West, Lester S 1964-04-00

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Lester West tells of experiences as a young man, including a cattle drive from West Texas to Kansas that took eight months to complete, and hardships during the drought of 1886.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Lester S. West

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: April 1964

Location: None Given

Interviewer: Billy J. Henderson

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Family moves to Texas, Goes to East Texas to work, Drought of 1886, returns to West Texas, Tells of marriage and children, Hired by John B. Slaughter, driving steers, Tells of cattle gaining weight on drive and experiences with Indians, Traveled north through Snyder to Indian territory, Oklahoma boomers make run for land, Quarantine against Texas cattle, Description of John B. Slaughter, Different ranches in area, Description of country and experiences on trail drive, Horse gives out; spends night on Plains, Rations of beans, potatoes, sow belly and black coffee.

Tape 1, Side 2: Salary for cowhands and ranch hands, Suffered from tonsillitis on trail drive, Traveled 2 or 3 miles a day with cattle, Trains and Indians frighten cattle, No firearms, Soldiers ride with cattle drive, Cowhands sing to cattle, Trail drives 20 miles apart, Grass plentiful on trail, Sleeps on horse, Large wagon carries equipment, supplies, Seven horses apiece, Some fired along the way, Hired a new hand, Trail drive takes 8 months to complete, Drinking water only, Bad water kills cattle, Gathered toots and cow chips for fire, Ran threshing machine during summer, Description of George W. Jones, uncle (1892), Also cattle prices, Refers to experience in handling cattle, Drought of 1886, work scarce, Scarcity of money, work in Missouri, Hands get along well with one another, Caught lice from Indians, Average 20 miles a day on return trip, Reunion with friends and family, Wife’s family moves nearby, Married and buys land.

Range Dates: 1880s-1890s

Bulk Dates: 1880s-1890s

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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