Details for Site of Historic Drift Fence (Atlas Number 5341004810)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5341004810


Marker Number 4810
Atlas Number 5341004810
Marker Title Site of Historic Drift Fence
Index Entry Drift Fence
Address US 87, S of Dumas
City Dumas
County Moore
UTM Zone 13
UTM Easting 770484
UTM Northing 3974038
Subject Codes ranches/ranching; fences; cattle, cattle industry topics
Marker Year 1969
Marker Location Located 1.2 miles south of Dumas (Moore) County Courthouse on US 87, east side of road.
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text Until the mid-1880's, no range fences existed in the Texas Panhandle. Thus when winter blizzards came, cattle drifted from Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas onto the Texas ranches of T ("Box T"--Dominion Cattle Co. Ltd.). 7K ("Seven K"--York, Parker & Draper), CC ("Bar C's"--Creswell Land & Cattle Co.), ("Turkey Track"--Hansford Land & Cattle Co.), LX (Bates & Beal), LIT (Littlefield), and LE (Lee & Reynolds). The influx caused these ranches in the Canadian River breaks to be overgrazed, for by spring roundup there were as many northern as local cattle in the herds. To prevent the costly and time-consuming job of separating the cattle, each Texas rancher agreed to construct a fence along his north boundary line. The resulting fence was 200 miles long and ran from the northeast corner of the Panhandle southwest to near the site where Dumas was later founded, then west about 35 miles into New Mexico. It was a 4-strand, 4-barb fence with posts 30 feet apart and a gate every 3 miles. The materials amounted to about 65 carloads of wire and posts hauled from Dodge City. In 1890, however, to comply with an 1889 state law prohibiting any fence from crossing or enclosing public property, most of the fence was removed.