Pampa Daily News from Pampa, Texas on May 31, 1936 · Page 10
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Pampa Daily News from Pampa, Texas · Page 10

Pampa, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 31, 1936
Page 10
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f AGE POtm TttE PAMPA DAILY NEWS, £aihpa, f e*s§ j .MA^T PLAINS ONCE CALLED STOREHOUSE OF SOUTHWESTERN WORLD IN mm GOODNIGHT DROVE THEM FROM CANYONS IN 1876 TO MAKE WAY FOR FIRST PANHANDLE RANCH BUFFALOES AND BUFFALO SKINNER ^Twas In the town of .tackslioro in the spring- of seventy-three, A man by the name of Crcfro ramc stepping; up lo me. Saying, 'How do you do, young fellow, and now would you like lo go And spend one summer pleasantly on the range of the buffalo?" It's now we've crossed the Pease River; our trouble have begun. The first damned tail I Avcnt to rip—Oh how I split my thumb! While skinning the damned old stinkers, our lives wasn't a show, for the Indians watched to pick us off while skinning the buffalo. (The season being over, old Crego lin did say tfhe crowd had been extravagant, was in debt to him that (lay. We coaxed him and we begged him, but still it was no go— We left old Crcgo's bones to bleach on the range of the buffalo.. —Frontier song of "The Buffalo Skinners" BY J. FRANK DOBIE the Spaniards discovered Texas, buffaloes ranged clear to the const and eastward perhaps to the Sabinc. I remember reading in some old chronicle, which I am now unable to locate, that one year Austin's colonists drove the buffaloes out of the country in order that their unfcnccd corn patches might not be molested. In the forties Bigfoot Wallace chased the last buffalo of the vicinity through Austin right clown Congress Avenue. But the great rango of the buffaloes was the Plains, where 20,000 years ago Indians, whose dwelling places arc yet Lo be traced along the Canadian River in Texas, hunted them, ate their flesh and made use of their hides; where for centuries the Comanchcs and other tribes followed them; where four hundred years qoronndo marked his route with hundreds ol buffalo bones and buffalo chips; and where in the 1870's American hide - hunters slaughtered virtually the last rem- rjant of tens of millions of head that had a short time before roamed the prairies stretching from the lower reaches of the Pecos River into Canada. It was a sjaughter such as the world had never seen before and can never see again. - The Plains were the storehouse, the meat depot, of the Western •world. The buffalo afforded meat, clothing, bedding, shelter (in hide covered tepees), fuel, war - shilcls, —life itself—to all the great tribes of the West. The extinction of the buffaloes did more to conquer these tribes than all the armies combined. For decades before the great slaughter, settlers of the Plains used to band together and go out In the fall or winter to haul back as. supply of meat, usually taking only hams, tongues and hump. Their custom was to pickle the meat in brine. 'The Mexicans south and west of the Plains came to get meat also, jerking it and sometimes hauling in their great carts the dried tongues all the-way to Mexico City. •One of the most interesting frontiersmen left alive in America t6day is Frank Collison, of El Paso. He has used his eyes to see and his ears to hear, and was everywhere, it seems, where the owl of the frontier hooted. Several years ago he described to me how trains of wagons, sometimes 300 in one caravan, came up to Santa Pe from Chihuahua and then moved out to the Plains to load up with buffalo meat. He saw these Mexican ciboleros, or buffalo hunters, •working young buffaloes they had roped. They had, lie said, from Jour to eight yokes of oxen to each wagon; they would put the young buffaloes in the swing, trained oxen both in front and behind them, and then the yoked buffaloes would have to pull, the magazine "Ranch Romances" Frank Collison had frequently, \m- der the title of "Nimrod's Children," an extraordinary account of Mexican buffalo-hunting. He and other skinners, he says, had in the fall of 1875 killed over a thousand buffalo bulls on Blanco Canyon, in what is now Crosby county, Texas. A part of the camp equipment was left behind while the hides were freighted to Fort, Griffin. Later ollison with two teamsters returned for it. When they got back into Blanco Canyon, to quote his narrative, "1 saw several wagons camped, and 1 went over to sec who was there That was the first Mexican buffalo camp I had seen, although I hac heard of them. This big train had crossed over from Fort Sumner to kill and jerk meat for the Mexican market. There were at least fifty wagons in this outfit, all o\ tcains, and at least two hundrec men, half as many women anc the usual amount of children and dogs; also a herd of good horses "These hunters were from Chihuahua, eight or nine hundred miles from Blanco Canyon. Thej had been over three months 01 the trip, coming- by way of Gauda lupe, crossing the Rio Grancli there and going by the Big Sal Lake, just south of Gaudalupe peak to where Carlsbad, New Mexico is now locatsd. and up the Peco to Fort Sumner. "They went by the Big Sal Lake for salt to cure the tongue and for camp use. They had m guns for killing; all the buffal were killed from horseback, most ly with a lance. These lances wer about six to eight feet long, th blade made out of an old bayone or an old rasp. At the end wher it was held there was a hole borec and a stout rawhide string wa run through it. This was used i case thn lance clung to the buffalo If it did, the hunter looped Ui rawhide over the saddle horn an jerked the lance out They als had hundreds of feet of mague rope on which to hang the mea to dry. After the hunters had go in a good day of killing and need cd more ropes, they cut the hide Pampa Federal Building Has Fine Appointments One of (he costliest and best ap- 0 pointed federal buildings in the country for a city of the size of Pampa and even twice this size is located diagonally across from the Pampa First Methodist church, adjacent to the railway station. _ long strips and used them for ope on which to hang the meat. This Blanco Canyon country yas n ideal place for them to kill, vith plains on each side. . . When they sighted a herd, the anccrs got as near as possible ind then onto the animals they vont. A single buffalo was hard to catch, but in herds or bunches ,hcy crowded together and could lot run. The faster they ran the vorso they crowded. The hunters hen got in their work; ran up alongside and struck for the ribs, trying to stab them in the lungs. ;he Mexicans' would sometimes <ill in a run of a mile. They claimed they had killed ten and 'ifteen on one run. They killed inything they could, but preferred cows and young stock; bulls were harder to kill and the meat was not so good. When they had jnough for a day's cutting and ierking, they quit. . . "It was quite an art to cut this :neat properly. Some were expert at it. The jerking generally took })acc in September, October and Movember. No salt was used on ;hc meat; it just dried in the sun and clear air. The meat was cut mostly in flat sheets so it could 3c rolled I have seen regular meat jerkers who would cut a whole hind quarter into one big sheet of meat. 'In killing and cutting up the buffalo, they were careful to get all the tallow they could. This they rendered out, and when the meat was sufficiently dried, they poured this hot tallow over it as they rolled it up. . . They salted the tongues just as we do; latci these were smoked and sold foi a good price in Mexico. "These lancers were all ,gooc riders and very expert with a lance. The horses were well trained, just as good cow horses. There were always some killed and crippled, but that was part of the game. The women did all the cooking, also helped with the meat hanging it on the ropes, taking it down, etc. . . "It was skilled work, this buffalo lancing, and took good rider; and well trained, fast horses. A lancer had to use both hands or his lance, the bridle rein loopec through his left ami. A touch o the bridle vein on the horse's- nock guided the animal, and also the pressure of the rider's knee held him to or from the buffalo The horse had to be sure footed a fall among these racing hercL meant a sure injury and perhaps rampllng to death. I rode with he Mexicans 'a few times Just to vatch the work; I never tried to ance. To me it was better rid- ng than one see on a round-up, 'olo playing is child's play in lomparison to lancing buffalo. Often when the lance went clear nto the buffalo's lung or struck its heart he turned quickly, possibly right in front of the horse. Then both horse and rider had to je on the alert or a horn might jc in the horse quick as the lance vas in the buffalo. "Running buffalo and shoot- ng them with, cither a six- shotftcr or gun was easy work compared to lancing, which required skillful work with the ance, a good strong pair of arms. T, good eye and a knowledge of the right place to strike. To me killing buffalo with a lance, whether done by Mexican.or Indian, is a fine piece of work, something that ;an never lie seen again! The men are still here who could do it, the lorscs could be trained, but the buf- 'alo are gone!" Crude though they be, the chronicles of wasted time" yet glow with the fire and throb with the excitement of the buffalo chase by Indians and by the explorers, idventurers and mountain men who ;ook lessons from them. On the other hand, pig-sticking in a slaugh- ;er house is almost as sportmanlike as was the usual method employed jy the professional hide .hunters. Time, however, and the insight it _ivcs into buffalo nature have made that method interesting. of a stand is taken from "The Border and the Buffalo," by John R Cook, which was printed in 1907. I deals mostly with the Plains of tin Texas Panhandle. I now had, what I had so oftei card about but had never actually :cn before, 'a stand.' Charlie Har hilc I was with him, had givw ic some good pointers how lo man go 'a stand,' if I ever got one. H old me not to shoot fast cnoug! o heat the gun-barrel to an over xpansion; to always try lo hit th utsicle ones; to shoot at any tha arted to walk off, unless I though ley were mortally wounded. He sal lat with an over-expanded gun ajTcl the bullet would go wobblin ncl would be liable to break a leg nd that would start a bolt. "After I had killed twenty-fiv int I knew of, the smoke from th un commenced to hang low, an /as slow in disappearing. So hifted my position and, in doin o, got still closer. And I know tha lany of the herd saw me move, ad shot perhaps half a dozen time 'hen, as-I was reloading, I heard ccn whistle behind me. Lookir round I saw Charle'Cook. He wu n his all fours, creeping up on in He asked if the gun was shoot ig all right I told him 'Yes; but th arrel is pretty warm.' He told m It is estimated that about 187C —the year that Charles Goodnight drove io.OOO head of buffaloes out of the Palo Duro Canyon, wherein lie established the first ranch iif the Texas Panhandle—there, wore 5000 buffalo hunters on the Texas Plains, many of them from 'Kansas and Colorado, where the buffaloes had been killed out. They operated in bands, it being the business of one man to shoot the animals and of two or more men associated witli him to skin them. The method oi the hunter was to get the wind on a bunch of buffalo and then standing in one spot, maneuver lo kill the entire bunch or a sufficient number to afford a clay's skinning The operation on the part of the hunter was called getting, taking or making "a stand." Often the hunter aimed to hit the first buffalo in the lungs so that it woulc belch forth blood, thus cxcilint, the buffaloes around it lo bellow and paw over the blood insteac of running away. So long as he kept out of smell, lie was mil likely to frighten his quarry. Oftei he ricocheted his bullets in ordei lo turn back a cow or a bull moving away from the mass. The following excellent description All Roads Lead to PAMPA and the PANHANDLE CENTENNIAL Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday JUNE 2, 3, 4, & 5 ™. Ul Roads Lead To LEE WAGGONER'S EVERY DAY IN THE YEAR! During the Panhandle Celebration, as well as every day in the year, we invite you to use our super service . , . and right a good time to discard those worn tires for a set of Seiberling Tires! SEIBERLING TIRES TEXACO PRODUCTS A COMPLETE SERVICE LEE WAGGONER try his gun a • while and let line cool a little. : We exchanged uns, and I commenced again. ' "Even while I was shooting buf- aloes sotne would lie down ap- arently unconcerned abbXtt ' the 1 estruction going on around them. fired slowly and deliberately. Jharlie poured some water from he canteen down the muzzle of he hot gun; then pulled down the reech-block and let the water run ut. "About this time I shot an old ow that at the crack of the gun olted down the creek. I shot at ler three times in rapid succession. The third shot broke her back just orward of the "coupling. I laid the gun down and said Charlie, finish the job.' "He said, 'No take my gun anc go ahead. This is the greatest sight ; ever beheld.' "I would shoot five or six times wipe the guii, and we would com- ncnt, in a low tone, on-the apparent stupidity of the herd. Some came sack and stood by the dead ones Some would hook them as they lay dead. I kept this work up for as ,nuch as an hour and a quarter when I changed guns again. And a the Hrst shot from my own gun : broke the left hind leg above thi <nee of a big bull that was standing on the outer edge of the herd, abou ninety yards from me. He com menced 'cavorting' around, jam ming up against the others, and the leg flopping as he hopped about. Ho finally broke in through the midst of the band and my stand. They all began to follow him, and I moved up to a dead buffalo, and got in several good shots; when I moved again, on through the dead ones, to the farthermost one, and fired three more shots and quit. As I walked back through where the carcasses lay the thickest, I could not help but think that I had done wrong to make such a slaughter for the hides alone. on the buffalo-grass, with e. fresh- kinned hide rolled up for a pillow, and stretched myself out for a rest. "My nerves had been at a high tension; the heat of the day had been oppressive; then stopping over so much while taking off the hides I got dizzy; all of which contributed ;o my utter fatigue. The other ;hree men worked on until it got ioo dark to see well; then we all went to camp, having skinned, all told, fifty-nine of the eighty-eight carcasses. I had killed bulls principally on account of their hides being more valuable than the others. Sometimes I had to kill cows that were on the outside, and at times they would obstruct a shot at a bull. The next morning early, Charlie Jimmie and the Mexican drove out and finished the skinning, while I reloaded shells, before noon everybody was in camp and the 88 hides pegged out and drying." The main headquarters for the buffalo hunters in northern Texas from 1875 to 1879 was Port Griffin on the Clear Fork of the Brazo. river. Here at one time the ware house of one mercantile firm alone Conrad and Bath, stored 3 ton; of bullet lead and five tons of pow der.. Mountains of stinking hide littered the grounds. Trains of wag ons freighted hides 200 miles eas of Port Worth, then at the west em edge of civilization. Longhorn trail herds from ranges to the soutl Kansas bound, were passing throug! Fort Griffin by the tens of thous ands. Soldiers occupied the fort 01 the hill. Down in the flat, belo) the business part of town, the Tonk awa Indians camped. Near them was the tenderloin district, wher gambling dens, saloons and danc halls were in full operation twenty four hours a day and doing extr business on Sunday. endezvousing at podge City, IKari., ecided £6 shift' their grounds Sou'tB. aloon men and • ntercftatite •'%ei i e ager to accompany them. The restilfc^ /as that around 86 'teen and 30 ragdns moved to "$' pdint about'..ft mile and a half - eastward from the uins of the original 'Dobe Walls and rected a great stockade in which he entire caballadd • could be p"ffl- eeted and i'o which two stores, saloon, and a blacksmith .shtjp were erected. ' "In counting them just as they lay there, their eyes glassy in death, I had killed 88; and several left the ground with more bad than slight wounds. "Jimmie Dunlap and Pedro Laredo had driven up to within less than a quarter of a mile, and had witnessed more than half the slaughter. "I helped all hands at skinning until an hour from sundown; and, being nearly exhausted, lay down But the location about which Tex as buffalo hunting initially cen tercd was 'Dobe Walls on the nort side of the Canadian river. Her in the forties, the great firm o Bent and Company had establishe a trading post. After it was aban doncd Kit Carson had fought on of the hardest battles of his caree at its site. Tradition has it tha Spaniards had occupied the Ian here long before Bent's time, an ancient irrigation ditches clearl traceable today seem to bear ou the tradition. In 1874 various buffalo hunter The site was in territory guaranteed to the Indians by treaty. Everybody expected trouble. It bei gan before dawn, June 27, 1874, .At he .time there were 28 men • afid jne woman at the Walls; they were .Hacked by mounted warriors nutt- bering between 700 and 1,000. TPhe battle has been described mahv times, nowhere so clearly, circumstantially, vividly ,and accurately perhaps as in "The Ufe of .Billy Dixon," written at fits dictation by Olive K. Dixon and published'by the Turner company of Dallas.,It was in this fight that Biily Dixqh with a big 50' calibre buffalo gun killed an Indian on a bluff nearly three-quarters of a mile away—the most noted shot in' Plain Indian warfare. ; s , It is the buffalo and its hunting that concerns us. Weeks before the Battle of 'Dobe Walls, Billy Dixon had taken his two skinners, FrenCHy arid an Englishman named Armitage, and camped on a creek now known as Dixon. To quote from his narrative: "The season* was tie- lightful, The air was fresh and invigorating; the 'grass was green'; flowers were blooming; the sky Was clear, the sunshine' pleasant, and a feeling of joy and happiness every- ( where. Those were splendid nights, out there Under the stars. The mornings came with dazzling splendor. At this season sunrise on'tHo} Plains presented a scene of mag 4 - nificence. I always had the feeling that it came with a thunderous sound. ".• "But the buffaloes were late ip migrating that spring, for the • spring had been late. There was nothing for the hunters to do but wait until the animals, 'were moved by that strange impulse, that twice annually caused them to, change their range and blacken the Plains with their countless, mfcving formal' "Then the expected .happened'. Getting up. one., morning, earlier Sec PLAINS, Page 5 ... ;'.;, WELCOME ALL VISITORS TO Pampa Cente June 2nd,-3rd,-4th and 5th. TSTANDING USED CAR VALUES 1935—Ford Coupe—This car looks and runs like new $445.00 1933—Pontiac 2 door sedan—built in COOC AA trunk—6 wheels—color brown «Pt)J«J«UU 1935— Chevrolet Coupe — A standard Chevy with 18 thousand miles — .black — CA9^ ftft and in first class condition ____ «P t i£«J.UU 1934 — Ford Fordor Sedan — This is a deluxe sedan finished in black and <'-i ftft .UU 1933—Pontiac Sport Coupe reconditioned— 4 new tires 6 wheels — motqr _ $350.00 only 30 thousand miles 1934—Dodge 4 door sedan—Color black.jnileage 36 thousand, first class con- " ' ^ dition and appearance perfect- ftft 1933—Pontiac 2 door sedan—motor reconditioned —jumbo tires— ^i''%ft ftft new paint —— - y|)tJ«/v»UU * • ' .. 1933—Plymouth 2 door sedan — motor reconditioned a good ^rt^'l'flA' 1934—Pontiac 2 door sedan—Built-in trunk—Radio equipped—color green— tAfiC ftft mileage 25 thousand «ptU«).VU 1934—Plymouth Coupe — Deluxe — motor reconditioned—-color black—seats <JM9 C ftft recovered—toes new ^t«i«*»"V 1933—Chevrolet 4 door sedan—6 wheels—motor reconditioned—4 new tires— t^fi't ftft trunk—a high class car «D«JUJ«UU looking car -Plymouth coupe ditioned, looks good ,good tires' 1932 — Plymouth coupe — motor recon- tfJO'OC AA «P6fci«I.UU 1932 — Chevrolet 2 door sedan a good work car _; $245.00 1930 — Chevrolet 2 door sedan— motor d»| ^C reconditioned — good paint __„ «P* I «K 1933—Dodge 4 door sedan—good paint and upholstering $350.00 1932 — Ford Coupe — .4 cylinder — jtimbo tires color black — motor reconditioned 1934—Studebaker 4 door sedan ditioned—good tires— mileage 28 thousand' 1930—Pontiac Sport Coupe— a good work car _ ._ *. motor recon$365.00 $65.00 BE SURE AND VISIT OUR SHOWROOM AND INSPECT THE NEW PONTJAC FOR 1936! Pampa Molor Phone 365

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