Sunday, June 30, 2013

1846 Buffalo Hunt from "The Oregon Trail"

Having just graduated from Harvard Law School, Francis Parkman went West in the summer of 1846.

He was twenty-three years old. And believe it or not, his objective was to visit an Indian village in order to experience Native American culture in its original habitat - and maybe still live to tell about it.

Accompanied by a cousin, Parkman spent the summer roaming the plains between the Mississippi and the Rockies, documenting what he saw.

His journal was later published and launched Parkman's career as one of 19th century America's most distinguished historians.

"Running" the Buffalo

Parkman observed a Prairie teeming with Buffalo and he took the time to note how these abundant animals were hunted:

"There are two methods commonly practiced, 'running' and 'approaching.' The chase on horseback, which goes by the name of 'running,' is the more violent and dashing mode of the two.

Indeed, of all American wild sports, this is the wildest. Once among the buffalo, the hunter, unless long use has made him familiar with the situation, dashes forward in utter recklessness and self-abandonment.

He thinks of nothing, cares for nothing but the game; his mind is stimulated to the highest pitch, yet intensely concentrated on one object.

In the midst of the flying herd, where the uproar and the dust are thickest, it never wavers for a moment; he drops the rein and abandons his horse to his furious career; he levels his gun, the report sounds faint amid the thunder of the buffalo; and when his wounded enemy leaps in vain fury upon him, his heart thrills with a feeling like the fierce delight of the battlefield.

A practiced and skillful hunter, well mounted, will sometimes kill five or six cows in a single chase, loading his gun again and again as his horse rushes through the tumult.

An exploit like this is quite beyond the capacities of a novice.

In attacking a small band of buffalo, or in separating a single animal from the herd and assailing it apart from the rest, there is less excitement and less danger.

With a bold and well trained horse the hunter may ride so close to the buffalo that as they gallop side by side he may reach over and touch him with his hand; nor is there much danger in this as long as the buffalo's strength and breath continue unabated; but when he becomes tired and can no longer run at ease, when his tongue lolls out and foam flies from his jaws, then the hunter had better keep at a more respectful distance; the distressed brute may turn upon him at any instant; and especially at the moment when he fires his gun.

The wounded buffalo springs at his enemy; the horse leaps violently aside; and then the hunter has need of a tenacious seat in the saddle, for if he is thrown to the ground there is no hope for him.

When he sees his attack defeated the buffalo resumes his flight, but if the shot be well directed he soon stops; for a few moments he stands still, then totters and falls heavily upon the prairie.

The chief difficulty in running buffalo, as it seems to me, is that of loading the gun or pistol at full gallop.

Many hunters for convenience' sake carry three or four bullets in the, mouth; the powder is poured down the muzzle of the piece, the bullet dropped in after it, the stock struck hard upon the pommel of the saddle, and the work is done.

The danger of this method is obvious. Should the blow on the pommel fail to send the bullet home, or should the latter, in the act of aiming, start from its place and roll toward the muzzle, the gun would probably burst in discharging.

Many a shattered hand and worse casualties besides have been the result of such an accident.

To obviate it, some hunters make use of a ramrod, usually hung by a string from the neck, but this materially increases the difficulty of loading.

The bows and arrows which the Indians use in running buffalo have many advantages over firearms, and even white men occasionally employ them.

The danger of the chase arises not so much from the onset of the wounded animal as from the nature of the ground which the hunter must ride over.

The prairie does not always present a smooth, level, and uniform surface; very often it is broken with hills and hollows, intersected by ravines, and in the remoter parts studded by the stiff wild-sage bushes.

 The most formidable obstructions, however, are the burrows of wild animals wolves, badgers, and particularly prairie dogs, with whose holes the ground for a very great extent is frequently honey- combed. In the blindness of the chase the hunter rushes over it unconscious of danger; his horse, at full career, thrusts his leg deep into one of the burrows; the bone snaps, the rider is hurled forward to the ground and probably killed."

"Approaching" the Buffalo

"The method of 'approaching,' being practiced on foot, has many advantages over that of 'running'; in the former, one neither breaks down his horse nor endangers his own life; instead of yielding to excitement he must be cool, collected, and watchful; he must understand the buffalo, observe the features of the country and the course of the wind, and be skilled, moreover, in using the rifle.

The buffalo are strange animals; sometimes they are so stupid and infatuated that a man may walk up to them in full sight on the open prairie, and even shoot several of their number before the rest will think it necessary to retreat.

Again at another moment they will be so shy and wary, that in order to approach them the utmost skill, experience, and judgment are necessary.

Kit Carson, I believe, stands pre-eminent in running buffalo; in approaching, no man living can bear away the palm from Henry Chatillon."

This is from an eyewitness account by Francis Parkman, The California and Oregon Trail (1849).

Since Parkman mentioned him, maybe you'd like to know who Henry Chatillon was?

Henry Chatillon was born on September 29th, 1813 and died on December 6th, 1876.

He became and American legend after acting as a guide for historian Francis Parkman, Jr. He is immortalized in Parkman’s 1849 best seller, The Oregon Trail, as a "true-hearted friend" with a "keen perception of character."

Henry (some folks say its spelt Henri) Chatillon is equated in the minds of many American historians with the image of the gentleman pioneer, a hero combining the manners of a man well-born with the enterprise and courage of a true explorer.

Chatillon achieved this notoriety in The Oregon Trail, the famous book by Francis Parkman describing his personal experience during a trip through western America:

"When we were at St. Louis, several gentlemen of the Fur Company had kindly offered to procure for us a hunter and guide suited for our purposes, and coming one afternoon to the office, we found there a tall and exceedingly well-dressed man, with a face so open and frank that it attracted our notice at once…His age was about thirty, he was six’ feet high, and very powerfully and gracefully molded.

The prairies had been his school; he could neither read nor write, but he had a natural refinement and delicacy of mind, such as is rare even in women.

Henry had not the restless energy of an Anglo-American. He was content to take things as he found them; and his chief fault arose from an excess of easy generosity not conducive to thriving in the world.

Yet it was commonly remarked of him, that whatever he might choose to do with what belonged to him self the property of others was always safe in his hands.

His bravery was as much celebrated in the mountains as his skill in hunting; but it is characteristic of him that in a country where the rifle is the chief arbiter between man and man, he was very seldom involved in quarrels.

He was proof of what unaided nature will sometimes do. I have never, in the city or in the wilderness met a better man than my true-hearted friend, Henry Chatillon."

From Francis Parkman's The Oregon Trail.

Horse - Body Condition Scoring Chart

Body Condition Scoring Chart

Horse Body Conditioning Chart

A. Along the neck

B. Along the withers

C. Crease down back

D. Tailhead

E. Ribs

F. Behind the shoulder

The Ideal Body Condition Score is between 5 and 6-1/2

1. Poor

Animal extremely emaciated; spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, tuber coxae (hip joints), and ischia (lower pelvic bones) projecting prominently; bone structure of withers, shoulders, and neck easily noticeable; no fatty tissue can be felt.

2. Very Thin

Animal emaciated; slight fat covering over base of spinous processes, transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae feel rounded; spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, tuber coxae (hip joints) and ischia (lower pelvic bones) prominent; withers, shoulders, and neck structure faintly discernable.

3. Thin

Fat buildup about halfway on spinous processes; transverse processes cannot be felt; slight fat cover over ribs; spinous processes and ribs easily discernable; tailhead prominent, but individual vertebrae cannot be identified visually; tuber coxae (hip joints), appear rounded but easily discernable;

tuber ischia (lower pelvic bones) not distinguishable; withers, shoulders and neck accentuated.

4. Moderately Thin

Slight ridge along back; faint outline of ribs discernible; tailhead prominence depends on conformation, fat can be felt around it; tuber coxae (hip joints) not discernable; withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin.

5. Moderate

Back is flat (no crease or ridge); ribs not visually distinguishable but easily felt; fat around tailhead beginning to feel spongy; withers appear rounded over spinous processes; shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body.

6. Moderately Fleshy

May have slight crease down back; fat over ribs spongy; fat around tailhead soft; fat beginning to be deposited along the side of withers, behind shoulders, and along sides of neck.

7. Fleshy

May have slight crease down back; individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat; fat around tailhead soft; fat deposited along withers, behind shoulders,and along neck.

8. Fat

Crease down back; difficult to feel ribs, fat around tailhead very soft; fat area along withers filled with fat, area behind shoulder filled with fat, noticeable thickening of neck; fat deposited along inner thighs.

9. Extremely Fat

Obvious crease down back; patchy fat appearing over ribs, bulging fat around tailhead; along withers, behind shoulders and along neck, fat along inner thighs may rub together; flank filled with fat.

The Great Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land run into the Unassigned Lands and included all or part of the 2005 modern day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.

That first land run started at high noon on April 22, 1889, with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres.

The Unassigned Lands were considered some of the best unoccupied public land in the United States.

The Indian Appropriations Bill of 1889 was passed and signed into law with an amendment by Illinois Representative William McKendree Springer, that authorized President Benjamin Harrison to open the two million acres for settlement.

Due to the Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, legal settlers could claim lots up to 160 acres in size. Provided a settler lived on the land and improved it, the settler could then receive the title to the land.

The Second Land Run!

The Land Run of 1893, also known as the Cherokee Strip Land Run, marked the opening of the Cherokee Outlet to the public.

The run happened on September 16, 1893 at noon with more than 100,000 participants hoping to claim land.

The land offices for the run were set up in Perry, Enid, Woodward, and Alva with over 6.5 million acres of land. It was the largest land run in United States history.

The counties of Kay, Grant, Woods, Woodward, Garfield, Noble, and Pawnee, were named following the run.

Prior to the run, these seven counties had been assigned the letters K-Q, respectively.

Upon Oklahoma's statehood in 1907 four additional counties (Alfalfa, Ellis, Harper, Major) were created in the Cherokee Outlet using existing land from Woods, Kay, and Woodward counties

What took place? Well, at precisely twelve noon on September 16th, 1893 a cannon's boom unleashed the largest land rush America ever saw.

Carried by all kinds of transportation - horses, wagons, trains, bicycles or on foot - an estimated 100,000 raced to claim plots of land in an area of land in northern Oklahoma Territory known as the Cherokee Strip.

There had been a number of previous land rushes in the Territory - but this was the big one.

In 1828 Congress designated the land that would become Oklahoma as Indian Territory.

White settlers were required to leave, and a number of tribes from the East and South were forcibly moved into the area from their ancestral lands.

Chief among these were the Five Civilized Tribes - the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole - who allied themselves with the South during the Civil War.

Following the war, the US government looked upon these tribes as defeated enemies.

This animosity combined with increasing pressure to open up the Indian Territory to white settlement prompted the first land rush in 1885, a second followed in 1889.

By the time of the Oklahoma land rush of 1893, America was in the grip of the worst economic depression it had ever experienced.

This was one of the factors that swelled the number of expectant land-seekers that day. Many would be disappointed.

There were only 42,000 parcels of land available - far too few to satisfy the hopes of all those who raced for land that day.

Additionally, many of the "Boomers" - those who had waited for the cannon's boom before rushing into the land claim - found that a number of the choice plots had already been claimed by "Sooners" who had snuck into the land claim area before the race began.

The impact of the land rush was immediate, transforming the land almost overnight.

"...the rifles snapped and the line broke with a huge, crackling roar."

Choosing to ride their bicycles, Seth Humphrey and his brother joined the mad rush that day - not to race for land, but just for fun.

We join his story in the moments just before the starting guns unleash a mad dash for land:

"At last the eventful morning broke, a day exactly like all the rest, hot and dry, a south wind rising with the sun dead ahead, and a hard proposition for bicyclists.

We had stayed overnight in the little hotel of a town within a mile of the border, several of us in one room; but at least we two of the bicycle corps did not have to mix up with the jam of horses about the place.

And we had another decided advantage in not having horses to look after in a hot prairie wilderness where there was not a well, scarcely a stream not gone to a dry bed, and only an occasional water tank on the one railroad running south to Texas.

This water would be of service only to the comparative few who could locate near by.

... A quarter to twelve. The line stiffened and became more quiet with the tension of waiting.

Out in front a hundred yards and twice as far apart were soldiers, resting easily on their rifles, contemplating the line.

I casually wondered how they would manage to dodge the onrush; perhaps they were wondering that too.

The engine, a few hundred feet away, coughed gently at the starting line; its tender and the tops of its ten cattle cars trailing back into the state of Kansas, were alive with men.

Inside the cars the boomers were packed standing, their arms sticking out where horns ought to be...

Five minutes. Three minutes.

The soldiers now stood with rifles pointing upward, waiting for the first sound of firing to come along their line from the east.

A cannon at its eastern end was to give the first signal; this the rifles were to take up and carryon as fast as sound could travel the length of the Cherokee Strip.

All set!

At one minute before twelve o'clock my brother and I, noticing that the soldier out in front was squinting upward along his rifle barrel and intent on the coming signal, slipped out fifty feet in front of the line, along the railroad embankment.

It was the best possible place from which to view the start.

It has been estimated that there were somewhere around one hundred thousand men in line on the Kansas border.

Within the two-mile range of vision that we had from our point of vantage there were at least five thousand and probably nearly eight.

Viewed from out in front the waiting line was a breath-taking sight. We had seen it only from within the crowd or from the rear.

The back of the line was ragged, incoherent; the front was even, smooth, solid. It looked like the line-up that it was.

I thought I had sensed the immensity of the spectacle, but that one moment out in front gave me the unmatched thrill of an impending race with six thousand starters in sight.

First in the line was a solid bank of horses; some had riders, some were hitched to gigs, buckboards, carts, and wagons, but to the eye there were only the two miles of tossing heads, shiny chests, and restless front legs of horses.

While we stood, numb with looking, the rifles snapped and the line broke with a huge, crackling roar.

That one thundering moment of horseflesh by the mile quivering in its first leap forward was a gift of the gods, and its like will never come again.

The next instant we were in a crash of vehicles whizzing past us like a calamity...

The funniest of all the starters was the engine with its ten carloads of men.

From our stand fifty feet directly in front of it I was contemplating it as the chief absurdity of the race when the rush began.

The engine tooted incessantly and labored hard, but of course she could not get under way with anything like the quickness of the horses...

Of course everybody on the train was mad with excitement, particularly since they were packed in without a chance to vent their emotions in any but some noise-making way.

With the first toots of the engine came revolver shots from the crowds all along the tops of the cars, and at least a few from those penned up inside.

The fusillade, which kept up all the while the train was pulling out past us, had a most exhilarating effect; my old gun, I suddenly noticed, was barking with the rest of them...

A little before midnight, we woke to a distant clatter of hoofs, shouting, and shooting. 'Number - section - township - range -.

Keep off and get off!'

Then crack! crack! went the rifles, after each call, from the pretty country we had been admiring at sundown...

After a hearty breakfast we pumped up our sorry tires and packed up to start south for the town sites.

Ever since daybreak boomers had been straggling northward, bound for Kansas and all points east.

One young fellow who stopped for a moment while we were eating breakfast was a fair sample of this crowd...

He had staked a claim in our nice little valley, along with a half dozen others on the same tract; and of course, as in such cases all over the Strip, nobody under heaven could know who had arrived first.

But for him the delicate question had been settled by the gay horsemen in the pitch darkness of the night before.

By the time they were through with him he felt assured that he must have arrived about a week late.

'I wouldn't live here next to such neighbors, anyway,' he told us with considerable heat.

At this safe distance and in the daylight his feelings had turned to indignation, but he was still trembling a little."

This eyewitness account appears in Humphrey, Seth King, Following the Prairie Frontier (1931); Davis, William C., The American Frontier (1992).

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cattle Breed -- Santa Gertrudis

Santa Gertrudis Bull 

I was asked by a youngster in 4H to talk about Santa Gertrudis cattle. So here goes. And yes, we may as well start with their name.

So what's in a name? Well, in the case of this breed it's all about where they originated. The name of the Santa Gertrudis breed comes from Rincon de Santa Gertrudis, the name of the original land grant purchased by Captain Richard King from the heirs of Juan Mendiola.

This land grant is where the first headquarters of the King Ranch was established. That's right, they were named for the Spanish land grant where Captain Richard King originally established the King Ranch. This breed was officially recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1940, becoming the first beef breed formed in the United States.

About 1910, the King Ranch of Kingsville, Texas, one of the largest ranches in the United States, became interested in the possibilities of using Brahman cattle to improve the performance of the range cattle in their area.

Tom O'Connor obtained some Bos indicus cattle from the Pierce Ranch in Pierce, Texas, gave a half blood Shorthorn-Brahman bull to the King Ranch. He was mated with a group of purebred Shorthorn females. All male calves from this cross but one, a red bull called Chemmera, were castrated and the heifers were turned out with Shorthorn bulls.

In the fall of 1918 about sixty descendants of the O'Connor bull and his son were placed in a high quality pasture and their performance was such that the Kings Ranch became interested in crossbreeding Shorthorns and Brahmans. Since no purebred Brahmans were available, the King Ranch purchased 52 bulls of 3/4 to 7/8 Bos indicus for breeding. These were the best three-year-old bulls that they could obtain from the Pierce herd.

At this time the American Brahman breed as such did not exist nor were there pure-breed Bos indicus available in the United States. These bulls were three-fourths and seven-eighths Brahman. The bulls were divided among eight different herds with a total of approximately 2,500 pure-bred Shorthorn cows on the ranch. Shorthorn cows.

Two bulls were specifically selected and pasture mated to fifty cows each. These bulls were referred to as the "Chiltipin" bull and the "Vinotero" bull. One of the females in the Vinotero bull's group was a milk cow with one-sixteenth Brahman blood that she carried as a descendant of the O'Connor bull through his son Chemmera. The result of this mating was a bull called Monkey. In 1920 an outstanding bull calf called Monkey was produced.

He was a son of Vinotero, one of the bulls who was purchased in 1918. With a distinctive red color, and an exceptionally deep and well-muscled body, Monkey would be the start of a breed. Yes, with the birth of Monkey, and a decision to line-breed, thus came a very uniform and very hearty breed of beef cattle.

In 1923, Monkey was used in a breeding herd of first-cross Brahman X Shorthorn red heifers. His offspring were superior cattle that were well adapted to the harsh environment in which they were developed. Most importantly, the calves made money for the ranch. Highly prepotent, Monkey became the foundation herd sire for the Santa Gertrudis breed. This bull became the foundation sire for the Santa Gertrudis breed. All present day Santa Gertrudis descend from Monkey.

Through many generations, his descendants have retained the rapid and efficient growth, solid red color, hardiness, and good disposition for which Monkey was noted. The origin given by King Ranch is that it was formed by mating Brahman bulls with Beef Shorthorn cows, with the final composition being about 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Shorthorn.

Modern Santa Gertrudis cattle are approximately five-eighths Shorthorn and three-eighths Brahman. These cattle are a deep cherry-red color, and they display a blend of Bos indicus and Bos taurus attributes: they have a short, smooth, slick coat; the hide is loose and there are neck and navel folds; while they show very little evidence of a hump, males have a small Zebu-type hump; their ears are medium to large; and they may be horned or polled. Though the breed is cherry red, occasionally you'll find them with white markings on the underline.

Quality and uniformity in registered cattle is enforced by a rigid classification system by the breed association. Animals that do not meet the minimum requirements are rejected. While there were 283 herds recorded in Volume I of the Herd Book, the King Ranch herd was designated as the Santa Gertrudis Foundation Herd. Other herds that had attained the purebred status by continuous grading up were designated as Foundation Herds.

An official classifier of the Association inspects Santa Gertrudis and classifies the females as either certified or accredited and certified for bulls, for those animals meeting the classification requirements. In 1950 the Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Association was formed at Kingsville, Texas.

Though developed in South Texas, believe it or not, Santa Gertrudis cattle are considered a tropical beef breed of cattle.

They are a very hardy breed, and have improved beef quality over most purebred Brahmans. The breed is noted for heat tolerance as well as tick and bloat resistance. Characteristics also include ease of calving, excellent mothering ability, abundant milk supply, good milking ability, good for beef production, and an ability to turn off (sell or use for food) a steer at just about any age.

Santa Gertrudis females are known for their exceptional maternal traits. These females are fertile and give birth to calves that are small at birth, eliminating most calving difficulties. The Santa Gertrudis female has strong mothering instincts and takes extraordinary care of her calf.

Under normal management and with adequate nutrition these females will breed at 12-14 months of age and produce their first calf as a two-year old. The Santa Gertrudis is an above average producer of milk.

Due to this heavy milk production she will also wean a heavier calf. An economically important bonus that makes money for cattlemen is the longer productive life of the Santa Gertrudis female. A female can remain in production well past her 12th birthday and may stay in the breeding herd as long as 18 years.

If you consider the average production life of most cows is 9-10 years you realize the Santa Gertrudis female is producing an additional three calves - this means more return on your original investment. Carcases from very young cattle develop a large eye muscle of meat with little or no waste fat.

Steers can be turned off at any age depending on environment and conditions. Older steers yield well, with minimum fat cover acceptable to premium world markets. Weight for age is a noted attribute of the breed. They are well noted for their weight for age and ability to achieve high weight gains both on pasture and in feedlots.

Crossbreeding is an important tool in today's cattle industry. Brahman influence is important to cow/calf producers, yearling operators and feeders. It provides maternal traits, gainability and feed efficiency. A touch of Brahman makes cattle hardier, healthier and less prone to disease and parasites.

Because Santa Gertrudis cattle possess 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Shorthorn, the breed has just the right amount of Brahman influence to boost performance in crossbreeding programs in any area or environment. This combination of Brahman and Shorthorn allows producers who use Santa Gertrudis to maintain Brahman influence without getting too much ear. That is why the breed plays an important role in cross-breeding programs. In addition, it makes significant contributions to both maternal and growth traits.

Commercial producers also know that Santa Gertrudis are built for the American range, to produce meat and money. Crossbreeding with Santa Gertrudis produces outstanding replacement females regardless of the breed.

Both the purebred and the crossbred Santa Gertrudis female possess exceptional maternal traits to produce heavy uniform calf crops that are marketable and profitable. Purebred Santa Gertrudis steers are exceptional feeder calves, that gain rapidly and efficiently while still producing a high quality, lean carcass. At the same time these steers are producing a profit for the feeder.

At a recent Texas A&M University Ranch to Rail feeding trial, a pen of purebred Santa Gertrudis steers had a net profit of $100.87 per head. This compares to a minus $50.29 for 1334 steers from 137 ranches.

Santa Gertrudis steers, purebred or cross, prove that they can gain above and beyond the national average when in the feedlot.

In a recent test of purebred Santa Gertrudis steers fed at the Circle E Feedlot in Potwin, Kansas the average daily gain for this set of 116 steers was 3.84 pounds. These steers were fed for 133 days. In another test, purebred Santa Gertrudis steers from Alabama were shipped to Heritage Beef Cattle Company in Wheeler, Texas. This group of 58 steers was fed for 163 days. They had a daily gain of 3.93 pounds per day and a feed conversion rate of 5.95. The total cost of gain was $41.27.

In a South Texas bull gain test, 64 Santa Gertrudis bulls performed quite well in comparison with the other breeds represented. Bulls were fed for 112 days. The average final weight for these bulls was 1060 pounds, the average daily gain was 3.61 and backfat was .20.

Adaptability is a must to survive in the cattle industry.

Santa Gertrudis are adaptable to most climates, environments and terrains. Their make-up of 3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Shorthorn has proved to be ideal in most of the varied environments around the world. They thrive in the hot, humid weather conditions found along the coastal regions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. They also perform well in the more arid regions as those found in South Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

While the crossbred Santa Gertrudis is a valuable commodity to cattlemen all over the world, purebred Santa Gertrudis herds are located as far south as Argentina and as far north as Canada. Their thick hide serves as insulation to the cold and as a barrier to insects and parasites. The presence of sweat glands in their loose hide also helps Santa Gertrudis dissipate heat in warm environments.

Santa Gertrudis are very disease resistant and will stay healthy in feedlots and confined environments. And yes, these hardy animals will travel long distances in search of forage or water. Because of their hardiness, Santa Gertrudis cattle are known the world over for their ability to adapt to harsh climates.

They were exported to Australia around 1951 and have been subjected to inspection and classification since then. The Santa Gertrudis Breeders (Australia) Association was established in 1954 and the Santa Gertrudis Group Breedplan has operated in Australia since 1994. Anna Creek, Australia's largest cattle station raises Santa Gertrudis.

Santa Gertrudis have proved to be one of the world's leading and most efficient producers of quality beef.  Santa Gertrudis breeders have responded to the changes in the beef industry by selecting genetics that perform in the pasture, feedlot and the retail meat markets of the world.

Whether purebred or commercial, Santa Gertrudis cattle measure up and produce results for the producer. As the cattle industry changes to more crossbreeding, Santa Gertrudis bulls are being used extensively with almost all other breeds throughout the world with outstanding results.

It is apparent that whether you are producing for purebred, commercial or feedlot animals, Santa Gertrudis combine all the traits needed for performance and profitability. Santa Gertrudis cattle are efficient for today's industry and lean for today's consumers.

For ranchers, one benefit that is not talked about is that Santa Gertrudis cattle are generally the heaviest of the beef breeds. So yes, a rancher can get more bang for his buck when raising this breed.

UPDATE: May 24th, 2017

I received a note telling me that reading this article was a waste of time, and that it told him nothing. For the person who wrote me, I'm very sorry to hear that.

While I put these breed articles out to help 4H youngsters, it is my experience that most real cattlemen know that any information that you can find is always seen as an asset. Only a fool walks around thinking that he knows it all. Only a fool believes that he can't learn any more than what he already knows.

These articles on cattle breeds are not all there is to know about these breeds. These articles are meant to get you, my reader, acquainted with the breed above. This information was compiled from various sources.

I hope you find it useful.

Tom Correa

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Great Depression -- Interesting Facts & Trivia

The economic crisis of the 1930s is one of the most studied periods of American history, and facts about the Great Depression are very interesting.

While scholars have studied the economic calamity from all angles and amassed an immense collection of facts about the depression, interestingly many can't agree what caused it in the first place.

Here are some interesting facts about the Great Depression.

James “Two-Gun” Davis, Los Angeles Police (LAPD) Chief from 1926 to 1931 and 1933 to 1939.

For several months in 1936, during the height of the devastation from the Oklahoma “Dust Bowl”, Chief Davis sent LAPD officers to the California-Arizona border.

Yes, he actually attempted to stop the flow of migrant works, all American citizens who were referred to as “Okies,” who fled Oklahoma after the state was ravaged by the dust bowl.

It was in the Great Depression that a 3M employee Richard Drew invented Scotch Brand Cellulose Tape in 1930. Today, it is known simply as "Scotch Tape."

In the January 13, 1930 edition of the New York Mirror, The Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted.

On October 17, 1931, Chicago gangster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion and later sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.

Today, 2015, Rev Al Sharpton refuses to pay Millions of dollars in taxes and gets invited to have dinner with President Barack Hussein Obama.
In the 1932 election, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats incumbent Democrat-turned-Republican Herbert Hoover.

Some say the Great Depression peaked between 1932 and 1933, while others say it was 1934.

During the Great Depression, many people tried apple selling to avoid the shame of panhandling. In New York City alone, there were as many as 6,000 apple sellers.

It's true, some 6,000 street vendors walked the streets of New York City in 1930 trying to sell apples for 5 cents each.

Some say the Great Depression started before 1930 with Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, also a Republican, was president when the Great Depression began in 1925.
Herbert Hoover infamously declared in March 1930 that the U.S. had “passed the worst” and argued that the economy would sort itself out.

The worst, however, had just begun and would last until the outbreak of World War II in 1941.

President Herbert Hoover's name became synonymous with the hardships faced by many.

People who lost their homes often lived in shantytowns made of cardboard and sheets were called "Hoovervilles."

Soup from soup-kitchens was called "Hoover Stew," newspapers that served as blankets were called "Hoover Blankets," a  "Hoover Hogs" was a jack rabbit that was caught for food, and broken cars that were pulled by mules were called "Hoover Wagons".

Zippers became widely used because buttons became too expensive.

Because the circulation of money was so low, the U.S. didn't mint nickels in 1932 or 1933.

The biggest hit song of 1932 was "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" by Bing Crosby.

Thousands of homeless families camped out on the Great Lawn at Central Park in New York City, which was an empty reservoir during the Great Depression.

By 1940, 2.5 million people had fled the Great Plains. Roughly 200,000 moved to California.

The term "skid row" came about during "the Depression years."

One of the largest Hoovervilles in the nation was built in 1930 in St. Louis. It had its own mayor, churches and social institutions. The shantytown was funded by private donors and existed until 1936.

The Boulder Dam (today known as "Hoover Dam") is completed 2 years ahead of schedule on March 1, 1936.
Jesse Owens wins four gold medals during the 1936 Summer Olympics.

Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner become the first inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
The German airship Hindenburg is destroyed while attempting to land at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station on May 6, 1937.
American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappears over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, July 2, 1937.
Superman debuts in Action Comics #1 in June 1938.
Gone with the Wind wins the Academy Award for "Best Picture" in 1939.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) became president in March 1933 and promised a “New Deal for the American people.”

During his first hundred days, he attempted to create jobs by establishing federal organizations that were nicknamed “Alphabet Agencies,” such as the TVA, NRA, CCC, and WPA.

Six out of eight of the major New Deal initiatives put forth by President Roosevelt were found to be unConstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Forty-three "alphabet agencies" were created during the New Deal.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs employed hundreds of thousands of workers, many who were unskilled.

One of the most famous New Deal programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and these workers are credited improving dozens of US National Parks.

Today, economists and historians continue to debate whether FDR’s actions and out of control spending of money that the nation did not have  actually deepened and lengthened the Great Depression.

If you asked President Roosevelt who was to blame, you might get an answer that sounds very much like what's coming out of Washington today.

President Roosevelt blamed "unscrupulous money lenders" and a "generation of self-seekers" for the Great Depression.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was formed in 1934, to ensure bank deposits and restore Americans’ confidence in banking.

Before the start of the Great Depression, there were 25,000 banks in the United States. By 1933, almost half of those banks (11,000) had failed.

When Dust Bowl conditions devastated farmers, many defaulted on their bank loans, which helped lead to widespread bank failure.

John Steinbeck wrote "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men" about the lives of these people and the devastating effects of the Dust Bowl.

The free wheeling no-tomorrow spending of the "Roaring Twenties" weren’t roaring for everyone. By 1929, 1% of Americans controlled 40% of the wealth in this country.

Imagine that for a moment, the wealthiest one percent (1%) owned more than 40% of all American assets and they couldn't keep it together.

When stock speculating was a prominent practice, banks lent money to investors to buy stock. Nearly $4.00 out of every $10.00 borrowed from the banks was used to buy stock.

The average income of the American family dropped by 40 percent (40%) from 1929 to 1932. Income fell from $2,300 to $1,500 per year.

During the 1930s, manufacturing employees earned about $17 per week. Doctors earned $61 per week.

The stock market didn't return to pre-depression levels until 1954 when Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower was in office.

The most famous demonstration during the Great Depression was held by the "Bonus Marchers."  

It consisted largely of World War I veterans who were promised financial bonuses after the war.

Because of the Depression, Democrats in control of Congress rescheduled those bonuses to be given out in 1945 instead of being paid in 1932.  

The U.S. Army was called in to disperse them.

Causes of the Great Depression are widely debated but typically include a weak banking system, overproduction, bursting credit bubble, the fact that farmers and industrial workers had not shared in the prosperity of the 1920s, and a government-held laissez faire policy.

Chicago gangster Al Capone, in one of his sporadic attempts at public relations, opened a soup kitchen during the Great Depression.

For millions, soup kitchens provided the only food they would see all day.

As he did during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy, who was President John F Kennedy’s father, amassed an enormous amount of wealth during the Great Depression as a bootlegger among other things.

Without this money, he could not have financed his son’s successful run for the presidency.

While many blue-collar workers were already feeling the economic hard times long before it took place, it is believed that the Wall Street Crash of 1929 was one of the main causes of the Great Depression.

"Black Thursday," "Black Monday," and "Black Tuesday" are all correct terms to describe the Crash because the initial crash occurred over several days, with Tuesday being the most devastating.

The stock market crash of 1929 was the most devastating economic crash in the history of the United States

On “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929, the market lost $14 billion, making the loss for that week an astounding $30 billion.

This was ten times more than the annual federal budget and far more than the U.S. had spent in World War I.

Thirty billion dollars would be equivalent to $377,587,032,770.41 ($377.5 billion) today.

After the initial crash, there was a wave of suicides in the New York’s financial district.

It is said that the clerks of one hotel even started asking new guests if they needed a room for sleeping or jumping.

As news of the stock market crash spread, customers rushed to their banks to withdraw their money, sparking disastrous “bank runs.”

Three towns were created from scratch during the New Deal. Greendale, Wisconsin, Greenhills, Ohio and Greenbelt, Maryland were created during work relief programs. All the towns still exist today.

Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman argues that the 1930s market crash itself did not cause the depression, but rather it was the collapse of the banking system during waves of public panic during 1930-1933.

The Dow Jones market peaked at 381 on September 3, 1929, and bottomed out at 42 in 1932, which is an amazing 89% decline.

It did not reach 381 again until 23 years later in 1955 - and no, that doesn’t include inflation losses.

A new look in women’s fashion emerged in the 1930s.

In response to the economic crisis, designers created more affordable fashions with longer hemlines, slim waistlines, lower heels, and less makeup.

Accessories became more important as they created the impression of a “new” look without having to buy a new dress.

During the worst years of the Depression which were 1933 and 1934, the overall jobless rate was 25% - that's 1 out of every 4 people out of work.

Another 25% took wage cuts or started working part time.

The gross national product fell by almost 50%.

Fact is, it was not until 1941 when World War II was underway that unemployment officially fell back below 10%.

Yes, back then they saw the end of the Great Depression when unemployment figures fell below 10%.

When Geoerge W. Bush was in office, 6% unemployed is considered a Depression if a Republican is in the White House.

Today the typical household has two wage earners, so even a 25% unemployment rate such as occurred during the Great Depression may not mean the same thing as it did in the 1930s.

Some people who became homeless would ride on railroad cars because they didn’t have money to travel.

Some famous men who rode the rails were William O. Douglas (1898-1980), U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1939-1975; Western novelist Louis L’Amour (1908-1988); and folk singer Woody Guthrie (1912-1967).

Some scholars claim that more than 50,000 people were injured or killed while jumping trains.

The board game Monopoly, which first became available in 1935, became immensely popular perhaps because players could become rich — at least in their imagination.

Comic strips like Superman, Flash Gordon and Dick Tracy kept children entertained during the Great Depression.

The "Three Little Pigs" - released May 27, 1933, and produced by Walt Disney - was seen as symbolic of the Great Depression, with the wolf representing the Depression and the three little pigs representing average citizens who eventually succeeded by working together.

During the Great Depression, a record 60-80 million Americans went to the movies every week.

The movies at the time were cheap escapism from their troubles. They were mainly positive and uplifting to motivate the American public to not lose hope - a far cry from today's films.

One of the biggest blockbusters was Merian C. Cooper’s 1933 King Kong. Other popular movies included The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Gone with the Wind (1939).

Chain letters seemed to have first begun in 1935 as a get-rich-quick scheme. The source of the letters is unknown, but the letters became so popular that post offices around the nation had to hire extra help.

Between 1930 and 1935, in just 5 years, nearly 750,000 farms were lost through bankruptcy or Sheriff sales for unpaid taxes.

During the Depression, distressed farms were sometimes sold at "Penny Auctions".

These were forced auctions in which farmers would assure that a distressed neighbor would be able to buy back his own farm by holding bids down to pennies, nickels, and quarters.

And yes, they would dissuade those who wanted to make higher bids by dangling hangman's nooses at the auctions.

One American sheep farmer found that he would not make money off of his sheep during the depression.

Rather than watch his 3,000 sheep starve to death, he cut their throats and threw them in a canyon.

As businesses and farms closed during the Great Depression, an alarming number of Americans began turning to crime.

And yes, while the overwhelming vast majority of Americans followed the law, there were those like Bruno Hauptmann, who kidnapped and murdered aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son; John Dillinger, who was a wannabe Robin Hood who was in reality a cold blooded killer; Lester M. Gillis aka "Baby Face Nelson"; Machine Gun Kelly; Pretty Boy Floyd; Ma Barker and her sons; and Bonnie and Clyde, all who killed without conscience.

The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act of 1930 increased U.S. tariffs which, in turn, decreased international trade - especially in the farming sector - and helped spread the Great Depression worldwide.

As the Great Depression spread worldwide, it became partly responsible for the rise of Nazism in Germany and for World War II from 1939 to 1945.

The Golden Gate Bridge was constructed during the Great Depression

In fact, a number of great structures, including the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge, were completed during the Great Depression, providing many jobs to the unemployed.

Along with the Empire State building and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chrysler building and Rockefeller Center were all built as part of depression-era worker relief programs.

You ever wonder why that whole generation of Americans treat food as important as they do - as a treasure?

Scholars estimate that nearly 50% of all children during the Great Depression did not have adequate food, shelter, or medical care. Many suffered rickets from poor nutrition.

In the mountain communities of Appalachia, whole families were reduced to dandelions and blackberries for their basic diet.

Some children were so hungry, they chewed on their own hands.

An early form of Social Security began Aug 14, 1935, to implement social insurance for the elderly who did not have enough money to support themselves.

By the 1930s, thousands of schools were operating on reduced hours or were closed down entirely. Some three million children had left school, and at least 200,000 took to riding the rails.

When the Depression struck, Mexican-Americans were accused of taking jobs away from "real" Americans and of unfairly burdening local relief efforts. Some were physically beaten to "encourage" them to return to Mexico.

On May 6, 1929, Joseph Stalin predicted to a small group of American communists that America would experience a revolutionary crisis and that the American communist party should be ready to assume the leadership of the "impending class struggle in America."

These days, as much as I loath Joe Stalin for what he did to the Russian people, I can't help but wonder if he knew what was coming somewhere in our future with the advent of a Socialist administration in the White House.

In spite of the New Deal and the “Indian New Deal” of 1934, most Native Americans remained bitterly poor during the Great Depression.

The “Indian New Deal” which was also called the Indian Reorganization Act was a complex and multi-faceted legislation which reversed the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 and granted tribes more autonomy.

Discrimination during the Great Depression against women was common, both officially and unofficially, because they were seen as taking away jobs from men. They were seen as taking food away from families since those were the days when only the husband worked.

The Great Depression did in fact affect everyone in one way or another, but, as unbelievable as it sounds, there are those scholars who believe that up to 40% of the country never faced real hardship during those years. But honestly, I simply can't believe it!

Rich folks were mostly unaffected though. It was reported that a young John F. Kennedy once said that the only thing that he knew about the Great Depression was what he read about in the papers.

The Great Depression changed the family in several ways.

During the Great Depression, nearly 1.5 million women were abandoned by their husbands

Many couples delayed marriage, and divorce rates and birth rates dropped.

Some men also abandoned their families; a 1940 poll revealed that 1.5 million married women were abandoned by their husbands.

In 1936, main economic indicators - except unemployment - regained the levels of the late 1920s.

But, after the federal government cut spending with the expectation that the private sector would step in, the economy took another sharp downturn until World War II.

Californians tried to stop migrants from moving into their state by creating checkpoints on main highways called "bum blockades."

California even instated an "anti-Okie" law which punished anyone bringing in "indigents" with jail time.

During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of families traveled west on Route 66 to California, following what John Steinbeck in his famous novel The Grapes of Wrath called "The Mother Road."

While John Steinbeck highlights the plight of migrant farm families in The Grapes of Wrath, in reality, less than half (43%) of the migrants were farmers.

Most migrants came from east of the Dust Bowl and did not work on farms.

Severe drought and dust storms exacerbated the Great Depression because it dried out farmlands and forced families to leave their farms.

On May 9, 1934, a dust storm carried an estimated 350 million tons of dirt 2,000 miles east ward and dumped four million tons of prairie dirt in Chicago.

The drought and dust killed tens of thousands of animals.

In 1932, half of all workers in Cleveland, Ohio, were jobless. And in Toledo, Ohio, four out of five were jobless.

Every major country, including the United States, abandoned the gold standard during the Great Depression.

In fact, leaving the gold standard was a predictor of a country’s economic severity and the length of time for its recovery.

Herbert Hoover argued that abandoning the gold standard was the first step toward “communism, fascism, socialism, statism, and a planned economy.”

In the 1930s, unemployment reached 25% and the GDP dropped 25%.

Though we have not reached that point, today we have more people out of work and on Food Stamps and other programs because our population is so much bigger.

Some scholars speculate that a "Great Depression" type of economic collapse in 2014 would lead to more T.V. watching as a form of escape, longer lines at the ER, laid-off office workers migrating to the country, and even online banking runs.

Since today, we see "hard-times" differently, scholars believe that another depression would be a lot less visible and more isolating than the 1930s' Great Depression.

In March 2012, it was reported that 4 out of 15 of the major U.S. banks wouldn’t survive another severe recession like the one in 2009, much less a Great Depression.

Some scholars find the 2014 economic condition more troubling than that of the 1930s' Great Depression because debt in 2014 includes not only stocks but also millions of homes, property, local governments, and other nations.

Also, in contrast to the 1930s, the U.S. is now a debtor nation and more households in the U.S. are in far greater debt than any other time in our history.

We can learn a lot about what can happen, if we want to avoid it from happening again.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Obama Says Christian Schools Encourage “Fear” And “Division”

President Obama is at it again, basically attacking Christians as he always does.

You ever notice that he only attacked Christians? But worse than pulling his normal bullshit here, he did it in a foreign country when he disparaged both Protestants and Catholics on a recent visit to Ireland.

Americans have seen a steady rise in attacks on Christians by the liberal media, Hollywood, and those in charge of the Democrat Party.

But, since entering office, Obama, the man who was going to bring so much positive to the oval office, has instead used the power and far reaching authority of the United States Government to attack Conservatives, Christians, and anyone he sees as a political enemy.

He has used the IRS to terrorize Conservatives and Christians here going on five years, and now he is taking his dictatorial ways overseas to attack Christians in foreign lands -  as he did in a visit to Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit.

In his address in Ireland, Obama claimed that a Christian education promotes division and resentment.

Obama angered proponents of Catholic education during his visit to Northern Ireland when he told a Belfast audience that towns will remain divided "if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs."

An article, which subsequently appeared in the Scottish Catholic Observer, carried the headline, "U.S. President Undermines Catholic Schools After Vatican Prefect Praised Them."

The article said Obama "made an alarming call for an end to Catholic education in Northern Ireland," and quoted from recent remarks of the Vatican’s Archbishop Gerhard Müller, who had said that Catholic education was "a critical component of the Church."
As reported by The Scottish Catholic Observer, the President wagged his finger at the Brits saying, "If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden – that too encourages division and discourages cooperation."

That's right, according to Obama, Christianity divides.

The Catholic Observer went on to scold Obama:

Ironically, President Obama made his comments just as Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told a crowd in Scotland that religious education upholds the dignity of the human person.

Archbishop Müller said that Catholic schools should promote “all that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture."

Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, also viewed Obama's remarks as an attack on Catholic education.

"Catholic education is a longstanding tradition and a gift to society at large," she said. "Why the president chose to attack that tradition is beyond comprehension and represents his continuing effort to relegate religion to the private sphere."

None of this should be surprising to anyone since Obama’s Pentagon has deemed Christianity a "hostile" religion, and his Department of Homeland Security chief has put Christians on the terror watch list.

This is the same administration that is now trying to ban the reading of any Conservative literature in the U.S. military - believe it or not, including the Constitution and works by our Founding Fathers.

And yes, his administration is pushing for the Christian Bible to be banned from military installations while Islam is encouraged.

Obama has no problem with leftist ideals and hate promoted by Muslims throughout the world. He has never uttered a single criticism against Muslim schools of hate.

While he has been a staunch defender of Mohammad the Suicide Bombed, piss be upon him, Obama seems to have a problem with Christ in general.

So why does he feel only Christian schools cause "fear" and "division"?

Why doesn't he compare what is taught in a Christian school to that taught in a Muslim madrases like the one he attended in Indonesia as a young boy?

And ask yourself,  just how many Catholics and other Christians have flown planes into tallest buildings and killed 3 THOUSAND or more people at on given time?

Do Catholic and other Christian schools preach beheading another person, or using their faith as a reason molest boys and girls, or justify the rape and degradation of women?

How many Christians are taught to threat their women as slaves and hide them under burkas? How many Christian women fear death for not doing what Christian men want them to do?

Sure, we Catholics have Priests that have molested boys. But that is not a problem with Priests, it is a Gay problem withing the church. After all, it seems that only Gays in the church molest boys.

Are Christians killers of the innocent like those who step onto a bus and ignite a suicide bomb? No, Christians belief that the most precious thing that God gave us is Life.

Why is it that Obama fails to mention how truly vial Islam truly is to their own?

Is it a matter of convenience, not wanting to "upset" his Muslim brothers, or is it a matter of his being indoctrinated into the Muslim faith as a child - and he sees only fault with Christians as Islam preaches?

Would Obama have ever gone to a Muslim-controlled part of the world and excoriate them for having Muslim madrases that not only divide - but go on to preach hate and murder for anyone not of their faith?

Fact is, Sometimes I can't help but wonder if President Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist himself.

Maybe not in the same league with that Muslim U.S. Army officer who preformed a terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas, or those two Muslim men who set of bombs in Boston, but Obama attacks the innocent and the Christian nonetheless.

He is in a different league than other political terrorists, his is the biggest league of all.

As President of the United States, his words carry weight, but also he uses surrogates in the media and drone attacks sans any sort of trial, a powerful military, and government agencies to carry out his attacks against those who oppose him and his political and religious ideologies.

He has attacked those who oppose Islam, and both American and allied innocents who have done nothing wrong except not fall in line. 
That's just the way I see it!      

Story by Tom Correa

Monday, June 24, 2013

Florida Cop orders woman to lift Shirt & Shake Bra during Traffic Stop

A Lakeland, Florida, police officer told a woman to lift her shirt, expose her stomach, and then pull her bra away from her body and shake it — all during a traffic stop.


The incident happened in Lakeland, Florida.

Officer Dustin Fetz pulled over Zoe Brugger and her boyfriend on May 21st because she was driving with a broken headlight, the Ledger of Lakeland reported.

Fetz told her to lift up her shirt, pull her bra away from her body and shake it out so he could see if she was hiding any drugs.

Believe it or not, according to the Lakeland Police Department, their officers have done this in the past to search for drugs. Imagine that!

The Florida State Attorney’s Office wrote a letter to Lisa Womack, Lakeland Police Chief, detailing the investigation.

The letter said that Zoe Brugger was pulled over because one of her front headlights was out.

After being asked to step out of the car, police searched the car, Brugger, and her passenger.

Brugger was sobbing as she followed orders. She said, "It was really, really humiliating."

She continued, "He said to pull out your bra and just shake it a little bit."

Apparently, the officer then asked her to do it again. "He said he was sure that I had drugs," she said.

Yes, believe it or not, he then ordered her to do it again and asked permission to search her car.   Brugger agreed, but changed her answer to "no" before he started, but Fetz searched the vehicle anyway. No drugs were found on her, on her boyfriend or in her car.

"[Fetz] made me go through the whole humiliating ordeal with shaking my bra out right there in the middle of this parking lot," Brugger said, according to WFLA.

"He told me that he was taking me to Bartow Jail for driving on a suspended license and that they had an x-ray machine there and they were definitely going to find what I had hidden inside me there."

Imagine this guy! Who the Hell does he think he is?

bra shake

The incident happened in a parking lot of an apartment complex around 11pm. Brugger and the cops were in plain view of the public eye.

According to the Florida State Attorney’s Office, Officer Dustin Fetz had no reason to think Brugger had drugs on her. Remember, she was pulled over because of an inoperable headlight.

State Attorney Jerry Hill sent a letter to the LPD this week, calling Fetz's behavior "egregious" and "demeaning."

The letter added that Brugger did not believe Fetz's demands were sexually motivated, but that he was "on a power trip."

Hill noted there is evidence of other LPD officers using the bra-shake method in the past.

The letter called the search method “demeaning, ineffective and possibly dangerous.”

State Officials said this search method is not taught at the law enforcement training academy at Polk State College, where Fetz attended.

Despite this, the method appears to be an accepted practice among the police in that area.

Brugger said, "I really hope that nothing like this happens to any other women out there."

Investigator Mike Brown filed a report stating that Fetz's actions "went beyond the police actions that are permissible under law" and "violated the constitutional rights afforded to Zoe Brugger," according to WFLA.

Officer Dustin Fetz  was placed on a four-day administrative leave due to the incident, but he is currently back on duty.

Yes, Fetz was placed on paid administrative leave for only four days - that's it, four days - while a supposed "investigation" took place. He return to work June 18th.

The Lakeland Police Department says they will review the department’s search procedures and decide if changes should be made.

Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack called the incident "highly questionable" in a statement obtained by Fox 13.

Womack added that "this department does not condone [Fetz's] alleged actions."

"Highly questionable"? "Alleged"? What's "highly questionable" or "alleged" about it? It is on video with Fetz ordering her to do it so there isn't any "alleged" about it!

And as for Chief Lisa Womack saying its "highly questionable," we should all write the Chief to explain to her the difference between questionable and out-and-out wrong!

Its no wonder this jerkweed cop is on a power trip, his department sounds just as unprofessional as he is - and apparently supports his bullshit behavior.

So let's understand this correctly, no threat, no sign of drugs, no drugs found in her vehicle or on her boyfriend in the car with her, yet this asshole cop has the nerve to humiliate and violate this woman.

And what was his punishment? Go sit at home with pay!

They apparently support this bad cop ordering a woman to shake her bra during a totally unjustified search for drugs during a routine traffic stop.

Thankfully an acquaintance of Brugger's wrote a letter to the editor of the Ledger about the incident.  That letter, which was published on June 2nd, prompted the investigation by the State Attorney's Office.

Brugger is still not sure if she will pursue legal action against the department.

I hope she files suit against Fetz, Womack, and the Lakeland Police Department.

I would think a lawsuit would get this bad cop Fetz off the department and change the way they are treating their citizens.  

Story by Tom Correa

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Crossing the Plains, 1865

It took approximately 300 years from 1500 to 1800 for European population to extend from the East Coast of America to the Mississippi River.

Popular wisdom at the beginning of the 19th century hypothesized it would take at least another 300 years, or most likely longer, to fill the area between the Mississippi and the Pacific coast.

Of course, it didn't take 300 years to settle the West. A number of factors accelerated the pace of change.

Beginning with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the US government acquired domain over the land to the west of the Mississippi through war, treaty or purchase.

The discovery of gold in California and the promise of fertile land lured an estimated 300,000 to the Pacific Coast prior to 1860.

In the midst of the Civil War, Congress enacted the Homestead Act entitling any head of family, anyone over the age of 21, or any veteran of military service to 160 acres of land.

With the end of the war, many took advantage of the offer filling the westward trails with wagon trains loaded with all their worldly possessions.

Before the end of the century America's frontier had been extended to the Pacific and then officially declared closed.

The decision to make the trek could not have been an easy one - motivated no doubt by hard times at home and the promise of better times to the west.

Sarah Raymond was one of those who made the journey along with her father, mother and brothers.

Her diary doesn't reveal her age, but we can assume she was young, probably a teenager.

The family began their journey on May 1, 1865 in Missouri and arrived at their destination in Virginia City, Montana Territory on September 6. Sarah details each day's adventures - accidents, sickness, river crossings, Indian encounters, mud, dust, monotony, and terror.

We don't know much about Sarah beyond what appears in her journal except that she married and stayed in Virginia City the rest of her life.

She first published her journal at the request of friends in a local newspaper, the "Rocky Mountain Husbandman," in the early 1880s.

Her diary was published in book form in 1902.

Eleven Graves

On June 12, 1865 - about 6 weeks after leaving Missouri - Sarah's group of wagons arrives at Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory, a major way station on the road west.

There, the pioneers are confronted with evidence of the hazards of their journey:

"Monday, June 12

We stood by the graves of eleven men that were killed last August by the Indians.

There was a sort of bulletin-board about midway and at the foot of the graves stating the circumstances of the frightful tragedy.

They were a party of fourteen, twelve men and two women, wives of two of the men.

They were camped on Plum Creek, a short distance from where the graves are.

They were all at breakfast except one man who had gone to the creek for water, he hid in the brush, or there would have been none to tell the tale of the massacre.

There had been no depredations committed on this road all Summer, and emigrants had become careless and traveled in small parties.
They did not suspect that an Indian was near until they were surrounded, and the slaughter had commenced.

All the men were killed and scalped, and the women taken prisoners.

They took what they wanted of the provisions burned the wagons and ran off with the horses.

The one man that escaped went with all haste to the nearest station for help.
The soldiers pursued the Indians, had a fight with them and rescued the women.

One of them had seen her husband killed and scalped and was insane when rescued and died at the station.

The other woman was the wife of the man that escaped. They were from St. Joe, Missouri."

Killed on the Road

"Sunday, July 16

Just after we crossed the bridge, and where there is a sudden turn in the road, as it winds around the mountain, we saw where two men had been killed and two wagons burned last week.

The tire became loose on a wheel of the next to the last wagon in a freight train, the men stopped to tighten it, while the rest of the train moved on, not thinking of danger, and was out of sight in a few minutes.

An hour later some of the men came back to see what kept them.

There they were - dead and scalped - horses gone, and wagons on fire.

The Indians had taken all the freight they could use, piled wood under the wagons, and set it on fire.

We saw quantities of white beans scattered over the ground, also the irons from the wagons."

The Dust

"Wednesday, July 26

...I did not awake this morning until everything was ready for a very early start.

Mother had kept my breakfast warm by keeping the stove until the last minute.

I sat in the wagon and ate my breakfast after the train had started.

When through, I climbed out and went to see how Neelie [Sarah's friend] was. I found her feverish and restless; her symptoms unfavorable.

Oh, the dust, the dust; it is terrible.
I have never seen it half as bad; it seems to be almost knee-deep in places.

We came twenty miles without stopping, and then camped for the night.

We are near a fine spring of most excellent water - Barrel Spring it is called.

I do not know why; there are no barrels there.

When we stopped, the boys' faces were a sight; they were covered with all the dust that could stick on.

One could just see the apertures where eyes, nose and mouth were through the dust; their appearance was frightful.

How glad we all are to have plenty of clear cold water to wash away the dust."

Murder in Camp

As Sarah rides along with the wagon train she is approached by a friend - Frank - from a portion of the train that had split off to travel on its own. Her friend has news:

"Saturday, August 5

'Frasier was shot and killed day before yesterday evening.'

'Oh Frank; how did it happen?'

'Hosstetter did it, but I think he was not much to blame'

Frasier is the man who spoke to Cash, Neelie and I, as we were watching the wagons ferried across the Missouri River, whose son ran away from his mother, and home, to come to his father, and go with him to Montana.
Frasier had teams and wagons for freighting and Hosstetter some capital to invest in freight, to take to Montana.

Frasier advised the purchase of flour, and he would freight it to Virginia City for fifteen dollars per cwt.

He said flour was worth fifty and sixty dollars per hundred in Virginia City.

(So it was in the Spring of 1864, and as high as seventy-five and one hundred dollars per one hundred, which was the cause of a bread riot in Virginia City.)

No doubt Frasier was honest in his advice, and would have invested in flour for himself.
He charged more freight than was right, for ten and twelve cents is the prevailing price; but then Hosstetter should have found that out himself.

When he found he had been imposed upon and learned that flour is retailing at Virginia City for $15 per hundred, he was angry, dissatisfied, and perhaps quarrelsome.
Frasier was no doubt very aggravating.

They had quarreled several times, and the evening of the 3d, Frasier was heard to say to Hosstetter in a threatening tone:

'You may consider yourself lucky if you ever see Montana. You need not expect to get any of this flour. It will take it all to pay the freight.'

It was getting dark, and Fraser stood with one hand on a wheel as he talked.
He then got into the wagon and out again, with something in his hand, which Hosstetter thought was a revolver in the gathering darkness.

He came back to the wheel where he had been standing when he made the threat, and Hosstetter thought he had come to shoot him, and fired twice, as he thought, to save his own life, Frasier fell, shot through the brain, and died instantly.

Then it was found he had a hatchet in his hand and had come to tighten a tire on the wheel, which he had found loose when he laid his hand on it.
Frasier's eldest son of fourteen years is here.

There are five children and their mother at home. Hossteter has three children and a wife.

Eleven innocent persons to suffer, no one knows how intensely, for that rash act.

Frasier's son knelt beside his father's dead body and placing his hand on his breast, he swore a fearful oath that he would have but one purpose in life until his father's death is avenged.
Oh, what a shocking ambition for so young a boy."

Later in her diary, Sarah describes the trial of Hosstetter:

"...The men from these four trains elected judge, jury, prosecuting attorney and lawyer for the defense, and have tried Hosstetter for murder.

The jury brought in a verdict of 'Not guilty.'

He shot in self-defense, as Frasier had threatened to kill him."

Sarah's diary entry a day later notes that a squad of soldiers came and took Hosstetter to a fort near Green River (Wyoming) for an official trial.

However, she does not reveal the outcome of that trial.

River Crossing

"Thursday, August 24

We came to a toll bridge over the Blackfoot this morning, where the toll was one dollar per team and fifty cents for horseback riders.
There had been an excellent ford just below the bridge.

The men collecting the toll had spoiled it by digging ditches on both sides near the bank.

The water was clear, and they were plainly visible.

Hillhouse [Sarah's brother] mounted Dick [Sarah's horse] to see if we could ford it.

One of the men screamed out at him: 'You will mire your horse if you try that.'

'I'll risk it.' And he rode in below where the ditches were dug.
The pony's feet were not muddy.

Hillhouse found we could easily ford he creek below the ditches, which we did without accident.

It does seem a shame that we should have to pay toll for crossing a stream like that, after fording South Platte, North Platte and Green River.

The Missourians refused to pay the exorbitant price, and offered them fifty cents per wagon.
They swore they would not take a cent less than one dollar.

But the travelers were too many for them, and they drove over and did not pay a cent.

The toll men were fearfully angry, and made great threats, but the men dared them to do their worst and laughed at them.

I do hope we will get ahead of these people to-morrow. They are not the kind of people I like to travel with."

This eyewitness account is from Sarah Raymond Herndon's Days On The Road (1902).

Yes, she was there!