Manuscripts/Mixed Material [William A. Preist]
Gauthier. Sheldon F.
Tarrant Co. Dist,. #7
William A. Preist, 61, living at [?] Winkler co. Texas, [?] born June 4, 1877 in Gaudaplupe co. Texas, at the farm of his father, Dan T. Preist. His father cultivated land and raised cattle which grazed on the open range. His grandfather, Tom A. Gay. and His father were associated as herd drivers. The two men were among the first who drove herds to the Northern market. William A. Preist went to Winkler co. Texas, in 1895 and worked for the 'W' ranch which was owned by W.D. and Lee Johnson. He continued on the 'W' ranch until 1914 at which time he was [?] to the office of County Sheriff of Winkler co, and he has occupied the office since, except for a period of 18 months. He has watched the [ecos?] River region transform from an openrange where thousands of cattle grazed to an extensive oil producing region.
His story of range life follows:
“The place of my birth was Gandalupe co, Texas, on the farm owned by my father, Dan T. Preist. The event took place June 4, 1877. I was [reared?] on that farm until I was 16 years old.
“My father farmed and engaged in cattle raising, as practically all the farmers in Graundalupe co. did during those days. In fact, the major indrustry of the county was cattle raising. The farmers were compelled to fence their cultivated fileds to keep the cattle out of their crops. Outside of the scattered fields, the entire county was an [ope?] range upon which cattle grazed.'
“Father raised corn, wheat, [cane?], [cotton?] and vegetables. We consumed practically all produce [?] the farm, except cotton which was sold, except a small [amount?] which we used for making clothing. The amount of wheat raised was sufficient to supply the family's flour needs.