North Texas Star

August 2013
C.C. Slaughter - CATTLE KING OF TEXAS part 2
Chasing Our Tales
Genealogísta Yolanda González Zúñiga de Gómez
Outdoors Along the Brazos
DOVE HUNTING
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 2
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North Texas Star
3
OUTDOORS ALONG THE BRAZOS
By Don Price
6
CHASING OUR TALES
By Sue Seibert
16
By Jim Dillard
C.C. SLAUGHTER:
CATTLE KING OF TEXAS: PART 2
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 3
C.C. SLAUGHTER:
CATTLE KING OF TEXAS: PART 2
Dove Hunting
Outdoors Along the Brazos
By Don Price
I
t'll be here before you know it. Let's just say you're in a large
grain field with a slight dip running through its middle, a good
flyway for doves.
It's shimmering with August heat, and you're sitting under this mes-
quite on the edge of it a week before season starts. You can hardly
wait, the doves are wheeling and circling, their craws so full of grain
they can hardly fly.
A week later you'll see the heat waves undulating in the 100 –
degree weather, acres of ripe maize, 12 o'clock noon, the same
field; you've got to pinch yourself, 'cause you can hardly believe it's
here. If you're a good shot you'll have your limit in less than an hour.
It's something that almost overpowers you, even though you don't
get as much kick out of killing doves as you did 50 years ago; but
you can't think at the hardware store, boxed in by four walls, and
you're short on patience, can't concentrate. You just want to be here
in this field, under this mesquite.
And so you sit patiently under your tree, but it's to hot for birds to
fly, you think. You wait. You squirm. Even five minutes seems an hour.
You even talk to yourself to pass time; you'll flip bits of small dried
clods into the air with your thumbnail to pass the time.
But far away in another grain field on the horizon something catch-
es your eye; it's not unlike a sort of melancholy cloud or something
resembling an unusual cloud just hanging in a corner of the horizon,
perhaps in the corner of your eye.
Everything's quiet; you'd think time has stopped so you'll glance at
the sweeping second hand of your cheap watch to see if it's moving.
A minute's an hour when doves aren't flying.
Suddenly there's a soft noise. It sounds as if someone's coughing,
and at least you hope you've figured it out that what you see in the
cloud is a moving dot in that far away grain field that has let loose
with a 12-gauge automatic, sounding off with that familiar staccato-
like cough.
You squint to see what looks like a long parabola of a falling
object, the puff of something in the sky, hitting the furrow stone dead
apparently, and the moving dot starts toward the object.
You'll make it out to be a person, probably an older person
because it all seems in slow motion, and this person starts his walk
into the grain to stoop to pick up something he stuffs into his game
bag, perhaps a blood-stained jacket, the pocket of which has nestled
hundreds of birds in the old hunter's lifetime.
In a way it's a shock treatment as you sit here with your 20-gauge
pump across your knees, bringing you back to the time you were
doing the same thing, let's see, 10 years ago, then 20 years ago,
even 30, 40, 50 years ago, when you were out hunting the first day,
maybe not the same field, not the same spot, but nevertheless a like-
ness of some other hunting grounds the first day of September at high
noon.
This obsession clouds your mind, you can't shake it, an obsession
which tends to grow with the rest of the hunt, even after you case the
gun, and shut the door of your pickup truck to head for home.
Some day it'll be autumn, and the leaves will turn and fall to make
humus. You'll hope you were honest to your fellow man as now
you're the old hunter yourself who loved your friends, and you went
with them to the field in September to hunt doves.
Dove Hunting, Part II
You can go out around here and shoot a potful of doves when they
are flying. It's thrilling to approach a maize field to find birds so thick
some of them wheel and circle as they search out their own small
landing spots.
You'll get them up, too, as you stalk through the field and they get
up to go a few yards and light again, their craws so full of grain they
can hardly get off the ground, big and fat with giant breasts.
A challenge they are to hit as your old Remington 20-gauge pump
coughs number 8 dove loads, then the long parabola and the soft
audible thud, and you wonder why you do it sometimes, as you've
taken a life.
It's popular down south for a dozen hunters to work one big field
to keep the birds wheeling, circling. As far as the hunters go, there's
always one who can't hit the broadside of a barn. Let's call him
Harry.
Harry is a lousy shot.
This doesn't mean that
Harry is a no-good bum
because he can't hit fly-
ing doves (anybody can
"pot" shoot 'em resting
on tree limbs), but he
is beginning to before
the hunt is over
because his canvas
game bag is always
empty.
Always the laughter,
always the crowd's
laughter coming from
every corner of the big
maize field, louder and
coarser as the afternoon
crawls by. Harry's cloth game
bag is
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 4
so light he has to feel it's texture just to make sure he has it in
case he accidently drops a flying bird.
The hunt has dragged on until it's finally over. You'll pick
feathers until secretly you'll wish you hadn't been such a show-
off because you're always the best shot in the crowd. You've
got feathers hanging from your shoulders, even from your
chin.
Under the inviting shade, with his back against a strong
oak, whistling a little tune while whittling on a piece of wood,
the lousy shot with the empty bag seems a little less embar-
rassed as he doesn't have a multitude of doves to cleans.
Harry knows something we don't know. He's spotted a dot
on the horizon, growing larger, perhaps larger than your
mounds of feathers. It's not a mirage. It's a real flesh-and-
blood game warden.
It's kinda funny, but all of a sudden the overly ambitious
hunters want to trade places with Harry.
You know you'll have to pay a stiff fine, and the game war-
den hits your pocketbook smartly because you can afford it
and you knew better to start with.
It takes time, but all of this takes a lot of thinking on every-
one's part. Maybe this is the way it was designed to be.
It takes time – but it sinks in.
Later, five of you go out and take 50 doves, 10 birds a
piece. You'll come home and clean them and put the 50 birds
on the big grill, wrapping each with bacon over a slow heat,
maybe tossing a few green sticks of mesquite on the coals for
a perfect dish.
You'll eat slower, savoring each morsel. You've the satisfac-
tion of knowing you could've killed three times as many with
no sweat, but you stopped at 10, a good round number, for
you've left birds in the field for someone else.
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 5
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 6
Chasing Our Tales
By Sue Seibert
R
ecently we lost a treasure of Texas history and genealogy, but
her work and her memory live on in the hearts of her family
and those she assisted in discovering their past, both genea-
logically and for the future of Texas history.
Yolanda González was born on Nov. 20, 1929, in Brownsville, the
daughter of Ernesto Dena Salinas Gonzalez and Manuela Resendez
Zuniga, and the granddaughter of Ernesto’s parents, Manuel Dena
Gonzalez and Cipriana Salinas, and Manuela’s parents, Agapeto
Zuniga and Juana Resendez Zuniga. Interestingly, the Gonzálezs had
three children born on Nov. 20, but no multiple births!
Yolanda was the sister of our own Juane Reed who, with her hus-
band, Dick, lives in Mineral Wells. She was married to Alfonso
Gomez; they had known each other as children and were reunited
years later – in the library. She died Dec. 29, 2012.
Known throughout the Brownsville community as the “genealogy
lady,” Yolanda became interested in books and genealogy at an
early age. She was taught to read by her father and by the age of 5
she became fascinated by his genealogy work.
Yolanda traced her own family’s roots back to a French-born ances-
tor of Jewish heritage who settled in 1585 in what was then New
Spain, and in 1954 Yolanda, then a student at Texas Southmost
College (TSC), began to work in the TSC and the City of Brownsville’s
Zachary Taylor Library in the Fort Brown Memorial Center.
But, Yolanda’s interest was not only in family histories but rather in
the heritage – the culture and traditions – of those families which she
so lovingly assisted. She believed people must know their history
before they can know themselves. And she assisted many families
with surnames such as Garza, Cisneros, Hinojosa, Benavides, Solis,
Champion, Zamora, and Canales. She traced the roots of the Salinas
family tree trace back to Pedro de Salinas, who was born in France
in 1585, and his wife, Angela de Solis. The family was in Nuevo
Leon by the early 1660s and were some of the pioneer settlers in
Camargo and Matamoros.
Yolanda was a well-known genealogist in South Texas, and she was
contacted by people all over the United States seeking genealogical
assistance. She was employed as the librarian at the University of
Texas in Brownsville and as a curator of UTB-TSC’s Hunter Room for
47 years before her retirement. She learned genealogy from her
father, an engineer who studied genealogy as a hobby. While at
UTB-TCS , the library catalogued what became one of the most com-
plete collections of history of both the United States and Mexico. Her
speciality in genealogy searches was for the descendants of land
grantees.
Yolanda was known both as “the genealogy lady” and “the ghost
lady.” She often did talks about the ghosts of Fort Brown, and she
liked to go to cemeteries to look for dates on headstones. There she
spent many hours combing through records in search of crucial links
between yesterday and today.
Continued on page 8
Genealogísta Yolanda González Zúñiga de Gómez
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 7
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Continued from page 6
She was a well-known and sought after
expert in the field of Hispanic genealogy who
believed that
"knowing
your history
allows you to
value who
you are." She
did genealogy
presentations
at Hispanic
conferences in
Houston, San
Antonio,
Laredo, and
was invited as
a guest speak-
er for confer-
ences held in
various cities
in Mexico,
including
Matamoros and Monterrey. She had an infec-
tious enthusiasm for genealogy and history
and enjoyed helping people with their gene-
alogy research.
Yolanda was active in many genealogical
and historical organizations on both sides of
the border including the Brownsville Historical
Association and the Cameron County
Historical Commission in Brownsville. She cre-
ated many beautiful and detailed hand-drawn
family trees. She was a member of the Rio
Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society
and the Texas Hispanic Genealogical and
Historical Society.
She was also an original Founding
Committee Person for the Palo Alto National
Park and Battlefield near Brownsville. The
park preserves the ground of the May
8,1846, Battle of Palo Alto, the first major
conflict in a border dispute that precipitated
the Mexican-American War.
Yolanda was honored by the State of Texas
House of Representatives for contributions to
preserving and publicizing Texas history. She
was honored by the Texas Historical
Commission for distinguished service. She
received a certificate of appreciation from the
Salinas and Cisneros families. She received
the “Diamonds Among Us” award from the
University of Texas Brownsville and Texas
Southmost College where they stated, “She
spent nearly a half century as an employee
of the university of Texas at Brownsville and
Texas Southmost College, helping develop
special collections at the Arulfo L. Oliveira
Memorial Library. Respected internally for her
expertise in Hispanic genealogy, Mrs.
Gonzalez helped scores of students and com-
munity members research their family history.
Still active in her retirement with the
Brownsville Historical Association, she contin-
ues to be sought for her legendary skills.”
The following was
written by Juan
Montoya on the online
blog El Rrun Rrun
(http://rrunrrun.
blogspot.com/), on
Saturday, January 26, 2013, at the passing
of Yolanda Gonzalez.
“If you had the good luck to have platicado
with the late Yolanda González, who was the
acknowledged top genealogist in the Arnulfo
Oliveira Library's John Hunter Room, the
mere mention of the local
names would literally open
files and drawers and nota-
tions in her mind. There
was no name or ancestors
of local residents that she
didn't know. Whether the
family came up through
Matamoros, Reynosa, or
even Monterrey, she had
a handle on it.
“I got to know Yolanda
by accident. I knew her
niece Grace Salinas and
her nephew Joe (Cookie)
Vasquez growing up in
the barrios of
Brownsville. One time
when Joe and I were
enrolled at the old TSC,
we walked into the
Hunter Room, and he
introduced me to some-
one who could answer
some of my questions.
It was his aunt,
Yolanda.
“At the time I had a question about Ignacio
Zaragoza (the hero of Cinco de Mayo in
Puebla) when he lived in Matamoros follow-
ing the Texas Rebellion in 1836. At the time,
Zaragoza's father was an officer in the
Mexican garrison at Goliad, where his house
still remains and is now part of a state park. I
asked her if Zaragoza had lived in
Matamoros and why his family would then
go to Monterrey.
"’Almost every early Mexican family came
from Monterrey, then worked their way to the
Rio Grande and settled in Reynosa, Rio
Grande, Old Guerrero, Camargo or
Matamoros,’ she said. ‘It was logical that
when Texas took over Goliad, being in the
military, the Zaragozas would make their
way back to Matamoros and then on to
Monterrey.’
“I echo Natalia Ramirez Garcia's observa-
tion that ‘There is no doubt the community of
Brownsville who have a great interest in
genealogy, have lost a great treasure.’
“Not too many people knew this, but
Yolanda was also tied into the living tree of
this community. She could trace her lineage
back to the man (Miguel Salinas) who owned
the Ft. Brown property that Charles Stillman
eventually tied up in court and
drove the family to
spend their money
trying to reclaim
their birthright. I
always wondered
what she felt to
know that the very
property where she
was working could
have been hers if
not for the chicanery
of Stillman and his
fellow robber barons
and cutthroats who
connived to dispos-
sess them and others
of the land.
“She even knew the
plot where Salinas
was buried at the old
Santa Rosalia
Cemetery behind the
levee (now the Border
Wall) and between the
river and the Impala
neighborhood off
Southmost. The problem was, she said, that
when the space ran out at the old cemeteries,
the bodies of other family members were
often stacked atop the existing graves.
“When the late Johnny Balli was struggling
Continued on page 10
Yolanda
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 9
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Continued from page 8
to get recognition in the courts and in the
local press that his family had been robbed of
the land consisting of most of South Padre
Island, he and other Balli heirs turned to
Yolanda to compile the complex and gnarled
family genealogy that would buttress their
claim.
“Just as she helped Ramirez-Garcia trace
the roots of her ancestors, many local fami-
lies also turned to her for help in finding
theirs. She worked in the days before Internet
data bases, when the research was done
through baptism records, Mormon cata-
logues, and other church and local govern-
ment records.
“Natalia was right, and we echo her senti-
ments. ‘May the work she loved be followed
up by others who loved Yolanda Z.
González, ‘the Genealogy Lady,’ preserving
histories of the original Spanish settlers and
their descendants. Her dedication was fabu-
lous to the community.’”
“Yolanda was a true daughter of the border
country,” said Dr. Tony Knopp, Professor
Emeritus in the Department of History. “She
immersed herself in the history of the commu-
nities on both sides of the border and was
dedicated to preserving the family histories of
the original Spanish settlers and their descen-
dants.
“Yolanda was always eager to assist me
and all researchers in their quests for infor-
mation on local history,” Knopp continued.
“At one point she was serving as President of
the Matamoros Historical Organization while
also serving as Vice President of Brownsville
Historical Association. Also, she was well-
acquainted with the Fort Brown ghost stories,
and claimed to have encountered some mys-
terious circumstances herself.”
Knopp said Yolanda was a valuable

resource to him and many others in the com-
munity.
Through her work she had contact with
Former First Lady Barbara Bush, the late
author James A. Michener and numerous pro-
fessors from other universities who requested
her services researching the first 14 families
that were established in 1776 in Matamoros.
Although Yolanda retired in May 2001, she
continued to tutor individuals and groups on
genealogy.
You can see a video of Mrs. Gonzalez
Gomez at http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=dsCE01Dvxtg. It is in Spanish.
I would like to salute Yolanda González
Zúñiga de Gómez for all of the work she did
to help people discover their past and leave
it and the present stories for future genera-
tions. Thank you, Yolanda!
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 11
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I
f you are a civilian and are fretting over shortages of tires and gaso-
line and mounting income tax and petty problems, read this and feel
ashamed that you would complain about anything unless you could
match the courage of these boys:
REPORT FROM IWO
BY VICTOR HEYDEN, BM1C
U.S. COAST GUARD RESERVE
The following poem was written shortly after D-Day at Iwo Jima while the
author was on duty aboard a Coast Guard-manned LST. Heyden has been in
the Coast Guard since July 15, 1942.
There is no way to speak of those great
Who lay before the ridge in cross fire
Of mortar and of mountain gun.
The terraced slopes in every yard,
All previously marked the range
All mined, felt flame.
No chosen vocables enumerate the courage
Of those dead; there can be no anguish match
The weeping and the cursing of the maimed.
No requiem is adequate for even one marine.
“Casualties moderate,” so ran the first communique.
When they came in the long black beach received them,
Not all at once, in waves,
That broke and rolled upon the pounded sand.
They took it and moved up.
More terrible than Tarawa the metal rain;
More bitter than the salted Carthaginian plain
The redder stain soaking still the red hill.
On the fifth day the flag went up
on Hot Rocks’ top.
The heart and flesh of each Marine
may deliquesce.
That other part which does illume
the heart,
Glorious with agony and pride,
Shall fight the wailing unchaste
wind
And forgotten soar and ride.
Two Families Present Same Problem here
Lots of people have the same names, but there are two families in Mineral
Wells that present a name complex, along with other singularities.
Mrs. Ernest Harris and Mrs. H.O. Kirby, are both named Margaret. They
have one daughter each and their name, Suzanne. The children are the same
age, three years, and both born in July. Both families belong to the same
church, the Central Christian.
Now that would not be so perplexing but when they met, they both agreed
that they had sisters named Jimmie, and that their husbands both were short
in stature, and both worked at the same vocation, Mr. Kirby, chief clerk at
the Texas Power & Light Co., and Mr. Harris, chief clerk at the Brazos River
Gas Co.
And furthermore, Mr. Harris has a sister named Margaret and a brother
named Jimmie. So he has both a wife and a sister named Margaret, and a
sister-in-law and a brother named Jimmie.
The Kirbys and the Harrises are good friends and there is never any
trouble except when all the family gets together and someone calls Margaret,
Suzanne or Jimmie.
Speaking of names, the paper states that a woman, whose husband fought
on Iwo Jima has had twins and named them Iwo and Jima.
This series of pieces from the past is meant to remind us of this area’s
unique history. The material comes from old issues maintained at the Index
offce and is presented pretty much as it appeared in print. These papers
are quite yellowed and brittle, deteriorating from age. By publishing these
pieces perhaps we can keep them in play in the digital world for years to
come. For clarity, some punctuation issues have been addressed. Hopefully
you will enjoy these tiny windows to the past. Feedback is appreciated and
will be shared. E-mail publisher@mineralwellsindex.com or send your letter
to Mineral Wells Index, P.O. Box 370, Mineral Wells, Texas 76068, attention
publisher. You may also drop it by our offce at 300 S.E. 1st. St. in Mineral
Wells. Thanks for reading!
UP OAK , DOWN HUBBARD
By the Stroller
Sunday, April 8, 1945
STORIES & SNIPPETS
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 15
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A
Place
in Time
AUGUST 29, 1860
Palo Pinto County trail driver Oliver Loving and John Dawson start
a 1,500-head herd for Denver, Colo., to feed gold miners.
AUGUST 27,1856
Palo Pinto County is established from land formerly part of Bosque
and Navarro counties.
AUGUST 18, 1857
Palo Pinto County Commissioners order a notice for bids to build
the county's rst courthouse in Golconda.
AUGUST 4, 1904
W.C. Poston and George C. Poston established Poston Dry Goods
in downtown Mineral Wells.
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 16
C.C. Slaughter - Cattle King of Texas
By Jim Dillard
(This is Part 2 in a series of articles on the
life of Christopher Columbus Slaughter, oldest
son of George Web Slaughter, who settled in
Palo Pinto County with his father in 1856
and began his long career to become one of
the most successful and wealthiest cattlemen
Texas has ever known.)
T
he entrepreneurial lessons C.C.
Slaughter learned during his upbring-
ing in East Texas and early days in
Palo Pinto County in raising, moving and
marketing cattle made him yearn for greater
achievements. But with the frontier forts aban-
doned by federal troops at the onset of the
Civil War, Indian raids and depredations of
cattle and settlers continued. At least 78
white settlers were killed during 1866 in 14
North Texas counties. Many settlers retreated
east during this period and would not return
until federal troops returned after the war.
At the close of the Civil War cattle had
become practically worthless as vast herds of
wild and abandoned cattle flourished on the
open rangelands of Texas. During severe
winters cattle drifted from the Red River as
far south as the Rio Grande. Having recov-
ered sufficiently from his wounds, C.C. and
the other Slaughter men began rounding up
and branding any unmarked cattle they
could locate to add to their growing herds.
This “mavericking” of unmarked cattle was
not considered stealing at the time and
became widespread. Anyone with a few
good horses or sometimes dogs and several
hired hands could quickly gather a herd.
In 1867 federal troops returned to man
Fort Belknap and established Fort Richardson
in Jack County and Fort Griffin in
Shackelford County. Even with the added
protection from Indian raids, C.C. and other
cattlemen no longer could drive cattle to mar-
kets in Missouri and Kansas. Lawlessness pre-
vailed throughout that region making trail
driving of cattle impossible. In addition, the
livestock disease known as Texas fever (a.k.a
Spanish fever) which had been spread by
ticks on longhorn cattle herds being driven
north had infected cattle there, making Texas
cattlemen and their cattle unwelcomed.
C.C. convinced his father to trail their herds
east to old familiar markets in Shreveport,
LA. From there they could be shipped by
steamboats to New Orleans.
In the past, veteran Palo Pinto County cat-
tleman Oliver Loving had successfully trailed
his and other rancher’s combined herds to
Shreveport. However, since Loving had been
killed by Indians in New Mexico near Fort
Sumner on Sept. 25, 1867, the Slaughters
decided they would drive their own herd
there in a partnership under the name
Slaughter and Son. Father George and C.C.
gathered 900 head of cattle during that
spring, and with four hired hands and C.C.’s
15-year-old brother Bill, they moved the herd
east along a well-worn trail that passed near
Fort Worth and Dallas.
When they reached the Trinity River at
Dallas they found it flooded and a mile wide.
Another herd of 600 cattle owned by
Colonel T. H. Johnson also arrived at their
location bound for a packing plant in
Jefferson, Texas, where he had a delivery
contract. They agreed to combine the two
herds under a new partnership and with
C.C.’s expertise in moving cattle across riv-
ers, the crossing was completed with few
losses. The cattle were delivered on time as
specified in the contract and both parties
made handsome profits from the sale. The
Slaughters’ gross profits were $24,300;
C.C.’s portion amounted to $8,100.
Facing a dangerous return trip of 200
miles to the Slaughter homestead in Palo
Pinto County with their money, they decided
to spend $4,000 of their profits on manufac-
tured goods for resale. They bought wag-
ons, teams of oxen, groceries, men’s cloth-
ing, boots, shoes, other dry goods and
oranges. Bill Slaughter later recalled they
were the first oranges he had ever seen. The
remainder of the money in $20 gold pieces
was stacked, rolled with wrapping paper
and stuffed in saddle bags. Three miles east
of Palo Pinto they hid the gold under a boul-
der for safe keeping and would later use the
money as their own bank for making loans
and purchasing more cattle. C.C. Slaughter
would tell local cattlemen with overstocked
cattle herds he could make arrangement with
“a bank in the east” to purchase their cattle
for gold.
C.C. and his father also established a gen-
eral store with John A. McLaran in Palo Pinto
where they made handsome profits from the
sale of the merchandise they had obtained in
Jefferson. They also were able to barter
goods for cattle through the store and contin-
ued to increase the size of their cattle hold-
ings. Gradually restrictions on the movement
of cattle from Texas to Kansas were lifted and
cattle were allowed to be driven through a
portion of the state. When Joseph G. McCoy
constructed shipping pens on the rail road at
Abilene, KS, in 1867, about 35,000 cattle
were driven north from Texas that year.
Continued on page 18
part 2
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 17
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Continued from page 16
In 1868 the Slaughter’s first drive of cattle
to Abilene, KS, from Palo Pinto County con-
sisted of 800 head. Along with trail boss
C.C., brothers Bill and Peter made the trip
north through Jacksboro, Buffalo Springs
(Clay County) turning east at the old
California Emigrant Trail 21 miles to Victoria
Peak in Montague County. From there they
traveled north to Red River Station 12 miles
north of present Nocona where they crossed
the river and followed the Chisholm Trail
across Indian Territory. They traveled on
through Kansas and completed the drive to
Abilene without incident where C.C. sold the
cattle to an Illinois buyer for 42 dollars a
head. Other cattle sold that same year to J.
C. Loving, son of Oliver Loving, netted the
Slaughters $40,000.
During 1869, C.C. and his father
George drove two more herds to Abilene,
KS, from Palo Pinto County from which
they grossed $90,000. Although their
Texas herd was then nearly depleted, they
were able to acquire enough cattle during
1870 through barter at their mercantile
store to trail another herd of 3,000 cattle
north. That year they grossed $105,000.
To better optimize their cattle operation,
father George and his wife and young chil-
dren moved to Emporia, KS, in the spring
of 1870. From there he could better market
Slaughter cattle that were being moved
north each year from their herds in Young,
Jack and Palo Pinto counties. By the end of
1870 C.C. became head of the family
operation with 8,000 cattle of his own and
an additional 4,000 head in partnership
with his father.
Indian raids continued to hamper the
Slaughter cattle operation between 1869
and 1871 during cattle drives and round-
ups. C.C.’s brother John was wounded at
the Palo Pinto County ranch during 1870
when he surprised two Indians attempting
to steal his horses. After recuperating for
six weeks, he fully recovered. The follow-
ing year C.C., his father George and 12
men were attacked in the same vicinity
while rounding up cattle. The bloody attack
on the Warren Wagon Train in Young
County on May 18, 1871, by a raiding
party of Kiowa Indians spelled doom for
future Indian depredation in North Texas.
Federal troops initiated operations that
would eventually force Comanche and
Kiowa Indians onto reservations in Indian
Territory.
In June 1871, C.C. and his father sold
their cattle at Dillingham Prairie in Jack
and Young counties to J. C. Loving and
Charles Rivers for six dollars per head.
C.C. took his pay in 1,065 head of feeder
cattle and had his brother Bill drive them to
an undisclosed leased property in Indian
Territory. The cattle were wintered there
until spring and sold for a good profit.
Since the winter feeding program proved
so profitable, the Slaughters sold the
remainder of their cow herd in Palo Pinto
and adjoining counties during 1872 for
$16,000 to devote more attention to buy-
ing and selling cattle. The cattle were sold
to M. P. Johnson in Stephens County with
C.C.’s share being $14,000. When
Johnson defaulted on the note, C.C., in
partnership with his brothers John and Bill,
returned to Palo Pinto County in 1873,
reobtained the Dillingham Prairie Ranch
and stocked it with improved cattle.
For the next three years C.C. and his
younger brothers continued to operate the
Texas ranches and supervise cattle drives.
His father remained in Kansas to market
herds driven to the railheads located there.
During 1873 and 1874, 2,000 head per
year were driven north, but in 1875 only
1,000 head. As the result of the economic
Panic of 1873 and the extension of the
railroad to Dallas, cattle prices dropped
dramatically from four cents per pound in
early 1873 to one cent per pound by the
end of the year. In addition, the demand in
the marketplace for rangy longhorn cattle
was being replaced by corn-fed, well-bred
cattle produced by northern cattlemen that
brought almost three times as much money.
Realizing the need to attract other inves-
tors in his cattle ranching enterprise, C.C.
Slaughter formed a partnership during
1873 with J. C.C.uts, a Weatherford bank-
er, and William E. Hughes, a young
Weatherford attorney. With the arrival of
the Houston and Texas Central railroad and
the Texas and Pacific Railroad in Dallas, the
fledgling city had become the commercial
center for North Texas for merchants, busi-
nessmen, mechanics, speculators and trad-
ers. On May 3, 1873, in league with
Continued on page 20
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 19
103 S. Oak Ave Suite 110, Mineral Wells • 940-325-2155
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 20
Continued from page 18
established insurance man T. C. Jordan,
C.C. Slaughter, Hughes, and Couts
obtained a charter for the creation of a
state bank in Dallas to be capitalized at
$250,000. Hughes, Couts and Slaughter
secretly moved $42,000 in gold and sil-
ver in a buckboard across 60
miles of frontier roads to the new
banking facility. Slaughter, Hughes
and Couts contributed $12,500
each to the newly formed City
Bank of Dallas. Jordan became the
first president while Slaughter,
Hughes and Couts served on the
board of directors.
C.C. Slaughter had already
begun selective breeding of his
longhorn cattle herds in Texas in
1871, but in 1874 he purchased
a number of Durham bulls from
Kentucky to cross with his range
cattle and bought 20 more in
1875. When the second herd of
bulls was herded through the
streets of Fort Worth en route to
Dillingham Prairie, the Fort Worth
Democrat recorded that the short-
horn would “soon be as familiar
on the Texas prairies as the
Longhorn is now.” By the following
year C.C. Slaughter had imported
over 100 shorthorn bulls.
C.C. convinced his father to buy
into the Dallas banking venture
during 1874 and he moved from
Kansas to Dallas to monitor his
investment. C.C. Slaughter moved
his family from Palo Pinto to “a
mansion in the woods,” a two-sto-
ry frame house located on 20
acres on the northeast side of
Dallas that he had purchased from
his bankrupt partner William E.
Hughes for $15,000. The new
home became self-sufficient for C.C. and
his family with a large garden, cows, fruit
trees, and a 12 acre cotton patch. His
wife Cynthia became active in community
activities and kept busy raising the five
children. However, during the spring of
1876 she became ill with what was
called “complication of disease” and on
May 17 died at the young age of 32.
Grief stricken, C.C. was left alone to
raise five children ranging in age from 2
to 14.
The family operation was finally dis-
solved in 1875. His father moved from
Kansas to Dallas for a short time before
returning to Palo Pinto County where he
built a fine home. Pete Slaughter contin-
ued to buy and sell cattle in partnership
with their father until 1878. He moved to
West Texas and joined his brothers John
and Bill who had established a ranch in
Crosby County, 50 miles east of present-
day Lubbock. In 1882, Pete moved his
cattle to the Black River Valley in Arizona
where he ranched until his death in
1911. Father George Webb Slaughter
retired from ranching in 1884 and died
11 years later. He was buried in the cem-
etery in Palo Pinto, Texas.
While on the last trail drive to Kansas
during the summer of 1876, C.C. attend-
ed a church social in Emporia and was
attracted to a lovely young lady by
the name of Carrie Averill. She
was the 24 year old daughter of
A. M. Averill, a Baptist preacher
and friend of Slaughter’s father.
Before he returned to Texas he
obtained a picture of her from one
of Carrie’s younger sisters. In
August, C.C. wrote Carrie a letter
of introduction and a writing corre-
spondence ensued. The following
month he visited Carrie in Kansas
and before the month ended
requested her father’s permission
to ask her to marry him, to which
he consented. After a short court-
ship, they were married at the
Averill home in Emporia on Jan.
17, 1877, and boarded a train to
Dallas for Carrie’s new home in
Texas.
With the final subjugation of
Native Americans on the vast prai-
ries and plains of West Texas dur-
ing 1875, a few venturesome cat-
tlemen turned their attention to that
region and its millions of acres of
lush grasslands. C.C. Slaughter
had positioned himself through his
early ranching and financial suc-
cesses to take the risk of expand-
ing his ranching operations in a
region few settlers had ventured. It
would be a new beginning and
one that would foster the creation
of a cattle empire like Texas had
never seen. (to be continued)
References: “C.C. Slaughter: Rancher,
Banker, Baptist,” by David J. Murrah;
“Painted Pole: The Beldings and Their
Ranches in Palo Pinto County – Pioneer
Days to Computer Age,” by Barbara
Belding Gibson; Handbook of Texas
Online and other Internet sources)
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 21
August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 22
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August 2013 • NORTH TEXAS STAR STORYTELLER & RAMBLER • Page 24