The Gruene Cowboy rides again at Comal County Fair & Rodeo
The Gruene Cowboy, a collection of stories first gathered by the San Antonio-based Old Time Trail Drivers’ Association between 1915 and 1923, launches Sept. 23 in the Agriculture Barn (near the antiques exhibit).
“The Gruene Cowboy shines a new spotlight on the fantastic stories captured in the original Trail Drivers of Texas,” says Rebecca Huffstutler Norton, executive director of Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, Texas. “The Gruene Cowboy continues efforts to preserve these stories by introducing a whole new audience to the brave, hardworking cowboys who created the Texas cattle industry and their way up the cattle trails.”
These accounts of the dangerous life on the range and on the trail are told by the early cowboys who fathered the cattle industry in Texas — including H.D. Gruene, whose family founded the now-famed Central Texas tourist town and music mecca, and in whose honor this revival of the stories from the 1924 masterpiece The Trail Drivers of Texasis named.
“These riveting true stories of the real old West will change everything you thought you knew about cowboys and Indians - and reveal how the early settlers who lived in this area shaped the future of Texas before, during and after the Civil War,” says Gruene Cowboy editor Stephanie Johnson, a part-time Canyon Lake resident. “We invite readers to saddle up with the men, women and teenagers who blazed the cattle trails north to Dodge City and beyond.”
The Gruene Cowboy is published through Safari Multimedia, a Canyon Lake-based imprint, and also is available online and at thegruenecowboy.com.
This new release includes only the most-colorful stories from the original 1924 edition of The Trail Drivers of Texas. Typos, archaic spellings and old-school style points that might distract modern readers from the cowboys’ visceral storytelling also were corrected. Safari Multimedia also created and added a comprehensive index, not a common practice in the 1920s.
The original 1924 edition of The Trail Drivers of Texas was the brainchild of San Antonio resident George W. Saunders, a self-described “old-time” cowboy who worried that he and other old-timers would soon die, taking their colorful accounts of the Wild West with them across “the Great Divide.”
Fed up with inaccurate and fictionalized depictions of frontier life, Saunders urged his group of aging cowboys to submit accounts of their youthful exploits.
Promised 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 bygone days at home and on the trail, and will contain facts and be full of thrills.”
J. Marvin Hunter, the book’s original editor, added: “The old-time trail drivers, as well as the youth of Texas, owe him a debt that can never be paid for thus rescuing from oblivion and preserving this important link in the chain of Texas history.”
The Frontier Times Museum was established by Hunter in 1933. In 1923, Hunter had only three months to edit and compile all of the stories in The Trail Drivers of Texas, which is well over 1,000 pages long.
Today, the museum honors Hunter’s legacy by preserving and interpreting the history of the cowboy and of frontier Texas.
The Trail Drivers of Texas became the only written record of many of the cattle drivers’ stories, which would have been lost without the efforts of George Saunders and J. Marvin Hunter,” Norton says.
NEWS MEDIA: For more information or to interview Texas historians about the significance of this early work, please contact LieberJohnson Public Relations at 830-200-0408.