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Burt, Struthers (18 October 1882–29 August 1954), poet, prose writer, and rancher, was born Maxwell Struthers Burt in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Horace Brooke Burt, a Philadelphia lawyer then in Baltimore on business, and Hester Ann Jones. From the age of six months, Burt grew up in Philadelphia, attended private schools there, and became the youngest reporter in Philadelphia, working on the ...

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Cassidy, Butch (13 April 1866–1908? or 1937?), outlaw and rancher, was born Robert LeRoy Parker in Beaver, Utah, the oldest of thirteen children of Maximillian Parker and Ann Gillies, small ranchers. His British-born parents were Mormons who pulled handcarts across the Great Plains to Utah in 1856. As a teenager growing up near Circleville, Utah, Parker was influenced by cowhand Mike Cassidy, who taught him to ride, shoot, rope, brand, and rustle cattle and horses. Under suspicion by local authorities, Parker and Cassidy left Utah in 1884. Parker went to Telluride, Colorado, where he found employment with a mining company. There he met Tom McCarty, a bank robber, and soon joined the McCarty Gang. On 24 June 1889, he participated in a bank robbery at Telluride, after which he drifted into Wyoming. Because he was now wanted by the law, Parker took the surname of his boyhood idol, calling himself George Cassidy. While working in a butcher’s shop in Rock Springs, Wyoming, he became Butch Cassidy....

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Chisum, John Simpson (14 August 1824–22 December 1884), cattleman, was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee, the son of Claiborne C. Chisum and Lucinda Chisum, farmers. Claiborne Chisum, who reportedly altered the spelling of his surname (from Chisholm) about 1815, moved his family to Red River County, Texas, in 1837....

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Cortina, Juan Nepomuceno (16 May 1824–30 October 1892), revolutionary, politician, Mexican governor, and rancher, was born in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, the son of Trinidad Cortina, the town mayor and an important landowner, and María Estéfana Goseascochea. Little is known of Juan Cortina’s early life and education. Upon the death of his father in the early 1840s, his family moved to the Espíritu Santo grant, part of the area between the Nueces and Río Grande claimed by both Mexico and Texas and the future site of the city of Brownsville, Texas. This land belonged to Cortina’s mother. Cortina associated with ...

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Goodnight, Charles (05 March 1836–12 December 1929), rancher, was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, the second son of Charles Goodnight and Charlotte Collier, farmers. After Charles Goodnight, Sr., died in 1841, Charlotte Goodnight married a neighbor, Hiram Daugherty, who moved the family to Texas in 1845, settling in Milam County. By then Charles Goodnight, Jr., had attended school for two years, which was all the education he ever received....

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Greene, William Cornell (26 August 1853–05 August 1911), rancher, mineowner, and investor, was born at Duck Creek, Wisconsin, the son of Townsend Greene and Eleanor Cornell, farmers. His father died when William was very young, leaving his mother apparently little choice but to split up the family of two sons and two daughters. As a result, Greene was brought up by his great aunt in Chappaqua, New York. He apparently obtained a decent education, given the standards of that day, then moved to New York at age seventeen to begin his business career as a clerk in a tea store. In 1872 Greene moved west, apparently working in the Dakotas, then in Texas, and finally drifting to Arizona, where he became a prospector in the Bradshaw Mining District in 1877. He was then twenty-four years old, brave to a fault, given to gambling, short in temper, and modest of means....

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Ivins, Anthony Woodward (16 September 1852–23 September 1934), businessman, rancher, and church leader, was born in Toms River, New Jersey, the son of Israel Ivins, a pioneer physician and farmer, and Anna Lowrie. Shortly after Ivins’s birth, his family converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). They moved west to the Salt Lake Valley, and in 1861 Israel Ivins was assigned by ...

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Jones, Buffalo ( January 1844–01 October 1919), frontiersman, rancher, and conservationist, was born Charles Jesse Jones in Tazewell County, Illinois, the son of Noah Nicholas Jones and Jane Munden; the exact date of his birth is unclear. His father often served as an election judge and reportedly once hired ...

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King, Richard (10 July 1825–14 April 1885), rancher, the son of unknown Irish immigrants, was born in New York City. Poor relatives apprenticed him at age eight or nine to a jeweler, who abused him. At age eleven King fled, stowing away on a ship bound for Mobile, Alabama, but he was discovered when four days at sea. The captain took pity on the lad, putting him ashore at Mobile, where King found work as a cabin boy on steamers plying the Alabama River. One ship’s master taught him to read and sent him to Connecticut to live with his sisters, where he received eight months’ schooling, all the education he ever acquired....

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Lasater, Edward Cunningham (05 November 1860–20 March 1930), rancher, dairyman, and land developer, was born at “Valley Farm,” near Goliad, Texas, the son of Albert H. Lasater, a rancher, and Sarah Jane Cunningham. The Texas frontier offered Edward only a meager education, but he had dreams of becoming a lawyer. Those dreams were shattered when, his father’s health failing, he had to leave school to help with the family’s sheep business in Atascosa County. His father purchased a ranch near Oakville in Live Oak County, and after his father’s death in 1883, Lasater began buying and selling cattle and establishing his credit. In 1892 he married Martha Patti Noble Bennett. They had two children before Martha died in childbirth in 1900. In 1902 Lasater married Mary Gardner Miller; they had five children....