Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Gaston Fergenson]
Gauthier. Sheldon F.
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 Tom Green co., and owned by Saul [?]. He remained as an employee of the Barns Ranch for more than 25 years. He lived in the open and dugouts during his early life. He has seen Indian raids, fence war, conflict between sheepmen and cattlemen, and have seen vigilante committees dealing with cattle rustlers. He was at San Angelo, when a gun battle was fought with cowboys on one side and gamblers on the other.
His story of range life follows:
“I hit this ball of mud down in Halilton co., near the town of Hamilton. It was June 18, 1861, when I was born. I always celebrate my birthday for two day, which carries me over with the colored folks celerbrating emancipation day.
“My father, Gaston Fergenson, was a rancher and farmer. He farmed just enough land to raise what we needed for the family's [?] in the home. Cattle was our cash crop.
“My father died when I was two years old. That was during the Civil War. By the time the war ended, I was four years old and then old enough to reckon what was going on.
“I recall that mother, as almost all the folks were, was having a hard time to keep both ends meeting. We didn't go hungry, because the range contained thousands of cattle, and this state of affairs allowed us all the beef meat we needed to fill our innards. Then, besides the beef, the bottoms contained thousands of wild turkeys, wild hogs and deer. The uplands contained sagehens. The covies numbered in the hundreds, and buffalo by the thousands.