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Bob Lemmons, "the most original mustanger," dies

December
23
1947

On this day in 1947, Bob Lemmons, whom J. Frank Dobie called "the most original mustanger," died in Dimmit County. Lemmons (sometimes spelled Lemons) was born about 1847 and came to Texas as a slave in 1854. Lemmons's birth name is not known. After being freed, he came under the tutelage of Texas rancher Duncan Lemmons, who took the seventeen-year-old youth to work on his Eagle Pass ranch. Out of respect for his new employer and friend, Lemmons adopted the rancher's last name. When Duncan Lemmons died, Bob worked in the Carrizo Springs area and eventually purchased his own ranch there. His fame came about as a result of his mustanging methods. Said Lemmons, "I grew up with the mustangs.... I acted like I was a mustang ... made them think I was one of them." The legend of the man who lived as a mustang and gained the confidence of the wild horses spread throughout Texas, but his career as a mustanger ended when the Carrizo Springs area population began to grow and when fences sprang up on the landscape. In 1931 Dobie interviewed Lemmons for his book The Mustangs (1952).

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