Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Stories: Buffalo on His Range is Nothing New to Bert Snyder

One of the challenges of trying to piece together cohesive family stories from the local history books is that you find them in lots of different places throughout the books! I came across this retelling of a story first appearing in the local Tryon newspaper in 1936. Excerpted from the McPherson County: Facts, Families, Fiction; Established in 1890

The Tryon Graphic, May 14, 1936



Bert Snyder, prominent rancher in the western part of the county, and an old time cowboy who rode the range before the days of the barb wire fence, thought he was being haunted by spirits of the past one day last week when he rode out into his pasture to investigate the cause of uneasiness in his herd. When he drew near and saw a full grown buffalo bull loping through a frightened and scattered young horse and cow herd. It took some quick thinking on Bert’s part to handle the situation for by the same time he had reached the pasture some of the stock had been frightened into a stampede and were headed for a fence corner. A younger man might have attempted to rope the clumsy looking buffalo, but not Bert for he rode the range when these animals were common and he knew something about their speed.By some fast riding Bert was able to turn the frightened animals away from the fence and cut the buffalo through an open gate out of the pasture and as he began collecting his stock, the young buffalo bull loped his way northward.

The next rancher to come into contact with Mr. Buffalo was Bill Haney, living a few miles south of the Dismal River in Hooker County. Bill managed to corral the beast, and then set out to find where the animal had come from. It was soon learned that this particular young bull had strayed from the Lou Cogger ranch north of Sutherland and instinct seemed to direct the animal northward. Cogger has a small herd of buffalo which he uses in rodeo work. No doubt by this time Mr. Buffalo is back on his home range, content for a time until nature calls him to follow the seasons as it did his ancestors ages ago when they roamed over the prairies in herds of countless numbers.

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