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Lubbock in Lubbock County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Free Range Era of Ranching

Northwest Texas, 1878-1885

 
 
The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 31, 2019
1. The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker
Inscription.  After Indians and buffalo were removed in 1870s, several hundred cattlemen with small herds came to rolling plains near site of later Lubbock, to graze free range. Vital natural water sources were found east of the Caprock, where springs and streams were fed from the Ogallala Formation of the High Plains.

Here, with good years and rising prices, the free rangers prospered until 1884, when syndicates began purchasing land and enclosing large blocks with barbed wire. Free range men had to sell their herds to the syndicates or move farther west.

The Spur Ranch alone acquired over 500,000 acres of land and bought cattle and brands from 37 of the free rangers. Similar ranches were developed by the Curry Comb, IOA, Jumbo, Long S, Magnolia, Matador, Pitchfork, Square and Compass, T Bar and Two Buckle interests. By 1885 all free range operations were transformed into large, enclosed ranches.

Some free rangers exchanged cattle for stock in syndicates, others were employed by syndicates, and a few moved to Arizona, New Mexico or Wyoming. A few—including the Edwards, Long and Slaughter Families—acquired land
The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 31, 2019
2. The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker
and became sizable operators.
 
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 5340.)
 
Location. 33° 35.481′ N, 101° 53.027′ W. Marker is in Lubbock, Texas, in Lubbock County. Marker can be reached from 4th Street west of Flint Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Located in front of the National Ranching Heritage Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3121 4th Street, Lubbock TX 79409, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. El Capote Cabin (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Block Drift Fence (about 500 feet away); Hedwig's Hill (about 500 feet away); Old Mail Camp (about 500 feet away); Los Corralitos (about 500 feet away); Wild Cow Corral (about 500 feet away); Jowell House (about 600 feet away); Jowell Cemetery (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lubbock.
 
Also see . . .  National Ranching Heritage Center. Texas Tech University (Submitted on June 19, 2019.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureAnimalsIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 31, 2019
3. The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker
The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 31, 2019
4. The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker
The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 31, 2019
5. The Free Range Era of Ranching Marker
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on July 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 18, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 18, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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