as "the Jinglebob King of the Pecos," John Chisum cast a
long shadow in the early history of cattle
ranching. At one time his ranges stretched 150 miles along the
River and his herds numbered into the thousands. Employees numbered
into the hundreds.
John was not a part of the Chisholm Cattle Trail, but was unique
in many other ways. He was a large man who worked right alongside
his employees and was often mistaken for a common cowboy. John never
married nor had children, and often slept on the hard floor beside
Known as "the best of the breed" cowman who could ride with the
best, size up a cattle herd quickly, bargain with the biggest, and
realized the day of the free-range grazer was limited and bought
title to his land as quickly as he could afford.
Rustlers learned to not bother with Chisum cattle, as retribution
was quick and fatal. The long dangling Jinglebob earmark and a long
rail brand on the side provided instant recognition of ownership.
Though famous for his cattle knowledge, his hospitality at the large
"long house adobe" was equally well known. Under the direction of
his niece who supervised two full-time cooks, his table could be
set for 26 guests at a time. But that was a long time ago.
John died in 1884.
as well known but standing alone at the opposite end of the spectrum
was Edward Z.C. Judson, alias Ned Buntline. This "greatest
rascal" was a proven bigamist, bounty hunter and ex-convict. He
had a dishonorable discharge from the Union Army and left numerous
partners to stand the losses of failed business efforts. In one
incident, he was caught with the wrong wife, fought and killed the
real husband, was captured by a mob and a rope noose slipped over
his head. Somehow he escaped.
Why was he well known? He invented and developed the "western dime
novel," eventually publishing thousands of stories about both real
and make-believe western heros. He bragged he could write his average
western novel in 60 hours, creating wealth to support his numerous
wives. His favorite pastime was delivering temperance speeches while
Lessons from the Lone Ranger
Many who survived the rigors of the Great Depression in the 1930s
often tuned to the radio to hear "The Lone Ranger" to take their
minds off the hard times and Dust Bowl. The program was on the air
for 22 years and produced a total of 2,956 live broadcasts. Starting
in 1933, the program was kept a shining wholesome example of proper
ethics and morals.
The first Lone Ranger was John Barrett, another was Brace Beemer.
Various actors played the role of the Ranger, and also the part
I can attest to the popularity of the show as many times when I
was a young boy I slapped my rear with one hand and galloped away
shouting, "Hi-Yo Silver! Away."
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" July 6 , 2010