Matadore Land and Cattle Company - Brands of Cattle - c. 1890's
(Western Ranches, Ltd.) (Matador Land and Cattle Company) BRANDS OF CATTLE OWNED AND RANGED BY WESTERN RANCHES, L'TD. CLAY & FORREST, MANAGERS, "THE ROOKERY," CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. JAMES T. CRAIG, SUPERINTENDENT, BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. Belle Fourche, S.D.: Bee Print, [n.d., ca. 1890s]. pp., illustrated by printed cattle brands.
A seemingly unrecorded list of cattle brands for Western Ranches, Limited, including the Matador Land and Cattle Company, Clay & Forrest, Major Smith, Smith & Robinson, the Estate of Robert Robinson, and John Ployart. The company managers were Clay and Forest and James T. Craig is listed as the Superintendent in Belle Fourche. The well-known cattleman John Clay, Jr. was an official of Western Ranches, Ltd. and Clay and Forrest, and wrote about Major Smith shipping cattle in 1890 from Belle Fourche. Robert Robinson was John Clay's assistant.
The Matador Land and Cattle Company had its beginning in 1878, when a Texas cattleman, Hank Campbell, took a herd of longhorn cattle to Chicago and sold them for a handsome profit. Campbell returned to Texas and used his profits to acquire a range, purchase cattle, and establish a ranch. He bought a small herd, a half-section of land, and range rights from Joe Browning, establishing his headquarters in Ballard Springs. Early in 1879 the enterprise was reorganized as the Matador Cattle Company. Its cattle brand was known as the "Matador V" beginning in 1880, which is shown in the present list. The ranch became very successful and in 1882 was sold to a group of Scottish investors who formed the Matador Land and Cattle Company, Limited, buying Campbell's cattle lands in Texas. Western Ranches, Ltd. was formed by a group of London barristers in 1882 and was generally called "the VVV outfit," whose brand this list also shows. In 1892, the Matador and Western Ranches began pasturing cattle in Belle Fourche.
The present booklet was heavily used and annotated by a working rancher. He adds one or more notations or draws additional brands on each page. On the titlepage, he draws a few other brands, one reading in part, "Comstock...left side." He adds a note under the Matador Land and Cattle Company section reading, "o left sh. o left side o left hip" perhaps indicating additional placement of the Matador brand.
Not in Adams' HERD, nor in any bibliographies we consulted. No copies in OCLC. Perhaps a unique surviving example, with additional contemporary working notations and cattle brand information provided by a working rancher.
Single folded sheet of card stock, each page 4½ x 2¾ inches. Minor dust-soiling and staining, extensive annotations of working cattle brands by a previous owner. Very good.
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