SUMMARY INDIVIDUAL CATTLEMEN.
S. P. BURRESS.
Member of the Maine Cattle Company.
In October 1881 Samuel P. Burress and his father, D. S. Burress, sold all their cattle on the range located on the Salt Fork in Indian Territory, planning to go to Texas during the upcoming winter to contract for more Texas cattle to drive northward in the spring.
In March 1882 Samuel Burress paid a visit to Arkansas City.
In September 1882 it was announced in the Arkansas City Traveler that Samuel P. Burress had completed his plans to erect a residence in the south part of Arkansas City that would be located opposite the First Presbyterian Church. The main portion would be 16 by 24 feet; an el would be 14 by 16 feet. Mr. Beecher & Son of Arkansas City had the contract. By mid-October the residence was enclosed. Toward the end of December 1882 Mary and Samuel P. Burress were contemplating moving into their new house, one of the best finished and most comfortable homes in the city.
Samuel P. Burress became a member of the Cherokee Strip Stockmen’s Association at their third annual meeting in the Caldwell Opera House on Tuesday, March 6, 1883. His partner, a Mr. Lewis, did not join the Association.
In May 1883 Burress and Lewis sold about $12,000 worth of their stock to Messrs. L. C. Norton and Ira Barnett of Arkansas City. The stock were held on the ranch Burress and Lewis had recently occupied.
In October 1883 Samuel P. Burress and others were sued by G. W. Slaughter in a civil suit held at Winfield. As in so many cases during this time frame, the outcome was not published.
Late in December 1883 Samuel Burress was in a buggy with Charles Howard of Arkansas City that was crossing the Arkansas bridge west of Arkansas City. Mr. and Mrs. Leach, of West Bolton township, attempted to pass their buggy. Their team became scared at the foam that was blowing below the bridge and commenced to back up. As a result, the railing was broken and the team fell backwards into the water, causing the wagon to fall upon Mrs. Leach. Mr. Burress immediately jumped to the rescue and prevented Mrs. Leach from being drowned. She remained insensible until she arrived in the Arkansas City, where she was cared for by Dr. Reed. From Dr. Reed it was learned that Mrs. Leach had a broken leg above the ankle and that an ankle was badly bruised. She also had broken her left leg and a rib. There was concern over her skull, which was badly bruised. She finally recovered.
It was determined that the railing of the bridge should be strengthened in some way as it was apparent from this accident that the railing provided no protection.
Mary Burress, wife of S. P. Burress, was received into the fellowship of the United Presbyterian church in February 1884 after Sunday services. The local pastor, Rev. Samuel B. Fleming, was assisted by Rev. Dr. Kirkwood of Winfield, in services at the “White church” in Arkansas City, crowded to its utmost capacity.
In June 1884 Sam Burress and Burt Worthley of Arkansas City returned from Arkansas, where they had purchased 800 head of yearlings and two-year-olds. They held them on the Cimarron for awhile. Mr. Worthley reported that they had a good drive, with no losses worth speaking about.
The Burress household was charged $2.20 water tax in August 1884.
Member of the Maine Cattle Company.
Samuel P. Burress became a member of the “Maine Cattle Company,” a stock company organized by men having their headquarters in Arkansas City and their range on the Ponca reservation. The company at first was composed of Messrs. N. C. Hinkley, Burt Worthley, H. P. Farrar, J. H. Sherburne, Howard Bros., and Bradford Beall.
It was announced in the Arkansas City Traveler October 8, 1884 that the Maine Cattle Company had just started with a capital stock of $50,000, and a thousand head of one-, two-, and three-year-olds. The range line of the Maine Cattle Company extended from south of the Salt Fork and east of the Otoe Road in Indian Territory, containing 35,000 acres of good grazing land, with plenty of water and timber—all fenced with a four-strand barb wire fence. The company planned to handle between 2,000 and 3,000 head of cattle on their range. In addition, they erected a 3,000 acre hog lot on the range to handle over a thousand head of fine hogs. The Maine Cattle Company purchased higher-grade cattle, starting with Hereford, Durham, and Galloway bulls. They started their activities by moving their cattle from Chilocco to their new range. All of the members of the Maine Cattle Company were originally from the state of Maine with the exception of Samuel P. Burress.
After receiving their charter the Maine Cattle Company elected the following as their officers in October 1884 at the first meeting of the company: N. C. Hinkley, President; George S. Howard, Vice President; H. P. Farrar, Secretary and Treasurer; Samuel P. Burress, Manager; and Albert Worthley, Assistant Manager. S. P. Burress listed as one of the directors along with Hinkley, Howard, Farrar, Worthley, Bradford Beall, and Joseph H. Sherburne.
On December 31, 1884, the financial condition of the Maine Cattle Company was given in the Traveler. It showed total liabilities of $24,301.38, broken down as follows: Capital paid in, $22,500.00; amount owed on cattle, $1,660.50; and amount due the Treasurer of the company, $140.88. Resources listed showed $16,590.50 in stock, cattle, and horses; $7,000 for fencing range; $697.13 for feed, hogs, and expenses; and $14.75 for organization expenses.
Sam Burress spent most of his time on the Maine Cattle Company range. It was noted on December 31, 1884, that he was spending the holidays in Arkansas City. A newspaper was delivered by the Traveler to his home in Arkansas City and Ponca Agency, Indian Territory. His next trip to his home did not occur until March 1885.
In early January 1886 Mr. Burress found time to assist Messrs. A. A. Newman, T. H. McLaughlin, H. T. Sumner, George Howard, James Hill, W. B. Wingate, Dr. H. D. Kellogg, Frank Austin, George Cunningham, Hermann Godehard, W. D. Mowry, and F. B. Hutchinson of Arkansas City in their efforts to obtain the Geuda Springs and Caldwell railroad. They all “worked like Turks” to secure the carrying of the bonds in the townships of Sumner County. Their efforts paid off with good results.
The Traveler commented: “Wonderful stores are told by the boys as to how they walked mile after mile over enormous snow drifts, and how Hermann Godehard captured the German vote and also about A. A. Newman’s big speech on the tariff question. These gentlemen realized that the carrying of these bonds was a necessary factor in the future welfare of Arkansas City, and accordingly went over to the contested territory, through the piercing winds and snow, and put their shoulders to the wheel. A great deal of credit is due the above mentioned gentlemen for what they did for Arkansas City.”
It was noted that Mr. Burress was one of the parties who took in a reception for Miss Nellie Thompson in the latter part of May 1886, at which the company was musically entertained with waltzes, and many engaged in the “mazy.”
Horses in the 1880s Considered a Valuable Asset.
On Saturday, June 12, 1886, Samuel P. Burress squared off against C. M. Scott in a trial that occupied the attention of Judge Kreamer’s court the entire day, extending late into the night, determining who was the owner of a pony worth about $75. The case was decided in Scott’s favor. Mr. Burress stated that he would ask for a new trial and failing, would take an appeal. Mr. Scott stated that although awarded the pony in the dispute by the jury, he was in as bad a condition as before the trial. It seems that Mr. Burress had taken the animal to the Territory. Scott stated that he would now sue for the value of the animal.
None of the Arkansas City papers made further comment about the “horse” in question.
In August 1886 the Traveler commented: “Sam Burress came out on Saturday, with his clothes a world too wide for him. He has been sick for a week with malaria, and has evidently had a severe tussle of it.”
In September 1886 two saddle ponies missing from the cattle ranch of Florer, Gould & Ayres, on the Kaw reservation, took up space. Capt. A. J. Hersey, manager of the ranch, thought he knew the guilty party and came to Arkansas City. He did not locate the missing horses in the possession of that individual. Leaving him to be shadowed by the officers, Capt. Hersey returned home after a day’s stay in Arkansas City to make further search for the ponies. Weeks later he wrote to Sam Burress, informing him that he had found the ponies in the Osage country, making their way to a ranch, but whether they had been stolen or turned loose, he was unable to say. He ordered the watch on the suspected party removed, and this ended the matter.
In 1886 Arkansas City had three wards. S. P. Burress lived in the third ward. At the primary election October 1, 1886, Samuel P. Burress was one of the three delegates chosen to attend the upcoming Republican county convention in Winfield.
On Tuesday morning, January 25, 1877, Mr. Burress experienced trouble. As soon as his team was hitched up, they broke and ran away, damaging the wagon slightly and completely demolishing the harness. Fortunately, no one was injured. On the following morning Samuel Burress, accompanied by Charles Wells and Harry Colville, spent two weeks in Indian Territory visiting a number of cattle ranches.
The Arkansas City Directory in 1893 reveals that Samuel P. Burress was then 35 years of age and his wife, Mary, was 28.