mo., was very much in the limelight then, and these cows and their offspring were mated with Cordial, a half-brother to Corrector; Sir James, a son of Corrector, and Prosperity 7th that contained a small amount of Anxiety 4th blood and a large amount of Garfield blood. Later, bulls of all the leading families of the day were used, including sons of Beau Brummel, Lamplighter, Cherry Boy, Hesiod 30th, Andrews, Bright Donald, Simoon, Bright Stanway and Connie Brae 8th.
New Herds Are Established.
The Scharbauer Bros. herd, in the course of a few years, grew to be one of the largest aggregations of registered Herefords in the country. It furnished foundation stock for many Texas herds, and contributed much to the improvement of the commercial herds of the state. Midland became and remains one of the leading centers of Hereford breeding in Texas. Scharbauer Bros. were succeeded by Scharbauer & Edison and Scharbauer & Aycock, and the latter by B.N. Aycock & Son. Henry M. Halff for many years maintained a large herd near Midland. In recent years, John M. Gist has been one of the leading breeders in that district. Other herds that were founded in the 90's and became prominent included those of C.M. Largent & Sons at Merkel and George M. Boles at Lubbock. Both are active today. The Largent herd, established in 1892, while never among the large herds of the state, has been for many years one of the most widely known because of its consistent winnings in the leading shows. The Boles herd was for many years one of the largest in the state.
Early Herds in San Angelo Country.
The Lee Bros. herd, established in 1898 near San Angelo by John P. and Phil C. Lee, was, for a number of years, one of the leading herds in Southwest Texas. Many noted bulls were used in this herd, including Poison by "the mighty" Fowler, and Druid of Pt. Comfort, four time grand champion at Fort Worth and sire of the International grand champion, Pt. Comfort 14th.
Another pioneer breeder in the San Angelo country
was J.C. Stribling who founded a herd at Llano in 1897 with ten
heifers purchased from C.A. Starmard of Emporia, Kas. The herd was
maintained by the founder until 1932, when it was dispersed.
F.G. Oxsheer of Fort Worth, in 1899, laid the foundation of a herd that was prominent for many years with the purchase of a few cows from Gudgell & Simpson.
Noted Bulls Go To Texas.
In the late 90's, C.C. Slaughter of Dallas purchased Ancient Briton, an imported bull that was grand champion at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, for $2,500. At the National Hereford Show at Kansas City in 1899, the first American Royal, Mr. Slaughter purchased from T.F. B. Sotham of Chillicothe, Mo., the noted bull Sir Bredwell by Corrector, for $5,000. Slaughter was an expensive operator in commercial cattle, but his herd of registered Herefords, which was maintained at Roswell, N.M., was small.
One of the early herds in South Texas was that of J.W, Cook & Son at Beeville, founded in the late 90's. For many years it was the largest herd in that part of the state. Many noted bulls from Northern herds were used, among them Colonel Carter, bred by Dr. J.E. Logan of Kansas City. There was, along about the turn of the century, an extensive demand for bulls that were immune to tick fever for use in the quarantined area of Texas, which at the time included all of the southern and most of the eastern and southeastern parts of the state. The Cook herd sent out much of the breeding stock that contributed materially to the improvement of the commercial herds in South Texas. The herd was sold in 1932 to Amos Gates of Kennedy, Tex.
Mark Hovenkamp of Fort Worth secured a small foundation herd from B. C. Rhome in 1898. Later he introduced Polled Hereford bulls into the herd, being one of the first breeders of the Muleys in the state.
First Herd at Hereford.
The herd owned in recent years by Mrs. L.R. Bradly of Hereford was founded in 1898 when G.R. Jowell and L.R. Bradly purchased 18 females and the bull Climax 5th from C.S. Cross of Emporia, Kas. These are said to have been the first registered Herefords in Deaf Smith County, a county that later became one of the leading centers of Hereford breeding in the state. Jowell's interest in the herd was purchased by Bradly.
In 1915, G.R. Jowell and his brother, Spencer Jowell, made two notable purchases from the Gudgell & Simpson herd that were destined to make much Hereford history in Texas. The first purchase consisted of 78 head, 50 head of which were bulls calved in 1913 and 1914, sons of Bright Stanway, and Beau Dandy, Domino and Beau Picture, the herd bulls used during the later years of the Gudgell & Simpson herd. Thirty of these bulls were purchased by Capt. J.B. Gillett of Marfa at $350 around and were used in his and other commercial herds in the Highland country. In 1923, 15 of these bulls, then well advanced in years, were purchased by John M. Gist of Midland.
The second purchase of Jowell & Jowell from Gudgell & Simpson consisted of Beau Randolph and 50 females, 33 of the latter with calves at foot. The consideration for this lot as $25,000, of which $5,000 was named as the purchase price of the bull. Beau Randolph was grand champion at the Amarillo and Dallas shows, and was sold in 1916 to Mrs. M.H. Pegues & Sons, Odessa, for $7,000. In 1920 the Pegues herd, including Beau Randolph, was sold to H. Guadreault & Son, Brady, Neb.
From this second purchase by Jowell & Jowell a number of noted herds were established in the vicinity of Hereford which came to be recognized as the leading source of Gudgell & Simpson blood in the Southwest.
New Herds Established 1900-1910.
By 1910, the Hereford Association membership in Texas had increased to 329, and the Lone Star State was fifth among the states of the union in membership. Among the new names added to the list in that decade were many that were late to achieve prominence as Hereford breeders. Among these new names were R.T. Alexander, Gem; BoogScott Bros., Coleman; Ben Brigham & Sons, Jonah; Burleson & Johns, Whitney; R.V. Colbert, Stamford; Coleman-Fulton Pasture Co., Gregory; John Doan, Graford; R.E. Edmonson, Claude; Edens & Edens, Corsicana; F.M. Faulkner, Miami; Ed Hayden, Moran; T.M. Hobert, Nocona; John Hutson, Canyon; J.W. Johnson, Childress; E.W. Kothmann, Mason; Ed C. Lasater, Falfurrias; V.B. Latham, Eden; C.H. Lupton, Lubbock; J.H. Mecaskey, Fort Worth; W.B. Mitchell, Marfa; J.E. Pior, Canadian; C.C. Poff, Tulia; Pronger Bros., Stratford; J.B. Salyer, Jonah; C.C. Sanders, Stiles; John Sears, Merkel; Whaley & Jones, Gainesville; G.H. Womble, Hereford, and J. F. Yearwood, Georgetown.
Texas continued to hold fifth place among the states in the number of members of the Hereford Association until 1924, when it stepped up to fourth place, which position it has maintained since. However, because of the size of many Texas Herds, the Lone Star State today ranks first among the states in the number of registered Herefords. According to the Government census of 1930, there were in the United States on April 1, 1930, a total of 448,767 registered Herefords. Of this number, 94,951, or upwards of 21 percent, were in Texas. Next to Texas, the states having the largest number of registered Herefords were Kansas with 43,813 and Nebraska with 43,350.
Herefords Lead Other Beef Breeds.
According to the 1930 census, Texas had, on April 1, 1930, a total of 100,335 head of registered cattle of the three leading beef breeds, of which 94,951 or upwards of 94 percent, were Herefords.
There are no reliable figures on the number of registered cattle in the country prior to those of the 1920 census, but comparing the figures of the 1920 census with those of the 1930 census, the total number of registered Herefords in the United States increased during the decade from 405,582 to 448,767, an increase of 43,185 head or upwards of ten percent. During the same period, registered Herefords in Texas increased in numbers from 70,021 to 94,921, an increase of 24,900 or 35 percent.
Herefords by the thousands have been sent from Texas across the Rio Grande into Old Mexico. Many large commercial herds in Mexico draw annually upon Texas breeders for bulls for replacement in these herds. But Texas has furnished breeding stock not only to Mexico, but it has furnished it to several other countries. The largest two exportations of American Herefords to countries outside the North American Continent were made from Texas. The largest and most-notable of these was made in 1914 by Murdo Mackenzie of the Matador Land & Cattle Co., Denver, who was at that time general manager of the Brazil Land, Cattle & Packing Co. of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Mr. Mackenzie took 500 registered Hereford bull calves, selected from Texas herds that were below the quarantine line for the reason that cattle in Brazil are infested with a fever tick similar to that formerly prevalent in a large part of Texas.
The second large exportation was made in 1920, when the government of the Philippines purchased 100 head, including both bulls and females, for distribution among the Christian tribes of the islands.
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