The Inter Ocean, April 10 1893
IS NOT A SUCCESS
Proposed Exhibition of Cross-bred Bison at the Fair Abandoned
LARAMIE, Wyo., April 9 – Special Telegram
– J.H.Huson, who started a Buffalo ranch on the plains, forty miles from here last fall, has been forced to abandon the project of exhibiting a cross-bred bunch of bison at the World’s Fair. His breeding stock was a thoroughbred buffalo bull and eight specially selected Durham cows. The calves died soon after birth and in each case the mothers followed within ten days.
Vancouver Daily, B.C. June 8 1893
JUMBO IS THE MONARCH
The King of a Herd of American Bison
WERE SLAUGHTERED BY MILLIONS
The Way in Which the Buffalo Has Been Wiped Off the Face of the Earth – Wanton Slaying for Which No Possible Excuse Can Be Made.
5 miles West from Omaha a herd of buffalo grazes on a big ranch, which is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. There are sixty in the herd, and Jumbo is the monarch. Plainsman who have slaughtered his kinsman by the hundred say they never saw a finer animal. He weighs 3000 pounds; his brown beard nearly sweeps the ground; his strong black horns are almost lost in a magnificent crest of silky brown hair, and his shoulders are level with the head of the a tall man. Devilish Dick, as he is called, is almost as fine a specimen, but there is a vicious gleam in his eye which prevents a very close inspection of his points. For years ago one of the cowboy came a little too near this tremendous brute, and one sudden toss of the massive head sent the cowboy to the country where there are not supposed to be buffaloes.
This is the C. J. Jones herd, one of the remnants of the millions that once swarmed over the plains.
Forty years ago, says the St. Louis Globe Democrat, it would have been as easy to number the leaves of the forest as to calculate the strength of the vast host which swarmed all over the Western plains and Hills from the Mississippi to the Pacific and from Canada to the Gulf. Of all the quadrupeds which ever inhabited the earth, naturalist tell us, no one species ever marshaled such in innumerable armies as did the American bison. As late as 1871 it is estimated that there were in the great Southern herd, which covered the country’s south of the line of the Union Pacific railway, between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 head. And that year the railroads penetrated the country, and the systematic slaughter began.
The report of the Smithsonian institution gives these figures for the hunting for the three following years:
in 1872 white hunters killed 1,491,489 buffaloes and utilize the hides of 497,463. In 1873 the numbers slaughtered was 1,508,678 and the number used was 754,329. In 1874 only 158,583 were killed and 126,867 were used. Of the gigantic army of 3,157,736 butchered by a white men during these three years over half were left lying untouched where they fell.
Today even the bones which white the plains for miles have disappeared, and there is not known to survive a single specimen in a wild state. In 1887 there was a herd of 200 under government protection at Yellowstone Park. There may be a few there now, but none has been seen for a year or more, and they are supposed to have been killed off.
Charles Jesse Jones (Buffalo Jones)
Date: Between 1885 and 1895
A photograph showing Charles Jesse “Buffalo” Jones seated in a cart driving a team of buffalo.
From the Collection of Kansas Memory
This is the same picture the paper used at the time of printing in 1893 also re printed for the article in March 8 1900.
JUMBO AND DEVILISH DICK
Jones’ last and greatest speed was in May, 1888. There was known to be at that time a small herd in the uninhabited “Panhandle” of Texas which could not long escape the rifle. With an elaborate ”outfit” of men, horses and camp equipage Mr. Jones started from Garden City, Kan., to capture it. For forty-two days and nights the party followed the animals across the Staked Plains until they had finally lassoed or rounded up the entire herd.
From this herd “Buffalo” Jones now secures three or four full-blooded buffalo calves each year and a number of half-breed’s – “catalo,” he calls them. The hybrid product of the buffalo and Galloway cattle is a magnificent animal. Its robe is nearly black, fine and silky in texture and with a brilliant luster characteristic of the Galloway cattle. For enough of one of these robes to make a coat Lady Foster, wife of Treasurer Foster, of Canada, once offered Mr. Jones $300, saying she preferred it to seal.
In his several expeditions Mr. Jones captured 130 buffaloes, 82 of which survived. Full-grown animals taken wild invariably died in captivity. He had no success saving any over 6 months old. Many animals, even among the younger ones, died apparently in fits of anger. When they found themselves prisoners they went into a fearful rage, stiffen their legs as though in cramps, lay down and died. Others broke their necks in trying to escape.
On his first expedition Mr. Jones captured eleven buffaloes, but saved only for. He was 200 miles from a ranch having a cow, and he had to feed the little fellows on condensed milk, which did not agree with them. On his third trip he took cows with him to the Staked Plains of Texas, and out of thirty-seven buffaloes saved thirty-two.
Most of the animals that survived were from 3 weeks to 4 months old. The buffalo calf is of a tawny color, resembling the hues of the sand in the grass and the shrubbery of the great plains. For the first three weeks of its life it is hidden by its mother, and its color blend so closely with its surroundings that wolves and other enemies they pass within a rod of it without discovering its presence.
The profits of buffalo raising are very considerable. The animal feeds cheaply and looks after himself and all sorts of weather. His robe alone is worth the price of two good bullocks. In domestication his meat is equal to any range beef. One good animal will yield each year fur sufficient to make a blanket. A taxidermist will give you from $100-$500 for his head, and if Mr. Jones’ big bull, Jumbo, were put on the market he would bring $1000.
What the possibilities of domestication may be is yet to be determined. The two big bulls of the Omaha herd are driven to a car by the owner, and when it is considered that their agility is remarkable for the size of the animals, that their strength is tremendous, and that they have the speed of the average horse, this means something. This novel chariot team, with perhaps the whole herd, will form one of the attractions at the World’s fair at Chicago.
The oldest buffalo living is supposed to be one in a Paris zoological garden, which is known to be 29 years old. Jumbo, 9 years of age, is the patriarch of the Nebraska herd. These animals breed readily in captivity, and this herd is capable of and in enormous increase if properly handled.