Early Cattle Ranching on the Texas South Plains



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Fence cutters, land rushes, prairie fires, die-outs, drives along the Marcy and Goodnight trails, scarce water, Indian depredations, cattle thieves and bonus hunters...such were the realities of early cattle ranching on the South Plains of Texas.

This region, once considered unsuitable for man and beast alike, became a cattleman’s paradise in the late 19th century, peaking in about 1895, as ranch owners left other areas of Texas to enjoy vast free ranges and to avoid the encroachment of settlers. But the coming of railroads to the South Plains eventually brought settlers to the region. Changes in the way public domain lands were leased and sold forced a good number of cattlemen to struggle to keep their holdings together. The rising cost of land forced many out of business entirely. Farmers and small stockmen began to encroach on what had been the cattlemen’s empire.

Early Cattle Ranching on the Texas South Plains is a study of the heyday of some of the grandest ranches in the Cap Rock area. Originally published as J. A. Rickard’s Master’s thesis in 1927 at the University of Texas, it offers insight into the beginning of the cattle ranches of Texas legend, their founders, their operations, and their ultimate decline.

Physical Details

  • Early Cattle Ranching on the Texas South Plains by J. A. Rickard
  • Standard Edition Hardcover
  • Satin Finish Jacket
  • 144 pages


  • Allow two weeks for shipping.
  • Shipping for your entire order is 5 dollars, anywhere in the United States.
  • Your book will be packed the old fashioned way, in an actual box. No cheap book mailers.


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