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CEDAR VALLEY LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY

CEDAR VALLEY LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY. The Cedar Valley Land and Cattle Company, Limited, was an English ranching syndicate with American headquarters in Kansas City. It was organized in 1884 by a Major Ewing, who had gone to London for that purpose. The stockholders elected Ewing as their general manager and authorized him to buy ranchland in Texas. In 1885 he purchased the T Anchor Ranch, consisting of 275,000 acres in Randall and Deaf Smith counties, from William B. Munson for $800,000. Included in the transaction were 25,000 cattle and 325 horses. Ewing hired Sam Dyer, brother-in-law of Charles Goodnight, as foreman. In 1885 Henry R. Hilton of Kansas City replaced Ewing as general manager, and Hilton hired Jim Moore of Wyoming as foreman. Charles J. E. Lowndes was employed as bookkeeper and remained in that position until 1900. After Moore resigned in 1887, Henry E. (Hank) Siders served six months as foreman and then was succeeded by Lee John Hutson, an English-born rancher and loan-company agent. Hutson hired the young Scottish aristocrat, Charles L. Gordon-Cummingqv, as a cowhand. Paul Phillips succeeded Hilton as general manager in 1889.

The ownership and utilization of land became an increasingly important issue, especially after the advent of the railroads drew nesters into the area. The fenced range of the Cedar Valley Company included school land and an additional 179,200 acres leased from the New York and Texas Land Company. Beset by small farmers and ranchers, the syndicate attempted to counter them by securing and enclosing the watering places. However, two smaller cattle operations from Iowa drove their herds onto unfenced company pastures and would not move them, claiming that they were actually grazing state land. To solve that problem, the syndicate entered into a contract in which they agreed to care for the intruders' stock for cash. Even so, certain terms of this agreement were violated, and this led to a bitter court battle that was settled in favor of the Iowa plaintiffs.

The Cedar Valley Company's insistence on leasing rather than buying let others crowd the ranch out of existence, particularly after the organization of Randall County in 1889. In 1895 the company forfeited its remaining leases. Hutson formed a partnership with Emmett Powers, leased the block pasture, and replaced the T Anchor brand with the Crescent G. In 1900 Hutson sold his interest to Vinson Roe but continued to control the ranch until 1902. Powers and Roe subsequently dissolved their partnership, and the remaining holdings were sold in small blocks to farmers and other ranchers. Although the Cedar Valley Land and Cattle Company thus passed into history, many of its former employees, including Lowndes, Hutson, and Gordon-Cumming, stayed to put down roots in the Canyon area.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Laura V. Hamner, Short Grass and Longhorns (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1943). C. Boone McClure, A History of Randall County and the T Anchor Ranch (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1930). C. Boone McClure, "A Review of the T Anchor Ranch," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 3 (1930). Mrs. Clyde W. Warwick, comp., The Randall County Story (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1969).

H. Allen Anderson

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

H. Allen Anderson, "CEDAR VALLEY LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/aqc01), accessed November 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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