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ALBRIGHT, ALEX

ALBRIGHT, ALEX (1861–1937). Alex Albright, merchant and sheep breeder, son of German immigrants, was born on September 11, 1861. His father's trade was shoemaking, but Alex developed a love for livestock, quit college, and bought shorthorn cattle. In 1890 he moved to Dundee, Texas, and opened a mercantile business. Albright bought his first 320 acres for $3.24 an acre. He married in 1892. After his wife died in 1900, Albright read an ad in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram of a lady tutor. He went to see her, fell in love, and returned with a mother for his three children. She was French.

Albright named his place Elm Lodge Ranch. Through the influence of Mrs. Albright he started breeding Lincoln sheep. After three years of experimentation he had animals that produced wool of thirty-two inches length, which sold for a dollar a pound. In 1912 he became interested in Karakul sheep imported by his neighbor, Dr. C. C. Young. Albright soon bought the unusual-looking animals and began breeding them. To expand his breeding stock, he enlisted the aid of President Theodore Roosevelt to import Karakuls from Russia and in 1929 went to Germany to buy an experimental flock from the university at Halle. The ewes gave birth at least once a year. A photograph and carefully taken data were kept on each lamb; the best lambs were reserved for breeding, but the majority were slaughtered for their hide at birth or in the next four days. The tanned pelts were sold to furriers in New York for coats and hats for the royalty of Europe. A single pelt, which sold for eight to forty dollars, could make a coat costing as much as $2,000. With over 1,000 head, Albright had a thriving business, even during the Great Depression. His lands increased to 1,800 acres and his herd to 1,500. Some furriers declared his furs to be the finest in the world. His mercantile business thrived also; at times he was called Mr. Dundee. Albright died on April 3, 1937, and was buried at Dundee.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Jack Loftin, Trails Through Archer (Burnet, Texas: Nortex, 1979). Southwestern Sheep and Goat Raiser, May 15, 1937.

Jack O. Loftin

Citation

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

Jack O. Loftin, "ALBRIGHT, ALEX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fal82), accessed September 02, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.