Western Trails Museum
Western Trails Museum
Knott's Berry Farm

Branding Irons

Inside the Western Trails Museum
Knotts Berry Farm
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Posted March 2022

Western Trails Museum Branding Irons
Branding Irons

Western Trails Museum Branding Irons

Western Trails Museum Branding Irons

Western Trails Museum Branding Irons

Well Known Cattle Brands
Well Known Cattle Brands
This collection of well known Cattle Brands is of much value from an historical stand point. The oldest brand in the collection has been in use since 1798. Many other brands were registered in 1838 and before 1850. Well known brands familiar to my ranch friends are:
  • XIT
  • Hashknife
  • Littlefield
  • Waggoner
  • Goodnight
  • Maverick
  • Matador
  • Burburnett
  • Diamond A
  • Spur
  • Richard W King
  • Kokernot
  • Seven-up
  • Walking A
  • Chisholm
  • Milton Favor
  • Gunter
  • Schrainer
  • Juan Jose Gonzales
  • Miller Brothers
  • etc.

Branding Irons LW
Brand from the L. L. Woods Ranch located south of Barclay, Nevada. First used in 1870 and is still in use by the same family. A log house built in 1870 is still in use as a wash house. Anyone who knows western history will fully understand the courage and determination it took to build a home of this kind in the west. Their hearts were as big as the open country in which they lived.

Branding Irons L. L. Woods Ranch E
L. L. Woods Ranch E
The horse band of the L. L. Woods ranch of Barclay Nevada established in 1870 and is still in use by the same family who first settled there in 1870. The horse meant everything to the early settlers of the then far west. He rode his cattle range with his cow horses. He ran after cattle rustlers and fought Indians from his horse. Horses pulled his freight wagons when he had to get supplies.

Branding Irons Shoe Bar
Shoe Bar
Branding iron one of several used on the Goodnight ranch of Texas with headquarters south of Clarendon, Texas. This iron was recorded Charles Goodnight and Leigh Dyer in 1880. The goodnight ranch grew and grew until it became one of the largest in the panhandle of Texas. 50,000 head of cattle ranged on this ranch. Mrs goodnight married a Mr. Adair after his passing and the ranch became the JA

Branding Irons Sheep Paint
Iron for marking sheep with paint
From the Lewis V. Allamand Sheep Ranch whose location is 100 miles north of Douglas Wyoming. The Allamands are French people. Father and uncle of Lewis V Allamand brought sheep into Wyoming from France. Cattlemen objected to sheep done all they could to get and them off the range. This brought about the Johnson County War between cattle and sheep men.

Branding Irons 1 O 3
1 O 3
Brand of H. M. Hall of Hall County Texas. Registered in 1878. Ranches of today are small as compared with the big outfits of the early days. Nearly all farms of today have a small herd and are run on a year by year basis. The big ranch has departed. Its glory floats back to us like the aroma of coffee poured from its tall black pot to quench a fire that is being deserted.

Branding Irons Conkle and Lytle Dollar
Conkle and Lytle Dollar
Brand of Conkle and Lytle an English company. First used in 1881. Many people Europe, especially England and Scotland, the great plains of Texas was a favored place for this money after the Civil War. This ranch was known by local cowboys as the "Nobility ranch" because of the high rank of some of the owners who lived in Europe who had plenty of money to put into the cattle business.

Branding Irons VS
This was a tally mark for Hansford Land and Cattle Company and was recorded in 1887. Cattle were counted for the long drive to market. This tally mark was placed on the left hip. Their range was in Hemphill County of the Texas Panhandle. This company was owned by Jack Hall who came from South Country of Scotland. Age 19 he worked for the Western Land and Cattle Company, before starting on his own.

Branding Irons WB
Branding iron of William Boak of Iowa. The brand was in use from about 1850 to 1895. Summer Ranch of the Boak Ranch was in Wisconsin. This brand was used on all stock sent to the Wisconsin range. This iron was brought to Pogosa Springs, Colorado, by his great grandson, Carl Hayden, and donated to this collection. It is the oldest branding iron in this collection.

Branding Irons Bar 25
Bar 25
This was one of the trail brands of Curtis Brothers one of the largest trail drivers of long horn cattle out of Texas. A herd may have been made up of several brands. The trail brand succeeded all of these and was proof of ownership. This brand was used in 1876 and was saved by George T Speer father of Marion A. Speer, founder of this Western Trails Museum. He was one of the 11 crew members.

Branding Irons Reversed Bar C Bar
Reversed Bar C Bar
Was the iron of Nick Eaton whose range was the vast prairie lands north of the Wichita Mountains of the Indian nations. The brand was first used in 1883. Mangum, Oklahoma of this day in 1959, would be in about the center of this range. It was all open country in that day and time. It was said all the law they had was strapped on their hips. This may have been true in many instances.

Branding Irons Half Circle Open Box
Half Circle Open Box
Brand of T. S. Bugbee whose range was in Hutchinson County Texas which is a part of the Panhandle. This was registered in 1880. From 1876 to 1891, so many different brands were registered and many were not registered. Each small stock owner had to have his brand. They came and went with the tide of time. Many became famous in history. It was a great movement that brought the man with his plow.

Branding Irons Quarter Circle Bar
Quarter Circle Bar
Branding iron of Clarendon Land Investment Agency Company, who bought land from Clarenton Colony who had made a failure at farming. "Quarter Circle Bar" was owned by English people. Millions of English and Scottish money went into many of ranches of the Texas panhandle. Nearly all of them made plenty of money. Many of these are still going strong in this year of 1959.

Branding Irons 5 PP'S
5 PP'S
One of the trail brands of AB Blocker and was used in 1885. Long before AB Blocker's lariat was coiled for the last time, he had become known as king of the trail drivers, reputed to have sighted between a horses ears down the backs of Texas long horn steers then any other driver who ever rode the cattle trails of America's West. He was one of the many cattlemen known by BBB
Marion A. Speer.

Branding Irons P
Sterling Price brand. Ranch located east of Grand Junction, Colorado. In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, are many small streams of water. Not enough land for farming. But many cattle and sheep ranches were established along the rivers and creeks of these beautiful mountains. Some of the headquarters of these ranches is a dream come true. Sterling Price was one of the many early settlers especially in early 1880's.

Branding Irons Stephins Ranch E
Stephins Ranch E
This E is from the Word and Stephins Ranch located in Lipscomb County Texas, founded in 1881. The E was used pointing downward on left hip. Many of the branding irons in this collection were gathered by George T. Speer, father of Marion A Speer. When he worked as a cowboy in trailing long horn cattle from Southern Texas to shipping points, mostly in Kansas. Father started in cattle work in 1868 when 12 years old.

Branding Irons Frank Wood Ranch E
Frank Wood Ranch E
This E is from the Frank Wood Ranch located 50 miles south of Aztec, New Mexico. The E was on the left hip. This ranch was established in 1903 and is today owned by Dewey Wood of Huntington Beach California, son of the founder. The ranch is on Navajo Indian Lands which is leased from them. The ranch house is built of logs brought from the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. This iron branded several hundred cattle.

Branding Irons Lazy S
Lazy S
Brand of John Slughter of Texas. He was one of the big cattlemen of his time. When the mining boom started at Tombstone Arizona, he started a new ranch east of Douglas, Arizona, to supply beef to miners and Indians. San Bernardino Ranch. He stocked his range with many thousands of cattle he trailed from Texas. When the boundary was surveyed the ranch headquarters was found to be in Old Mexico.

Branding Irons 5
This "5" branding iron was found at the Dewey Wood Ranch 50 miles south of Aztec, New Mexico. Brand is not known but thought to have been used by Navajo Indian. Many Indians have small herds and a brand of their own.

Branding Irons IL
Cattle brand of IL Ellwood, whose 200,000 acre range was and is still near Lubbock and Colorado City, Texas. The brand was registered on August 25th of August 1880. This ranch was the first to be fenced with barb wire, 120 miles of four wire fence was built. All the posts were of cedar and came from Palo Duro Canyon. This ranch is still in the Ellwood Family. In this year of 1959, being 79 years.

Branding Irons LTD
Four irons was used to make up L.T.D. The brand of Levi Tillman Davis, of Fort Lupton, Colorado. He started using this brand in 1866. Till Davis as we called him, was an uncle of Mrs, Marion A. Speer. Till Davis was on the police force of Denver Colorado, when he started this ranch and spent the remaining years of his life there, which was 69 years. All open country in 1866 where buffalo and antelope roamed.

Branding Irons 7E
7 E
Cattle brand of Hieber Covington of Orderville, Utah. This small Mormon settlement is located a few miles north of Carmel Junction. This brand and ranch was started in 1857 when a few Mormons was sent here to run a saw mill. Lumber from this mill was sent to St. George for use there. When one sees and study relics of our early days, should thank these people for their courage and work.

Branding Irons Bar L
Bar L
One of 27 brands registered by Franklin Land and Cattle Company, whose range was in Gray and Moore Counties of the Texas Panhandle. It was known as "Bar L" and recorded in 1885. Each chuck wagon had its own range and crew. With its own identifying brand. This great cattle spread was owned by an English company as so many of the early cattle outfits were. It was a rugged life on the plains of Texas.

Branding Irons C
Trail brand of the Matador Cattle Company with headquarters at Mobeetie, Texas. This was one of the largest spreads in the Panhandle of Texas. This is still a going ranch and owned by Albert Mitchell. Ranch was started by English people. Mr. Mitchell is former manager of the Old Bell Ranch of eastern New Mexico. The Matador was started in 1872. This "C" was used in trailing cattle from Southern Texas.

Branding Irons Bell
Branding iron from Bell Ranch in New Mexico. The "Bell" was their brand. It was the largest ranch in New Mexico, being composed of three Mexican land grants. It was owned by, Wilson Waddingham, of London, England. G.T. Speer, father of Marion A. Speer worked on the bell ranch, starting in 1878 up to 1890. 100,000 cattle carried the Bell brand. Marion A. Speer is fond of three years of his young life there.

Branding Irons Porter Dollar
Porter Dollar
This "Dollar" branding iron was used on a ranch near Rockford, Illinois. In 1867 a trail herd of 3,000 head of Texas long horn cattle was delivered to a Mr. Porter. The story is he spent his last dollar for the cattle, hence the "Dollar" brand. A relative Jim Porter, of Huntington Beach California, brought this iron from Illinois for this collection.

Branding Irons Diamond Tail
Diamond Tail
Branding iron of WR Curtis, whose spread was on Buck Creek in Greer County Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. The brand was registered in 1881 rustlers had a hide out in one of the canyons. Some "Diamond tail" calves had been stolen. Mothers followed them which proved to be their undoing. The thieves were caught and duly punished.

Branding Irons Heart Bar
Heart Bar
This "Heart bar" branding iron was that of W. C. Yoahum of Payette, Idaho. It was registered in Idaho in 1900 and is still in use by the family. The iron was first used by W.C. Yoahum on a ranch near Tulsa, Indian Territory. The first cattle on the Idaho ranch were trailed from the Indian Territory Spread. This herd was among the very last to be trailed northward on the long drive.

Branding Irons Duck Brand
Duck Brand
From the Noel Rankin Ranch of Cliff New Mexico. The iron was donated by Mr. Rankin in 1957. The brand is no longer in use. It is well to know that this method of branding stock is no longer in use. The burning was painful to the critter and the hide was often damaged for leather making later on. All small and large cattle spreads used this method to identify their stock from others.

Branding Irons Brien Sheep Company
Brien Sheep Company
Marking iron of Brien Sheep Company, Ranch located on North Platte River, 12-miles east of Casper, Wyoming. The iron was dipped in paint and this stamped on the back of the sheep. This mark stayed there until the wool was clipped when the new growth of wool was stamped again. This had to be done once a year. This was started in 1910 and abandoned in 1955 on death of Joe Williams last owner of the ranch.

Branding Irons CP Connected
  • Registered to R. ... & Sons of Tom Green County Texas. Many Brands were taken along when the owners moved from one state to another. This may be true with this iron. There are many interesting stories connected with such branding irons.
  • .. Found by Mayo.. near Millwood, Kings Canyon National Forest in Fresno County, Calif. and donated by him to this collection in Western Trails Museum. This brand was not registered in California. Such a brand was
  • C P Connected
    This branding iron, C. P. Connected, was formerly owned by Clair Peason of Inlock, Calif. Now owned by C. Philpot of San Francisco, Calif. 1961. This was one of the early brands of San Joaquin Valley. This iron is over 75 years old an has not been used for over 50 years.
  • Stamping Iron
    .. Mcnalley and Company .. been operating many .. making maps, atlases and anything pertaining to maps. In 1884 they bought several hundred acres of land two miles

Branding Irons J
  • .. 1892, Father game me two heifer calves in very poor condition. I fed and did all I could for here I had the foundation of my dreams, by 1896 ..
  • .. made and registered in Texas, transferring to Colorado in 1909
  • J
    J Horse brand of Jake Yoachum, first used in Oklahoma and took by him to Baker, Oregon. He had many freighting outfits in use before building of the Oregon Short Line Railroad.

Branding Irons Quarter Circle O
  • Quarter Circle O
    This is Quarter Circle O branding iron. This is a Pioneer brand and was still in use in the year 1961 by Cliff Stedje of Gruver, Texas. It has been in the Stedje family for many years. The ranch is on the plains of the North Panhandle of Texas.
  • Millions of buffalo one roamed these plains. These were killed by hide hunters whose headquarters were at Adobe Walls well known to western history. Thousands of long horn were trailed across these plains.

Branding Irons Y
  • Y
    One of the branding irons used on the Dewey Wood Ranch, 50 miles south of Aztec, New Mexico. It is on Navajo Indian land and had been a going ranch for many years. The ranch was started by his father, Indians are used as cowboys on the ranch. The rod with hook is a running iron from the Wood Ranch. This type of branding iron was used by cattle rustlers for changing brands. This kind of crime is still going on this day.
  • M H
    .. It is still a going ranch of 878,000 acres. It is and has been one of the most successful cattle spreads in the country.
  • ..

Branding Irons Lazy E-V
  • M H
    .. It is still a going ranch of 878,000 acres. It is and has been one of the most successful cattle spreads in the country.
  • .. of the ranch .. Mobeetie, Texas .. was manager .. his son .. is the present manager, thriftiness of the the Scotch is shown on this ranch.
  • Lazy E-V
    This brand Lazy E-V was never registered. It was found by William M. Kaufmann of Garden Grove, Calif. in Escondido, Ca. It is one of the many brands used, perhaps, for a short time and forgotten, an interesting story if we only knew it.
  • W S
    Brand of William Sullivan whose ranch was located where the Dolores River flowed into the Colorado River near Dewey Bridge and 20 miles up river from Moab, Utah. Mr. Sullivan was an early day Mormon settler in these parts having started his
  • ranch at this place in 1865. It was a fine location for a cattle ranch. All buildings were built of cottonwood logs in a grove of timber some of the cabins still stand.

Branding Irons Diamond Bar
  • .. brand of the .. McAnnualty family ,, county of the .. this .. first used by LA mostly of Lampasas County. This brand was sold to the McAnnualty's. This brand was the cause of many law suits.
  • In one suit sheriff took from LA mostly, 8,400 head of cattle, 630 pounds of bacon, 2,000 pounds of flour in 46 sacks, and 86 sacks of corn weighing 11,650 pounds. It was a job to run a ranch in the early days.
  • Diamond Bar
    Branding iron of Sherley Cattle Company located in Sherley Basin 40 miles northwest of Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Spread started by Richardson Brothers. 5000 cattle are run on this ranch.
  • Headquarters has a beautiful setting south of a mountain from which several springs flow. There is protection from winter cold. Story of this ranch is much the same as all early day ranches of the west.

Branding Irons J Y
  • .. S branding iron of .. Thomas Speer .. of this Western Trails Museum. He used .. iron in New Mexico .. transferring to Texas.. This brand was registered both in New Mexico and Texas and kept .. until his death in .. I well remember the .. of burning hair and .. the bawl of .. as they were being .. branded.
  • J Y
    Marking iron used by Jake Yoachum who ran a large freight outfit in both Oklahoma and Oregon. All of his equipment was marked with this iron.
  • 5 PEES
    A part of 5 Pees from the 5 Pee Ranch of the Texas Panhandle. No better cattle country in the world was found to excel the Panhandle country of Texas. Hundreds, both large and small, were started between 1880 and 1892. The cowboy killed the beast of the
  • Land and the Army forced the Indians on to reservations, thus making it possible for the main with his wire fences together with his plow and hoe.
  • Stamping iron used on Carry Ranch for marking sheep, paint was used for this purpose. Stamping must be done over every time sheep are sheared of their wool.

Branding Irons Double 5 Back to Back
  • Stamping iron for marking sheep and used on the Alamand Sheep Ranch of KC Wyoming. Bringing sheep into that country was the cause of the war between cattle and sheep men of Wyoming.
  • Double 5 Back to Back
    Branding iron found by Mayo L Standley near Sequoia National Park. It is Double Five Back to Back. It is perhaps one of the many branding irons of John C. Fremont. It was registered in 1867. Freemont ran thousands of head of
  • cattle up and down California. His headquarters was at Bear City, three miles north of the present city of Mariposa. Walls of his old store are standing there today. Gold made him very rich.

Branding Irons J C Open Box and Bar O
  • J C Open Box and Bar O
    All horse brands of the Carry Ranch located west of Douglas, Wyoming. Judge Carry was an Englishman. He and his son, Robert, both became governors of Wyoming.

Branding Irons Flying 4
  • Flying 4
    This branding iron, Flying 4, was registered to Homer Martin of Sturgis, South Dakota, in 1950. However, the Martin family was a pioneer family in the cattle industry of South Dakota, having first drove long horn cattle from Texas. This ranch is
  • located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Founders of the ranch having passed away, heirs keep the family tradition going.