N. B. SELF 1937 Interview in Lipan

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Mrs. Ada Davis, P. W.

[Hood ?] County, Texas.

District No. 8 {Begin handwritten} Life history [5,700?] 230 {End handwritten}

No. Words 500

File No. 230

Page No. 1


Interview with Mr. N. B. Self Lipan, Texas.

In 1871, times were very rough. Indians and out laws and all kinds of wild animals, such as the panther, cougar, Mexican lions and other wild animals troubled the settlers.

When the early settlers came out of the Civil war in 1865, all the stock they had were wild and scattered until the people did not know what they possessed. Every man that owned a mark and brand went out and where ever he could find cattle that did not have any brand or mark he would catch and brand such cattle if he could. The man that could catch the most cattle had the largest herd. This went on until they had marked and branded every thing that was not marked and branded. The citizens thought it was time to quit and care for the increase of cattle bearing their mark and brand. When the majority adopted this plan there was a class of men that did not stop this branding of cattle. This was about 1865, and there was no written law.

The law abiding people had to stop these men by force from branding unbranded cattle. The quirt, rope or guns were used as punishment. This caused almost a war at home. It was nothing unusual to see a man hanging to a limb, or to find a dead man lying on the prairie. Some times they would catch these dishonest men, pull their clothes off, and tie them across a log and severely whip them, then turn them loose and tell them if they were ever caught taking anything else that did not belong to them, they would be hung to a limb with a rope.

The Indians were all over this country, the people had them to watch because they were such thieves. D. N. Self, father of N. D. Self, often waited until after dark to hobble his saddle horses out, so they could get grass. {Begin handwritten} C 12 – 2/11/41 – Texas. {End handwritten}

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Where the Selfs lived in 1868, they got water out of a spring. The Indians also got water out of this spring and would pass near where the Selfs lived. The Self family carried water from this spring and the Indian tracks would put out the tracks of the white people. Indian tracks were often found near the house. The Selfs had a dog that would bark at Indians. In the direction, in which the dog looked while barking, there would be found lots of Indian tracks. They were trying to steal the horses. Often Indians drove off the last horse that D. S. Self owned.

The old settlers used to make all of their ropes out of hair cut from cattle tails. The regular summer’s work consisted of making large cow pens which had a chute, so that only one cow at a time could go through. A man would stand on each side of the chute and run the cattle through, and they would cut the long hair from the cow tails and throw it in piles. When they got all they wanted, they would spin this hair in to strands and then they would run these strands together to make the rope, and girths for their saddles. The way they spun the hair was by using a small plank with a small hole bored through one end. This plank was trimmed very narrow at the end where the hole was bored. A stick of wood was trimmed small enough to go through this hole in the plank. They would tie the hair to the top of the plank and one man would hold the hair while another turned this plank by winding the stick that went through the plank. This turning twisted the hair. The man would keep slipping back the stick placing the hair to be spun. He would keep this stick back until they got the strands as long as they wanted. A stob was driven to which the strand was tied. Then as long as needed, the strand was loosened. Other strands were made in the same manner. Each end of strands were fastened to a godevil, and turned reversed to each other. Two men went a head to see that the strands were even. The godevils were turned until the rope was made.