Part 9, Note 25

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Colorado Citizen, March 21, 1878, November 28, 1878, August 21, 1879, May 12, 1881, December 13, 1883; Tenth Census of the United States (1880) Schedule 2, Colorado County, Texas; Colorado County Election Records, Book 1874-1884. The number of county ranchers who owned 100 or more head is taken from the 1880 agricultural census. Milk cows and oxen were not included in the count. The size of Robert E. Stafford's herd is certainly open to question. It is clear that in the year before the census was taken, he had sold large numbers of cattle: 15,000 in the spring of 1879 (including 9000 in April), 3000 in June 1879, 12,000 in September 1879, and at least 3000 more (and perhaps as many as 11,000 more) in April 1880 (see Colorado Citizen, April 24, 1879, May 29, 1879, June 26, 1879, October 2, 1879, April 15, 1880, April 29, 1880). The April 29, 1880 edition of the Colorado Citizen reports that Stafford then owned "about 200,000 head." On May 12, 1881, the same newspaper states that, at that time, Stafford owned 175,000 head. Later that year, he offered 50,000 head for sale, suggesting that he certainly had that many (see Colorado Citizen, November 3, 1881). The number he is said to have owned in our text (50,000) is taken from the census and is the most conservative estimate found. However, it should be noted that, like many of the other numbers on the census, it is difficult to read. Whatever the case, it is safe to say that, in 1880, Stafford owned more cattle than everybody else in the county combined.