We’ve been talking about trouble on the Texas frontier of the late 19th century…from fence cutting wars, to anti-horse thief groups, to citizen safety groups…the frontier saw it all as citizens began to take the law into their own hands to accomplish whatever their goal might be.
Of course, when the sheepmen began moving into the area, they began to put up fences. Cattlemen, used to allowing their herds to range freely, were very vocal against the practice of fencing, and fences were usually cut before they were fully erected. As you can imagine, tempers were hot and threats loud and fierce.
Believe it or not, the war of words, threats, and actions became so heated that the state passed a law making it a crime to carry a pair of pliers in the state of Texas!
In nearby Carlton, Texas (Hamilton County), a Doctor Miers was one of the first men to try to raise sheep and although his land was unfenced, he still woke to find about 100 of his sheep had been killed. As a counter action, the doctor began erecting a fence around his property…a fence that was cut every time a section went up.
Finally, Dr. Miers simply gave up and moved his sheep out of the area, and as one drives over the beautiful rolling hills of Hamilton County today, it is impossible to believe that anything sinister ever happened in the midst of so much tranquility and yet, Hamilton, like its surrounding sister counties, saw Texas history at its hardest, didn’t it?