Matador Cowboys

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This is a series of thirteen interviews done by Jesse Couch with various Matador Ranch cowboys. The cowboys interviewed are G. W. "Red" Payne, Ed D. Smith, Melvin Derrickson and Bill Vivian. Note: Tape 10 is a duplicate of Tape 1. Tape 11 is a duplicate of Tape 3, and Tape 12 is a duplicate of Tape 4.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Matador Cowboys

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: None Given

Location: Matador, Texas

Interviewer: Jesse W. Couch

Length: 4 hours 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Inaudible.

Tape 1, Side 2: Matador Ranch, "Motley County March", G. W. "Red" Payne, Matador, Texas, Fire, Damage, Red Payne (again), To Montana, To Texas (1930), Life Magazine (1940), Haircut anecdote, Cowboy career, Beginning, Pictures, Matador, Texas (again), Wildfire, School house.

Tape 2, Side 1: Ed D. Smith’s funeral, Red Payne (again), Hospital stay, Recordings, Red Payne (again), Importance of heritage, Montana, Ranching revival, Texas money, Sheep ranches, Montana (again), Photographs, Turner, Bought ranch in Montana, Red Payne (again), 72 years of age, Indian reservations, Scottish ownership of ranch, Cattle business, Sheep business, Money and taxes, Texans buying land in Montana, Red Payne (again), Income, Retirement.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Tape 3, Side 1: Melvin Derrickson, Smith (again), Motley County Deputy Sheriff, Derrickson (again), Cowboying, Age 7 (October 6, 1900), W. R. Derrickson, father, To Texas (1914), DX Bar Ranch, W. R. Derrickson’s, Jim Cooper, Favorite horse, Roping phenomenon, Nicknamed "Rope", Anecdote about Lane Cartwright, Cowboy duties, Social security, Terrain, Time spent on the range, Winter stay, McKenzie Murdock, Cancer incidents, Death, Cattle, Humans, Precautions, Matador Ranch (again), Holdings, Dodge City, Kansas, Abilene, Texas, Trains, Smith (again), Breaking his first horse, Horse racing, Education, Anecdote about the third grade.

Tape 3, Side 2: Smith (continued), Diamond A Ranch, New Mexico, Description of Matador, Texas (1914), Ranching, Cattle dip bath (1913-1914), Roundups, Crew size, Campsites, Duties, Cattle, Shipped by train, Cowboy’s duties, Derrickson (again), Views on being a cowboy, Custom-made saddles, Cost, Weather, Blizzards, Cattle deaths, Smith (again)—Lamentations.

Tape 4, Side 1: Matador, Texas, Boot shop, Bill Hendricks, Death, Bootmaker, Range life, Hunting for trails, Problems, Derrickson (again), Hobbies, Furniture making, Spur making, Antiques, Brothers and sisters.

Tape 4, Side 2: Blank

Tape 5, Side 1: Derrickson (continued), Anecdote: Yearling cows (winter 1944), Matador Ranch, Cowboys, Cowpunching, Derrickson (again), Indian heritage, Matador, Texas (again), Terrain, Cowboys, Prairie dogs, Anecdotes, Harve Ledbetter and Jim, Bradford, Childress, Texas, Prank on Sam Ward, Box and wrestling, Matador Ranch (again), Crew, Red Payne (again), Anecdote about his song book, Will Grayson and Jack Morris, Jack Morris, Cowboys (again), Rattlesnakes.

Tape 5, Side 2: Cowhorns, Average length, Longhorn cattle, Origins, Inbreeding, Evolution, Matador Ranch (again), Cowboys, Derrickson brothers, Jim McAllen (1910), Airplanes, Usage, Jude Gibbons killed in a plane crash, Life photographs, Albert Lowery, Cowboy, Promotion, Jim Cooper, Water, Matador Ranch, Water tanks, Underground water, Overuse, Cowboys (again), Cowboy Hall of Fame, Location, Derrickson (again), Anecdotes, Matador Ranch (again), First trucks (1912), Description, John Jackson, Drove the first car in Matador, Generators, Cowboys (again), Wages, Cattle, Spaniards contributions, Inbreeding, Rattlesnake areas.

Tape 6, Side 1: Rattlesnakes (continued), Matador Ranch (again), Operation (1879-1959), Bronco breaking, Smith (again), Marriage (1938), Derrickson (again).

Tape 6, Side 2: Blank

Tape 7, Side 1: Bill Vivian, P. Lyle Vivian, father, New Mexico (1940), Chapman Ranch, Clayton Bridge, Health, Matador Ranch, Family size, Matador Ranch (again), Hoodlums, Ed D. Smith, Wagon bosses, Red Payne (1931), Walter Williams (1931), Supplies, Payne (again), Smith (again), Derrickson (again), Noble "Wishy" Derrickson, Death, Chapman and Barnum, South Texas, To New Mexico (1940), Chapman Ranch (again), Head count, Acreage, Beef production, Leonard Taylor, Osage County, Indians, Oklahoma, Oil wells, New Mexico (again), Drought, Grazing grounds, Irrigation, Texans, Cattle raisers, Aspermont, Texas, Jayton, Texas, Spanish land grants, Buying, Land, Small towns, Residents, Reactions, Obtaining deeds, Homesteads, Displacement of residents.

Tape 7, Side 2: Vivian (continued), Money problems, Big ranches, Hoover Ranch, Tucumcari, New Mexico, Dr. Hoover, Smaller ranches.

Tape 8, Side 1: Payne (again), Beer advertisement, "Blue" Donald, Long X (1915-1917), To Throckmorton, Texas, Matador Ranch, Montana (1916), Roaring Springs, Death, Payne (again), First job (1912), A. J. Cooper, Johnny Cooper, Education (1905-1906), To Matador Ranch (1915), Wage structure, Jobs, M. J. Riley, Matador, Texas (1905), New school house (1908), Education (again), Through the eighth grade, Brothers (3) and sisters (2), Still rides a horse, Flying, First automobiles in Motley County, Dr. Trevor, Bendix automobile, Anecdote about rides, John Sharp, Jack Luckett, Franklin automobile, Built house (1928), To California (1930), Polo horses, Robert Kendall Buck, Will Rogers, Matador Ranch (again), Bill Dawson.

Tape 8, Side 2: Matador Ranch (again), Dizzy Dean, School house, Ella Hamilton, teacher, A. B. Crane, assistant superintendent, Thompson, superintendent, Mr. Mayberrie, teacher, Matador, Texas (again), 1903, Café.

Tape 9, Side 1: Jesse W. Couch, Recording of tapes, General instructions, Albert Dapper, Western pictures, Copies made, Tapes copied, Dapper (again), Childress, Texas, Pictures returned.

Tape 9, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1879-1960s

Bulk Dates: 1905-1940

Access Information

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