Kathleen White - Great Ranches of the West

White Ranch – TX. Great Ranches of the West

“Swimming cattle is a centuries-old practice, unique to the state’s oldest family ranch. It’s held over from the days when ranch founder and patriarch Taylor White drove cattle to New Orleans across four rivers by way of the Opelousas Trail. ‘The Mississippi had barges,’ Bill White tells me, prodding one of the cows forward, ‘but […]

White Ranch – TX. Great Ranches of the West

“In the 1820’s, Taylor White began driving his cattle on a path that retraced the Old Spanish Trail all the way to New Orleans, where he could get $12 per steer as compared to $5 per steer back home in Texas, and soon hordes of other ranchers joined him. Until the Union Pacific Railroad finally […]

White Ranch – TX. Great Ranches of the West

“The cows stuck in front of me now are a reminder of the hazards of crossing water. So many cattle drowned on the Opelousas Trail that the town of Beaumont, Texas, where the Neches River wanders along the county line, enacted the “Ordinance to Prevent Nuisances by Swimming Cattle” in August of 1840. The provision […]

White Ranch – TX. Great Ranches of the West

“The White Ranch, at about four feet above sea level, suffers from a host of issues never faced by northern operations – such as alligators and tropical storms. Mosquitoes are such a plague that every cowboy on the ranch includes an arsenal of insect repellent on his saddle from March to October. I’m slapping at […]