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W. M. Nagiller

Source: The Trail Drivers of Texas, Cokesbury Press, 1925, p. 669

Transcribed by JoAnn Myers, Oct 2002


I am one of the old timers that went up the old Chisolm Trail. I was born June 18, 1864, in Burnet County, Texas.

I started from Burnet in May, 1882, with 3,000 head of steers, owned by Hudson & Watson. Our trail boss was John Christian, also of Burnet. We went north and crossed the Red River at Doan's Store. There we laid over two weeks for two more trail herds to overtake us which belonged to the same men, Hudson & Watson.

When the two herds arrived we threw all three herds together, which made about 9,000 head of cattle. There were to be 4,000 head of icked cattle to be cut out of this herd. We started cutting out this number in the afternoon. By evening we had 500 head cut out, and my boss and his men took these cattle to hold that night. The other two bosses and their men took the remaining 8,500 cattle to stand guard around.

At sundown when we bedded the cattle down for the night, there were eleven trail herds in sight. Along in the night a terrible storm came up. It was the worst that I ever experienced. The thunder, lightning and rain was awful. All the cattle were turned loose except small cuts we were holding.

The following morning cattle were dotting the plains in every direction as far as the eye could see. All the trail herds were mixed up. After we had finished our breakfast we started to make the big roundup. There were about 120 cowboys. When we had the roundup made, we had about 33,000 head in one bunch. We worked about ten days before we got the cattle shaped up to start on our way. One of the herds went to Caldwell, Kansas, and one to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The herd I was with went north of Cheyenne.

From Doan's Store we went on through the Indian Nation to Dodge City, Kansas, then on to Ogallala, Nebraska, where we crossed to the South Platte River. We passed through Fort Fetimon and Fort Laramie and went northwest into Wyoming. We were on the trail four and one-half months, and had to stand guard every night.

I now own a cow ranch near Williams, Arizona, and I have been here twenty-eight years.


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