1893

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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.

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The Sedalia Weekly Bazoo

Sedalia, Missouri May 2 1893

WANTED BY BRITISH LORDS.

New York Dealers Kept Busy Shipping Wild Animals Abroad.

There is a great demand nowadays from wealthy Europeans for American wild animals. Every year hundreds are shipped abroad by New York dealers, that there never was a finer pair of any kind sent to Europe than the young bison which left by the steamer Bovic lately.

They came from the St. Louis Zoo, where they have been on exhibition for a number of years. They were consigned to W.A. Conklin, who purchased them for William Cross, a Liverpool animal dealer, who in turn purchased them for an English lord, to be placed in his game preserve for breeding purposes. The bison came originally from the plains of Wyoming.

On their way East they got into a terrible rage and ripped and tore their boxes to bits, and the train men had hard work to keep them in subjection. When they were boxed at the St. Louis Zoo they gave considerable trouble. John C. Gray, a veteran cowboy, and James Crawley, a former lion-tamer, lassoed them around the legs and horns and then bound them tight. The male ways fully 5,000 pounds and the female 3,000 pounds.

Mr. Conklin has a large order for bison and other wild animals to be filled for the English nobility before next fall. Some of the animals are on their way East. Several Panthers from Washington state are among the lot, besides several consignments of deer, elk, mountain sheep from the Rockies, some bear from the Sierras and a large lot of other game. He has one pair of handsome panthers at his stable.

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The Abbyville Press and Banner

South Carolina May 24 1893

A BUFFALO FARM.

A.NEBRASKA RANCH ON WHICH BISON ARE BRED.

Cultivating the Ono-Time “King of the Plains,” and Picking From

His Body Fine Fur Which is Made Up Into Cloth.

1893 The Abbyville Banner May 24 ive miles west from the city of Omaha, A Neb., grazing over a munificent rolling prairie, may be seen these days, according to the New York Advertiser, a herd of strange looking animals. A barbed wire fence limits their wanderings, and a group of whooping cowboys, mounted on branded ponies, rounds them up morning and night into a corral, where the curious are permitted to view them at twenty-five cents a view. They are American bison, curiosities even in that Western city and on those hills which only a few years ago shook with the tread of the mighty armies of their ancestors.

There are sixty in the herd, and Jumbo is the monarch. Plainsmen, who have slaughtered his kinsmen 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 a tall man. “Devilish Dick,” as he is called, is almost as line a specimen, but there is a vicious gleam in his eyes which prevents n very close inspection of his points. Four years ago one of the cowboys 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 of buffaloes, one of the few melancholy remnants of the millions that once swarmed over the plains, and almost the only hope of the perpetuation of the species.

Forty years ago it would have been as easy to number the leaves of the forest as to calculate the strength of the vast of bison which swarmed over all the Western plains and hills, from the Mississippi to the Pacific und from Canada to the Gulf. Of all the quadrupeds ever inhabiting the earth, naturalists tell us, no one species ever marshalled such 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 south of the line of the Union Pacific Railway, between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 head. In that year the railronds 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 utilized the hides of 497,163. In 1873 the number slaughtered was 1,508,658 and the number used was 754,329. In 1874 only 158,583 were killed and 126,867 were used. Of the gigantic army of 3,158,730 butchered by white men during these three years over half were left lying untouched where they fell.

To-day even the bones which whitened 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 have been seen for a year or more, and they are supposed to have been killed off.

Besides the Omaha herd there are a few others in captivity, some kept for breeding purposes and others for exhibition. Mr. Charles Allard, in the Flathead Indian Reservation, has thirty-seven head. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show numbers among its attractions a herd of thirteen buffaloes, subject to many dangers from disease and accident that cry little can be hoped from it in the way of perpetuating the species. Mr. Charles Goodnight, of Clarendon, Texas, has nine head. In the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens there are eight. In Lincoln Park, Chicago, there are six head, and in half a dozen other places there are held groups of two and three and several single animals.

With the Jones herd an earnest and intelligent effort is being made to save the species from utter extinction, and the fact that the animal may be domesticated und make a source of profit has also been demonstrated.

Mr. Jones is perfectly well qualified for this task. He was in the centre of distribution of the great Southern herd from 1866 until their final disappearance, and was by profession a buffalo hunter. When the great slaughter began in 1871 he was employed by his neighbors to shoot buffalo at fifty cents a head, and they would follow and secure the hides. His method was what is known as “still-hunting,” and he had averaged from thirty to forty head a day. On one occasion he shot seventy two head without shifting his ground. He acknowledged that he was frequently ashamed of his work, but with the whole country out hunting he did not feel like missing his share. In 1873 he began to realize that the wholesale slaughter was beginning to make inroads upon what then appeared an inexhaustible supply of game, and made his first effort to preserve the species. On the Solomon River in Western Kansas, he captured seven calves which he subsequently sold. He went on expeditions to the fast receding haunts of the animals each year afterward until 1888, and the herd now at Omaha is a testimonial to his courage, skill and pluck in the chase. Every, one of the adult animals was run down,’ lassoed and tied with his own hands.

His last and greatest feat was in May, 1888. There was known to be at that time a small herd la 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. Only buffalo hunters can realize what such an achievement means.

From this herd “Buffalo” Jones now secures three or four full-blooded buffalo calves each year and a number of half-breeds.” catalo,” he calls them.

The Abbyville Banner May 24 1893 pic 4
“Catalo”

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 the seal.

In half-breeds the domestic animal seems to predominate, and the casual observer might not notice the long hair, the small hump at the shoulders and the slight shagginess about the head. These catalo have been bred back until they were only one-sixteenth domestic, when even a trained eye could see no difference from the full-blooded buffalo.

The profits of buffalo raising are very considerable. The animal feeds cheaply and looks after himself in all sorts of 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 from $100 to $500 for his head, and if Mr. Jones’s 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 n cart by the owner, and when

The Abbyville Banner May 24 1893 pic 3

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, with perhaps the whole herd, will form one of the attractions at the World’s Fair at Chicago.

Mr. Jones is more than an adventurer or a speculator, no has become an enthusiast on the subject of buffaloes, and no man ever rode a hobby more honestly or earnestly. When he began capturing these animals he knew no more of their peculiarities than other plainsmen, but his association with them has, filled him with a love for the great, shaggy brutes and a zeal for their salvation that is quite sublime in its way.

In beginning the work of subjugation pitchforks were used hymen when going about among the animals; but the buffaloes were intelligent enough to comprehend the nature of the sharp tines, and when the pitchforks were not to be seen they reasserted their majesty. Mr. Jones hit upon the device of having short pieces of gaspipe plugged at either end with wood and these plugs filled with sharp brads. These weapons were carried concealed, and when animals became demonstrative they were jabbed into the tough hides or hurled at the big bumps with all the force possible. At first the burly fellows received these attacks with a pained surprise, but in time they apparently concluded that these mysterious prods were a part of man and they had better not provoke attack. At any rate, they have become quite docile under that treatment. Men go among them freely, separating them or driving them about as readily as though they were so many cows.

In connection with his work of domestication, Mr. Jones has experimented with the buffalo’s fur and has succeeded in making a cloth as fine as lamb’s

The Abbyville Banner May 24 1893 pic 2
Pulling Wool from the Animal

wool. Under the long, course hair of the animal is a short fur of the softness of swansdown. When the hair is shed in the summer the under fur either falls off or is plucked by hand. In the latter case the animal is tied, and the more unruly are thrown to the ground and their legs fastened by ropes to posts fore and aft. There are ten to twelve pounds of fur on an animal, enough to make a big brown blanket as warm as an old time buffalo robe and as light as a bedspread. This cloth sells as high as $20 a yard. Mr. Jones wears in winter an overcoat made of it and trimmed with the glossy fur of the catalo, and underclothing, stockings and other garments have been woven of the same material. He presented one of the blankets to the Prince of Wales for use as a lap robe, and has received a grateful acknowledgment of the unique gift.

In his several expeditions Mr. Jones captured 130 buffaloes, eighty-two of which survived. Full grown animals taken wild invariably die in captivity. He had no success saving buy over six months old. Many animals, even among the younger ones, died apparently in fits of auger. When they found themselves prisoners they went into a fearful rage, stiffened their limbs 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 four. 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 three weeks to four months old. The buffalo calf is of a tawny color, resembling the hues of the sand and 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 blends so closely with its surroundings that wolves and other enemies may pass within a rod of it without discovering its presence.

Mr. Jones his furnished buffaloes from his herd to parks all the way from the Golden Gate on the Pacific to Austin Corbin’s rock-ribbed estate in Vermont. Others have gone to stir the curious interest of raising holiday crowds in Europe. Wild West shows and rich individuals with private zoos to stock have also drawn on his herd for their support.

Tue oldest buffalo living is supposed to be one in a Paris zoological garden, which if known to be twenty-nine years old. Jumbo, nine years of age, is the patriarch of the Nebraska herd. These animals breed readily in captivity, and this herd is capable of an enormous cresse if properly handled.

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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 (Buff1893 Buffalo Jones with two hitchedalo 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 reprinted 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.

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Daily Independent

Elko, Nevada, Oct 14 1893.

BUFFALOES IN ENGLAND.

Specimens of the Few Survivors –Shipped Across the Atlantic.

The Experiment of Breeding the Animals in English Parks Considered by

Britons as Very likely to Prove Unsuccessful.

Fifty, or even half that number of years ago, the possibility of the “buffier’ of the American plains becoming’ extinct was not so much as dreamed

of, says the St. James’ Budget. For ages they had wandered in countless herds on the plains on the eastern side of the Rocky mountains, providing the red Indian with an apparently inexhaustible supply of meat. Thousands were killed for their tongues and the steak cut out of the hump, the most delicate part. The bisons, from which the early “voyagers” and the fur traders obtained their “pemmican,” did not suffer from the demands made upon their numbers by the Indians; but the white hunter, with his ever-improving firearms, did the work of destruction. Where once the herds were so numerous that it was the practice to drive them gradually to the edge of a precipice and there frighten them over, none can be found. At last the United States government awoke to the fact that America was upon the point of losing the bison. The agents of the Smithsonian institute had a difficulty in procuring some specimens which were required. The result was that a small herd of about forty is now strictly preserved in the Yellowstone park. But one or two wander away most years and are soon killed when once outside the protected territory; the security of the herd is consequently by no means assured. The news, therefore, that a number of Nebraska buffaloes have been imported to this country, having been obtained for the purpose of being turned down in some of our parks, will be welcomed by our naturalists.

It is, unfortunately, very questionable if the experiment of keeping and

breeding the grand beasts in our English parks will be attended with any

success. The bison on its native plains is accustomed to great heat in summer and extreme cold in winter. But, for all that, the climate is a constant one, and the change of the variability, the fog and the damp of this country will be great. Indeed, when we look at the condition of the bison’s European relation, the aurochs, we may well doubt if the genus bison will long remain an inhabitant of the earth. It may be many years before we quite lose it, for representatives will probably linger for a comparatively long period preserved in parks, just as the ancient white British cattle linger now. But, as in the case of the latter, the want of fresh blood and the consequent close interbreeding will tell in time and result in constantly diminishing fertility, until in the course of years the last representative of the race will die and the world know them no more. We may safely say the extinction will not happen in our own time, or even in that of the next few generations; but it is to be feared that -come it surely will.

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