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By Cordia Duke,Joe B. Frantz

This e-book of recollections of previous XIT Ranch cowmen places on list the standard lifetime of the people who made the ranch run.

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A. Askew, who as a scantling of a lad in Marble Falls had often listened to the blasting of stone for the new state Capitol fifty miles away. Askew went west to the XIT when he was not quite twenty-one. His first few days were filled with odd jobs, and then he was given a man’s assignment—rescuing cattle bogged in the quicksand. It was wearing work, tedious and a bit dangerous. “We soon found,” remembers Askew, “that it was best when a cow had to be pulled out of the sand to rope her around the neck, because we could pull their horns off.

We got our mail not by air but by freight wagon. What would these eastern cowboys do? ’ It took a boy with ‘guts’ to stay in those days. Those that stayed were the best cowboys I ever saw. I loved them all. “In McCullough County before I worked on the XIT we held a herd at the head of the Colorado River in the Long S range. We had a corral to pen the cattle in, but those bulls would get back in the herd in the daytime and we would cut them out every night when we went to pen. Cutting a bull out of a herd was a dangerous job.

The Scotch part of the company wanted to know, as it seems they bought a half interest in the company with a guarantee of 60,000 head of cattle and a dividend of 10 per cent of the sum; up to this time, 1885, it had paid only 3 per cent. “So after this count they issued debentures on common stock to the American holders in half the original amount. So I think the Americans or old cowmen lost about all they had in it. … “I had an escapade [on Spur Ranch] one night … with eight Apache young bucks and two girls or squaws, good looking and the chief supposed to be Geronimo.

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