feature By: Leo J. Remiger | November, 20
These entries are transcribed from the ledgers and many of them have been reformatted. In many cases, the original entries contain errors. In addition, items were returned, and items were incorrectly charged to the wrong outfit and multiple separate purchases were made on the same day by the same outfit. Some entries make no sense whatsoever. The number to the left of the outfit name is the customer number assigned to each outfit by Frank E. Conrad or his clerk.
However, many of these tables are interesting and a couple of them are fascinating. The resupply or inventory of the H. C. Jacobs store is probably the most interesting of all the tables for it shows in detail what would have been available in the typical, well supplied “road ranch” or one of Conrad’s branch stores of the hide-hunting era.
Also interesting is the payment for licenses for all three stores (in Texas) that Frank E. Conrad was associated with; the Ft. Griffin store, the Reynolds (Rath City) store and the Camp Minter store. Unfortunately, the ledger contains no specific details on where the actual Camp Minter store was located. It is also interesting that the account used to pay the license fees was assigned to Conrad and Rath, which could possibly indicate a full partnership in the three stores.
We have always presumed that the Camp Minter store was the establishment often referred to as the store at Big Springs or the “store on the range.” More research is definitely required to differentiate and identify these place names and locations. If any of the readers have a definite answer to these questions, please contact me via the Black Powder Cartridge News at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make an update.
There is an entry on page 523 dated 5 September, 1877, which is most interesting:
474 – Funds to H.C. Jacobs & Co. $2,573.50
00 Mdse Diff between cost & selling price
Charged on goods sent out to store. $1,962.75
Like most everything in the ledger, it’s open to interpretation. Also, on page 525, dated 5 September, 1877, is the following account of either an inventory of the items on hand or the resupply of the store on the range run by H. C. Jacobs.
Those interested in the hide-hunting era will certainly recognize a great many of the names listed here. While my main intent was to capture hunter purchases, you will recognize that some are Frank E. Conrad employees and even T. E. Jackson who was a competitor of Frank E. Conrad in the trade.
The items purchased are certainly interesting. The one item that I would like to specifically point out – soap – shows that maybe these hunters weren’t quite the vermin ridden, “stinkers” we have been led to believe. Somebody was buying soap – otherwise Charles Rath would never have paid the freight on five boxes of soap that totaled 300 pounds! As you can see in the purchases, soap was a commonly purchased item, contrary to what we have been led to believe over the years.
1. “Frank Conrad Ledger,” From the Collection of the Robert E. Nail, Jr. Archives of the Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas
2. "Henry Herron, Pioneer and Peace Officer,” J.R. Webb, West Texas Historical Association Year Book, Vol XX, PP 39-44, Poe, Sophie A., “Buckboard Days,”, The Caxton Printers, Ltd. Caldwell, Idaho, 1936, PP 59-60, 63-64, 83-84
3. “T.E. Jackson,” Pablo Balentine, The Sharps Collector Report, Volume 16, Number 3, Page 21.
4. “What An Old Buffalo Hunter Saw Who Helped To Exterminate The Herds That Darkened The Plains,” As told to A.B. Macdonald by George W. Reighard, Kansas City Star, November 30, 1930. “Stacks Of Buffalo Hides, George Reighard, Last Of The Buffalo Hunters, Is Dead-Funeral Tuesday,” The Dodge City Buffalo Hunters, Earle R. Forrest, Los Angeles Corral - The Westerners - Brand Book XIII
5. “Frontier Life of Uncle Joe S. McCombs,” W.G. Webb, Albany, Texas. “On The Cattle Trail And Buffalo Range, Joe S. McCombs,” Ben O. Grant and J.R. Webb, West Texas Historical Association Year Book, Vol XI, PP 93-101.
6. Cook, John R., “The Border and the Buffalo,” State House Press, Austin, 1989. Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado, August 21, 1821 Montrose Daily Press, Montrose, Colorado, October 3, 1921 https://history.army.mil/moh/civilwar_af.html#DOCKUM
7. Remiger, Leo J., “The Buffalo and The Sharps – The Story of the Mooar Brothers – ‘Hidehunters’” unpublished manuscript, Page 88
8. Baldwin, Sam, interview with Earl Vandale & Hervey Chesley, Lordsburg, New Mexico, July 11, 1941; Haley Collection, Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library, Midland, Texas.
9. Collinson, Frank, “Jim Greathouse or ‘Whiskey Jim,’” Typescript, Panhandle Plains Museum, Canyon, Texas.
10. Baldwin, Sam, interview with Earl Vandale & Hervey Chesley, Lordsburg, New Mexico, July 11, 1941; Haley Collection, Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library, Midland, Texas.
11. Handbook of Texas Online, “TEPEE CREEK,” accessed December 18, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rbt14.
14. Remiger, Leo J., “The Buffalo and The Sharps – The Story of the Mooar Brothers – ‘Hidehunters’” unpublished manuscript, Page 53
15. Poe, Sophie A., “Buckboard Days,” Caston Printers, Caldwell, Idaho, 1936, PP 17-85, “Henry Herron, Pioneer and Peace Officer,” J.R. Webb, West Texas Historical Association Year Book, Vol XX, PP 39-44, Harry Landers Scrap Book, Various newspaper clippings with no heading or dates,
16. “Frontier Life of Uncle Joe S. McCombs,” W.G. Webb, Albany, Texas “On the Cattle Trail and Buffalo Range, Joe S. McCombs,” Ben O. Grant and J.R. Webb, West Texas Historical Association Year Book, Vol XI, PP 93-101.