TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
 
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map


Texas | Columns | "It's All Trew"

Brands Have Rich History

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
The oldest recorded cattle brand in Colorado is believed to be the "Bar over SS" registered in the 1884 brand book and belonging to John Sheriff of Hot Sulphur Springs, Colo., first recorded by his great-grandmother when she filed on her homestead. Currently, there are 32,609 registered brands in Colorado according to an article published in the High Plains Journal of Dodge City, Kan.

Retaining a registered brand in Colorado is not cheap, costing $225 for a five-year period. A late fee adds another $100 if you forget and later register during a three year grace period. A Colorado registered brand is considered private property that can be bought and sold.

The number of today's ranches in Colorado, like their brands, is slowly dwindling as many of the most scenic or those adjacent to communities are being developed into smaller properties. Once a property is subdivided it usually no longer needs a brand. As of July 1, about 4,000 registered brands had been canceled for these reasons. Some larger ranches accumulated several brands as they expanded through the years. With the high cost of registration, many extra brands are being sold or dropped from the registry.

Supposedly, an 1885 brand is now being offered for sale at $12,000. Some reasons for the pricing of brands are that the fewer the digits in a brand, the higher the price since fewer digits mean easier branding, less pain to the animal and those type brands are becoming rare. Of the 4,000 brands dropped from the registry, some 148 owners offered their brands for sale ranging in price from $18,000 down to $500.
Doan's Crossing granite marker with cattle brands
The marker in Doan's Crossing, Texas showing brands
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February, 2007

We have an interesting brand story about our ranch in New Mexico. After many years of operations a partner in the ranch was having serious health problems and wanted to divide the land to make settling his estate easier.

For various reasons he wanted to keep the old ranch brand so suddenly, we needed a new brand to register. After two days in Santa Fe searching for a brand not registered, Dad had an inspiration. He asked if the shape of Texas was registered? The brand people were astounded to actually find a one-digit brand that was not registered among the thousands of brands in the brand book. If I remember correctly, it became the only one-digit brand registered in New Mexico in more than 50 years.

We now had a map of Texas brand but because of the closed shape it had to be made of light narrow strap iron, not heated to a cherry red, and applied with brief placements or it would blotch and not peel correctly. Old-time cowboys called a blotched brand a "fly-swatter, a map of Mexico or a whang-doodle."

Thanks to the High Plains Journal for excerpts taken from its article.


Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
January 11, 2011 column


Related Topics:
Texas Ranching
Texas Panhandle | West Texas | Texas Towns


Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Go to Home Page »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved