Collection American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940

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  • Page 1 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 1 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    1 Tales - [?] Narrative Gauthier. Sheldon F. Rangelore. Tarrant co.,Dist.,#7 [8?] Page #1 FC 240 Gaston Fergenson, 77, living at 406 Florence St., Fort Worth, Texas, was born in Hamilton co., June 18, 1861. His father, Gaston Fergenson, Sr., died when Gaston was two years old. He went to work between the age of six and seven, on a cattle ranch located in ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 2 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 2 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    2 "Our farm provided vegetables and grain. So, from the land we get our supply of meal and flour. It was impossible to starve us folks, but money was scarse as teeth in a hen's mouth. There was lots of things mother wanted to do and buy, which took money. For instance, she wanted to give us children a chance to get some schooling. ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 3 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 3 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    3 I had ever put my hands on and it felt mighty big. When I look back on getting a job, I reckon Saul Barns and Will Porter, the top-screw, sort of took me to raise. "My first work was riding the range, going among the critters looking for injured animals. The cattle were longhorns, and often the critters would hook a horn into ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 4 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 4 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    4 "We flopped a critter by putting a rope on one of its front feet. By throwing the rope on a front foot the animal would be tripped easily. Putting the rope on an animals front foot is not as hard as it appears to be. It is just a mater of throwing the rope at the proper time, so as the loop lights ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 5 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 5 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    5 jobs. One bunch were kept busy watching for straying critters, and drifting them back to the range. Others were kept more or less busy separating critters for market. During a spell of bad weather we all were kept busy holding the herd from drifting [?] of the storm, and during a storm, it always was more or less of a tough job to ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 6 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 6 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    6 assign 10 to 15 waddies to make up what was called the swing crews, and would make up several of these crews. [We?] would designate the section for each outfit to cover. The swing would start out after chuck time, in the morning, and [?] their section for critters, and drive them into camp. "Beginning at about 2 [?]. M. the swing outfits ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 7 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 7 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    7 the waddies would make [a run?] for their [?] and [?] out at top speed. Each of the men tried to stay at the lead, and that resulted in a race. So, we watched a race each morning. "Most of the waddies never used their stirrups for mounting in starting on their swing. They would take a running jump of about 15 feet. ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 8 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 8 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    8 would stry now and then. By the time the next roundup was on there would be a lot of strays mixed with each herd. Occasionally, we found strays which belonged as far as [100?] miles away. "During the roundup we lived with the chuck wagon and slept rolled up in our blankets. If it rained we placed our slicker over the blanket. Usually, ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 9 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 9 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    9 [?], canned vegetables and black coffee. "I think of Saul Barns often and his treatment of us waddies. [?] day, when he appeared with a sack of money to pay off the hands, he would cuss and swear and say, 'damn you fellows, I have to give you all my money. I am plumb broke. You fellows have the money. I am going ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 10 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 10 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    10 [six inches long, and the animals are vicious. These beast can and will use their tusk to cut, rip and tear anything. With their tusk, [?????] open quickly or cut a [????]. "Well, when [??] those hogs I ran to a tree and climbed it. In my haste, I dropped my gun at the base of the tree, so that it would not ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 11 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 11 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    11 [?] a number of beast fell dead, while the rest ran away. "The boys heard me when I let out the first bellow, but sneaked up to where they could see what my predecament was, and there they sat enjoying the sight of me perched on a limb and yelling at the top of my voice. "The deal was not closed with the ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 12 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 12 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    12 "I got on to a trick which enabled me to best a furious steer with out shooting it. Some of us waddies would enjoy ourselves by riding steers. We would ride our mount to the side of a steer and leap on its back. It took a top rider to stay with the critters and not all waddies would engage in the sport. ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 13 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 13 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    13 "In the '70s and '80s San Angelo provided all the different kinds of amusement a fellow might wish for. The joints ran from the ordinary saloon to gambling, quean joints and dance halls. Some of the boys would amuse themselves till their money was gone, while others would stay one or two days and then drag back to camp. "A bunch of boys ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 14 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 14 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    14 "When sheepmen came into the Tom Green co., range section there took place some fierce fighting. "The cattle objected to the sheep, because the animals spoiled the range for cattle. The cattlemen notified the sheepmen to take their folcks some where else, but the sheepmen held their ground. When the cattlemen became aware of the fact the sheepmen were not going to leave, ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 15 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 15 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    15 sheepmen pulled out, after a number of them were found hanged to a tree. In some sections of the range officers took charge to protect the sheepmen. But, there was more or less fighting until fencing/ land took place and the country filled up more or less with settlers. "The next situation which brought on fierce fighting was the wire fence. It was ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 16 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 16 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    16 outfits became reconciled to the drift fence, the rustlers occasionally would cut the fence to drift stolen cattle through. "Now, the rustler trouble I must not overlook telling about this trouble, and for a time there was lots of it. "When cattle prices were up during the early '70s and the '80s, rustlers appeared in large numbers at {Begin deleted text}[?]{End deleted text} ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 17 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 17 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    17 and placed in jail. The [?] of the day Garrison was placed in jail, [?] 300 ranchers and cowhands called on the sheriff and demanded Garrison. The sheriff refused to open the jail, so the the cowhands went to work. With crowbars, other iron bars, sledge hammers and what not, the gang wrecked the jail. They pried off all the bars and broke ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 18 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 18 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    18 "The hanging of Garrison checked the rustling in our section. The theives became fazed about rustling in our territory when they thought about Garrison's ending. "During the early day we had the Indian troubles too. The Indians raided settlements which were located in the river [bottoms?], and would steal hosses out of the cow camp's remuda, which compelled us to [?] a close ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 19 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 19 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    19 about 50 feet to the right of the hoss. He calculated that the Indians would [?] to the opposite direction from where the shot came, and when [??], he intended to run in and grab Bell, if they left her behind. [?] reckoned correctly, because when he pulled the trigger with the rope and the shot sounded, the 10 Indians lit out [??], ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material
  • Page 20 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    Page 20 of [Gaston Fergenson]

    20 passing under trees. I lamped the panther leaping on you out of that cottonwood tree.'" "I just naturally must say this shot Bill [?] made was the best shot, by far, [?] I ever have seen. "I worked with the Staple Five outfit till the '90s. At this time the ranges were [?] fenced, the [?] filling up with settlers and the [??????]. ...

    • Contributor: Gauthier, Sheldon F. - Fergenson, Gaston
    • Original Format: Manuscripts/Mixed Material