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Cowboys of Central Texas

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Give a piece of Central Texas history for the holidays.

The Gruene Cowboy features first-hand recollections of the adventures and hardships cowboys from this area faced as they endured going up the trail with cattle or horses between 1865 and 1896. One of them was H.D. Gruene.

To order a copy for Christmas, click here

In 1915, George W. Saunders, a well-off, self-described “old-time” cowboy living in San Antonio, organized and founded the now legendary Old Time Trail Drivers’ Association.

Despite the easy camaraderie and nostalgia these men shared for bygone days, Saunders worried their colorful accounts of the great cattle drives that forged the American West would pass with them as they died, crossing the ‘Great Divide’ from which no trail hand ever returns.

At his urging, these aging Texas cowboys dutifully complied, mailing their reminisces of life on the trail to editor J. Marvin Hunter, whose Frontier Times Museum still stands in Bandera.

The result was the 1,044-page-long 1924 masterpiece, The Trail Drivers of Texas, from which The Gruene Cowboy is excerpted.

Wrote Saunders: “It is our purpose to write a history dealing strictly with trail and ranch life and the early cattle industry. This book will consist of letters written by trail drivers only, giving the minutest details of their experiences of bygone days at home and on the trail, and will contain fact and be full of thrills. Such a book has never been written.”

The Gruene Cowboy was edited to include only the more-colorful accounts, correct antiquated spellings and eliminate old-school punctuation that might detract from the trail drivers’ visceral storytelling. Long paragraphs were broken apart to enhance readability. An index was added, something not done in the 1920s.

The book is published by Canyon Lake-based Safari Multimedia, which also manages mycanyonlake.com’s website. Fore more information, visit gruenecowboy.com.

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