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Pierre in Hughes County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Pierre Was A Cowtown / Reading Brands

 
 
Pierre Was A Cowtown (<i>marker side 1</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
1. Pierre Was A Cowtown (marker side 1)
Inscription.
Pierre Was a Cowtown (marker side 1)
Yes sir, Mister, Pierre was a cowtown. Why they built the sidewalks two feet off the ground to keep the cows from spattering ‘em up. The stockyards ran longside the river for half a mile and three ferries were busy night and day in the shippin’ season fetching cows over from the holding grounds, where cattle from as far away as Montana were funneled into the railhead at Pierre.

Yes sir, Pierre had 14 saloons in which cowpokes could wet a whistle and it was cows that kept Pierre awake with their endless bawlin’ enroute east. Why one year more cows clumb aboard the cars here than ever happened elsewhere anywhere. Yep sonny, put it down, Pierre was a cowtown. West river ranchers wintered here and the brand books of 1901 and prior listed 75 brand owners with over 200 brands. A few of them were:
Ben C. Ash with his C Cross “C+”. Joe Binder and his Tumbling Box L. Steven Bowen and Circle 8. Billy Borst who ran the TJ Connected J and many others. James Cox with his Reverse FL Connected. Mike Feeney ran the VIA. Mel John Holland had the Cross Lazy H. Frank Huss 8 equals 8, “8=8”. Hyde & Rose HR Connected. Ledger LaBrecque and the Nine RZ “9RZ”. George W. Lumley, L Slash Y, “L/Y”. T. M. Madsen, JV.

Raymond
Reading Brands (<i>marker side 2</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
2. Reading Brands (marker side 2)
Herbert, first brand in Hughes County, a twenty-four connected like this. March Brothers M Cross M, “M+M”. Bill Hayes had the JR Bar, “JR-“. Noah Newbanks, WT Bar “WT”. T. L. Riggs, I Bar R, “I-R”. Frank Rood, Bar over 91. John Tibbs, U up and U down. A. Rosander had a Flower Pot.

Yep, she was a dandy. The good grass is still here and maybe more cattle but a heap less jangling spurs and tootin’ whistles.

Reading Brands (marker side 2)
Two old cowpokes reading twenty brands wont agree on all of them but general speaking this is how to read a brand.

A letter like this is a reverse F. But this is a tumbling F. A letter lying on its side is lazy. If its angles are round it’s a running while if it has little wings on it like this its flying. Put legs on it like this and its walking. Or if attached to a quarter circle on the bottom it’s rocking. Sometimes a letter swings from a character. This is a box and this is not a half box, it’s a bench. Short horizontals are bars everywhere but long horizontals are sometimes called rails. Diamonds and triangles never change nor do circles nor crescents nor stars. This “+” is always a cross although once in a while a brand reader will call it a plus. This is a rafter and this “/” a slash and this a quarter circle.
Pierre Was A Cowtown (<i>marker side 1; tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
3. Pierre Was A Cowtown (marker side 1; tall view)
When you connect two letters or symbols you say so. Thus this brand you would read as a reverse FAK connected. There are all sorts of individual characters like the millirons, anvil and arrow. A rafter connected with other letters is usually called an “open A” like this open AB connected.

The calls for a lot of actual workaday brands are to be found on the other side of this marker.
Erected 1956 by Pat Feeney, Pierre and State Highway Commission

 
Erected 1956 by Pat Feeney, Pierre, and State of South Dakota Highway Commission. (Marker Number 143.)
 
Location. 44° 21.91′ N, 100° 21.323′ W. Marker is in Pierre, South Dakota, in Hughes County. Marker is on South Pierre Street south of East Dakota Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located along the sidewalk on the north side of the Bank West building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 420 South Pierre Street, Pierre SD 57501, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walter H. Burke (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alexander McDonald Putello (about 600 feet away); Charles Hyde's Legacy (approx. ¼ mile
Reading Brands (<i>marker side 2; tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
4. Reading Brands (marker side 2; tall view)
away); John Sutherland and the Capital Fights (approx. 0.3 miles away); First and Only Hanging in Hughes County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hughes County Courthouse / Site of First Library in Pierre (approx. 0.4 miles away); Combat Wounded Veterans (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dedicated to You, A Free Citizen in a Free Land (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pierre.
 
More about this marker. The post supporting this marker is mounted inside a large concrete sidewalk flower pot. Both sides of the marker include graphic characters and symbols difficult to reproduce here. Click on the two photos of the marker to see the described brand.
 
Also see . . .
1. Pierre Was A Cowtown. Cowtowns flourished from 1867 until the 1890s when railroads ended the necessity for long cattle drives. By the 1870s, cattle drives resulted in dozens of cowtowns, including Pierre, S.D., by replacing log huts with saloons and gambling parlors to entertain the hard-working cowboys. (Submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. How To Read A Brand. This link presents the basics of cattle brand reading, along with good graphics. It is very similar to side 2 of this marker. (Submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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