At the turn of the century, some guys did a good job of canvassing this territory. They got a lot of our departed pioneers interested in a “Book of the New Century Club.” It excited a lot of old-time settlers to have a book printed about them. The thrill of being listed overcame what they were charged for the writeup.
If their ego was great, and their finances could stand it, the settlers would fork over three 20 dollar gold pieces for a full page picture of themselves. Sometimes a picture of their wives from the bust up would adorn the opposite page. However, they could save themselves up to 35 bucks if they would care to share their photos with other pioneers on the same page.
In 1904, the “History of the Big Bend Country” book was born. This book is about the size of those old time pulpit Bibles that the preacher used to split open when he started his sermon. The Big Bend Historical Society Inc. of Wilbur, are doing their darndest to get reprints of this book out as soon as possible. Now, just don’t get too excited, it’s well worth waiting for.
Barney Fitzpatrick, who’s old headquarters joined our place, was the largest early day cattleman that ever existed in this neck of the woods. His historical life always fascinated me. Even the Big Bend book could only tell a small part that is known about Barney. His son Ben played an impressive part in my boyhood life.