An Old Trail Driver Passes On
Hill W. Corker, old trail driver, and a native of Burnet
county, answered the last roll call, Tuesday night, September 5th,
1939. The body was interred in the Post Mountain Cemetery, with the
W. Northington Funeral Home in charge. The service was conducted by
Rev. Buren Sparks, pastor of the First Baptist Church of
Burnet. The pallbearers were Frank Atkinson, Charley Chamberlain,
Ben King, Jess Ellett, Max Dorbandt, Dale Corker and Tom Whitaker.
Hill Corker was born June 1st, 1866 in Burnet County, Texas, on
Hairston Creek, and lived in this section practically all his life.
He is survived by his wife [Alice Fagan], two sons, H. W. Jr. and M.
H. , two brothers, O. O. and Boyd Corker, and two
sisters, Mrs. Lillian Boyce of Los Angeles, California, and
Mrs. Jeanette Sorell of San Antonio.
While he engaged in other pursuits during his life. Mr. Corker was
by inclination and training a cow man, and followed such business
during his early life, making several trips up the trail. His first
drive was to Montana, in 1884, when he was only 18 years of age. His
companions on this drive were Arch McCoy, Lee Slaughter, Joe
Slaughter and others. He helped to drive two herds to what was
then Indian Territory, one of which was for his father, the late
M. H. Corker.
In 1890 he was in a party that drove 2300 cattle to Montana for
John Blocker. Some of those with him on this trip were
Marion Clymer, now of Llano, and whose father was an early day
Sheriff of Burnet county, Press Levingston, now residing in
Burnet, Tom Turner, Jim Massey, Joe Newton, Will Baylor and Nath
Smith, the later being the foreman Ike Coon, colored, who
will be remembered by many of the older citizens of this place, was
They left Burnet on March 14th, 1890, going as far as
Lampasas by stage. There they took the train to San Angelo leaving
that place on March 26th, with 2300 head of cattle. They arrived at
Powder River, Montana, on the 4th day of July, where they threw two
herds together, making 4700 cattle in one bunch.
At that place they
branded the cattle, LX, and drove still further north 200 miles to
the Yellowstone River. There they remained and worked until
September, when they took a train load of beef cattle to Chicago for
Stoddard & Howard, and then returned to Texas after an absence of
more than six months. Hill could relate many interesting incidents
that occurred on his trail driving trips which he enjoyed to the
I can first remember Hill Corker as a leading figure in the
tournaments that used to be held at all picnics and other public
gatherings in Burnet county. He was an expert rider and usually won
some of the prizes.
He was several years my senior in age and our
acquaintance remained limited until after I purchased the Bulletin,
when we became fast friends, which extended over a period close to 40
years. I had several business transactions with him during this time
and always found his word to be as good as a bond.
In his days of
prosperity, a more liberal man than Hill Corker could not be found.
No person in sorrow or distress ever called upon him for help and
departed empty handed. He would divide his last cent with a friend
and the money he gave away in his younger days would have kept him in
affluence as he grew older. In his declining years Hill often called
at my office. He knew that I was his friend, and such was
Peace to his memory!
- L. C. C.