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MULESHOE RANCH. Henry Black began using the Muleshoe brand in Fannin County in 1856 and registered it on November 12, 1860. He then went to fight for the Confederate Army, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. He returned after the Civil War to find that his home had burned and his wife had died; his children, however, were still alive. On August 17, 1865, he married Sarah Adalia Braley, and subsequently he began fording herds across the Red River and selling clothing his wife made. Mostly they were paid in cattle and horses. By 1877 their herd had outgrown their property, so the family moved to Stephens County, taking with them 1,000 cattle and 500 horses. Black purchased land—which already had three houses on it—and established the Muleshoe Ranch. He also dug a well and built a large ranchhouse and a log schoolhouse. The children built a rock fence around the cemetery where their grandmother was buried in 1883; some of this fence still stood in 1978. Gradually Black purchased more land, and by the time of his death in 1906, the Muleshoe Ranch covered 10,000 acres. Black also owned another 20,000 acres, much of which was rented to tenant farmers (see FARM TENANCY). After his death the land was divided among his wife and children, and the Muleshoe Ranch was the inheritance for his sons William and Jack, who had been involved with its operations. They established on the ranch the first dipping vat in the county. William continued to buy land around the ranch; he raised cattle, horses, cotton, and grain. From 1940 to 1965 William's daughter Sybil and her husband, B. H. Trammell, operated William's portion of the Muleshoe Ranch. On July 20, 1944, the original brand was officially transferred to their daughter, Patricia (Trammell) Swanson. In 1978 the Muleshoe Ranch covered some 6,000 acres and was known as the Trammell-Swanson Muleshoe Ranch. At that time the water well dug in 1877 was still extant, and a barn built around the same time was still in use.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:C. Richard King, "Black's Muleshoe Ranch," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 41 (1965).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, C. Richard King, "MULESHOE RANCH," accessed April 20, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/apm04.
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