THE INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
INTERVIEW WITH: Adam and Eda Jane Bradford
PLACE: Museum, Menard, Texas
DATE: August 7, 1987
INTERVIEWER: Mayon Neel
THE ADAM AND EDA JANE BRADFORD TAPE - READING AT END OF TAPE
BY MAYON NEEL.
This is a story written by Ila Mae Bradford in their
history book called CATTLE DRIVER. One of the last cattle
drives of the early l880s started when the herd was rounded
up near the head of Elm Creek in Menard County.
Days were spent in preparation; shoeing horses, loading
grub wagons and equiping a chuck wagon. A herd of about
2,000 head was started and driven to the quarantine line
somewhere above San Angelo two days before the first of
November, when the quarantine lifted. This quarantine was
established some years before because it was believed that
cattle from the southwest were subject to a fever which
would not develop after cold weather set in.
They had been on the trail s e veral days, when a
blizzard struck them. A number of the cattle froze in their
tracks, the cold was so intense. The cattle drifted four or
five miles in the bitter wind to a wire fence which they
pushed over and mashed down. The herd finally reached
Shafter Lake where the cattle were left in the care of Jim
Glasscock where they would graze and be sent to market in
On that trip, in charge of E.W. Maddox, were seven men
beside the cook; J.D. Jackson was the horse wrangler; Josh
Clark was the drag puncher; Jim Glassock and Gilbert Ellis
were pointers, while Lee Crowell, Wes Bradford and W.F.
Dunsin were in the swing and flank. will Linederry was the
After leaving the cattle with Jim Glasscock, the others
got back to Menard Conty in 12 days, on January the first.
On one cattle drive, Andy Murchison was trail boss.
Bob Glasscock was cook and Lodge Brock was horse wrangler.
The other drivers are not known.
A herd of longhorn steers were to be grazed through the
country to Kansas City. A dance was given for the men the
night before they left. They were to be gone for six
THIS IS ANOTHER STORY WRITTEN BY J.M. BRADFORD WHO IS ILA
MAE'S FATHER. THIS WAS A TRAIL DRIVE TO BRADY.
On this drive, it rained all the way. When J.M.
Bradford came off the night shift, he didn't have any hot
coffee, the rain had put out the camp fire. He had on an
old yellow slicker and was so tired that he just laid down
Under the wagon with his head between the spokes of the
wagon wheel. Put his hat over his face, pulled his legs up
inside the slicker and went to sleep.
Trail Drivers: Wes Ellis , great uncle of James M.
Bradford, helped to drive herds of cattle across the
country. Cowboys always slept out on the ground usually on
their saddle blankets. They only pulled off their boots and
took off their guns, if they wore them, to sleep.
One night, very late in the night, Wes smelled a pole
cat real strong and someone hollered "pole cat" and one
grabbed him by the big toe. It held on to it but Wes
managed to kick it loose with his other foot. One of the
men shot the pole cat . They put Wes's foot in some kerosene
and he thought sure he'd die of rabies, but after expecting
to for several weeks , he decided the pole cat must not have
been mad. So in the end, all that was lastingly damaged
were the cowboys' bedrolls and did they smell!
At another time in the summer when the blow flies were
very bad, Wes noticed that between the toes on one of his
feet, the toes of the feet itched and burned very badly.
When he had time to see about it, he found he had worms
between his toes. The fiies were so bad they'd blown the
saddle blanket he slept under and the blows had hatched.
They had crawled between his toes and started eating. He
poured whiskey over his toes several times and in a few days
they were healed. After this incident, he was careful to
beat his saddle blanket against the tree to knock off the
flies (blows) before sleeping under it.
So that ' s two of the tales of the cattle drives made by
men in the early Menard County history.
After playing this tape, I have discoverred I have
called J.M. Bradford an uncle of rIa Mae Davis; he was the
father of Ila Mae Davis and the grandfather of Wayne
Bradford who read the first part of this about the Bradford
END OF TAPE I, SIDE 1 , ABOUT 5 MINUTES.
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