The Matador Land and Cattle Company
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
284 Pages | 6 x 9 | 24 b&w illus.
When the company was organized in 1882 by a group of Dundee businessmen, its holdings consisted of a herd that H. H. Campbell had trailed to the headwaters of the Pease River and the 1,500,000 acres of West Texas range to which he had laid claim. After facing near disaster because of drought, a drop in the cattle market, and a severe blizzard, the Matador board in 1891 placed the management of their affairs in the hands of Murdo Mackenzie, later called by Theodore Roosevelt “the most influential of cattlemen.” So successful were his policies, as well as those of his successors, that the Matador brand was known from Texas to Canada. Matador cattle ranged over Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, as well as the home ranges in Texas, while for many years the company had its administrative headquarters in Colorado. When liquidation of the company began in 1951, the Scots’ property was valued at over $19,000,000.
When first published, this classic history of the Matador Company received very favorable reviews. Ranchers, historians, promoters, economists, and armchair cowboys found it to be, as one reviewer said, “an excellent book, well written, well researched and documented.” Another called it “a business epic . . . set against the background of the range cattle industry in the most romantic period of the American West.”