Southern Methodist University

Carter Taylor papers, 1839-1976

A Guide


Creator: Taylor, Carter
Title: Carter Taylor papers
Dates: 1839-1976
Abstract: A rancher, conservationist and bibliophile, Carter Taylor was born in Martinsburg, Missouri in 1890. Taylor served in France during World War I. After the war, he moved to Fort Worth, Texas with his wife Frances Yates Taylor to go into the cotton business. About 1919, Taylor inherited land in Baylor County, Texas and began a ranching career. He followed conservation practices with soil and water and improved the Hereford herd on his ranch, the C Lazy T. Taylor collected books on the southwest and also examples of barbed wire. The Carter Taylor Collection includes six detailed ranch notebooks with notations regarding cattle, horses, cotton, correspondence, maps, photographs, a Republic of Texas 1839 land grant, a State of Texas 1863 land grant, magazines, cattle brands and registries, and miscellaneous printed material.
Accession No: Mss 0058
Extent: 3 boxes
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Carter (Tex) Taylor was born in Martinsburg, Missouri in 1890, the son of a “horse-and-buggy” doctor. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Electrical Engineering and served in France for almost two years during World War I. Upon his return, he married Frances Yates of Gallatin, Missouri and, with her, settled in Fort Worth where he joined his brother-in-law in the cotton seed products business.

About 1919, Taylor inherited land in Baylor County, Texas and began a ranching career. He followed conservation practices with soil and water and improved the Hereford herd on his ranch, the C Lazy T. Over the next 50 years, Carter Taylor became well-known as a rancher, a conservationist (Miller-Brazos Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outstanding Conservationist for 1972), and a collector of barbed wire and books on the history of ranching and the West.

Carter Taylor died in 1977, at the age of 87.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Carter Taylor papers reflect Taylor’s life as a rancher, book collector, and Texan. The collection is divided into six series that includes six detailed ranch notebooks with notations regarding cattle, horses, cotton, correspondence, maps, photographs, a Republic of Texas 1839 land grant, a State of Texas 1863 land grant, magazines and miscellaneous printed material.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical materials, 1973
Series 2: Book Collection, 1939-1976
Series 3: Ranch Records, 1937-1974
Series 4: Barbed Wire Collection, 1888-1966
Series 5: Brand Registry, 1950
Series 6: Miscellaneous, 1839-1953


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Taylor, Carter.
Ranchers -- Texas -- Baylor County.
Ranching -- Texas.
Book collectors – Texas.
Conservationists -- Texas.

Related Materials

Street scene showing the McLain Hotel, Seymour, Texas, Ag1987.0676

Carter Taylor collection of barbed wire and tools, Mu1983.0023

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Carter Taylor papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

In 1973 Carter Taylor donated his book collection (consisting of 1500 items) and related papers to Southern Methodist University. Miscellaneous individual items followed throughout 1974 and, in 1975, Taylor donated his barbed wire collection, the papers relating to it, and the Carter Taylor Ranch records.

Finding aid by

Jane Elder, 1987.

Finding aid revised by

Cynthia Franco, 2010.

Finding aid encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical materials, 1973
1 folder

Box Folder
1 1 Miscellaneous newsclippings and other material pertaining to Taylor and his career, written about the time of the donation of his collection to SMU (1973).

Series 2: Book collection, 1939-1976
2 boxes

Carter Taylor collected approximately 1,500 books and periodicals on Texas and the cattle industry, which were donated to SMU in 1973. The related papers, listed below include correspondence with authors, collectors and dealers, and manuscript, galleys, and other material related to Taylor’s private collection.
Box Folder
1 2 Ramon Adams, (Author and book collector) 1949-1955. 45 items. Adams writes Taylor regarding book collecting, Adams’ bibliographies, etc. Their growing friendship is revealed over a six year period.
3 Ross Santee, (Author and illustrator) undated. 8 items. Each letter is headed with an original pen and ink drawing (some colored) of a western scene. Santee’s letters generally discuss various books and indicate a warm, friendly relationship.
4 General book collection correspondence, undated. 4 items.
5 General book collection correspondence, 1939; 1948-1949. 15 items.
6 General book collection correspondence, 1950. 17 items. Includes letter from J. Frank Dobie in Del Rio apologizing for missing Taylor on Taylor’s visit to Austin and expressing hopes of meeting him soon.
7 General book collection correspondence, 1951-1954. 21 items. Includes letters from J. Frank Dobie confirming a luncheon date and one from Walter Prescott Webb describing how to identify a “first printing” of The Great Plains.
8 General book collection correspondence, 1955-1956. 19 items. Includes letter from J. Frank Dobie regarding his recent publication and thanking Taylor for lunch in Fort Worth.
9 General book collection correspondence, 1957-1958. 9 items. Includes a note from Tom Lea agreeing to autograph Taylor’s copies of The King Ranch and Bullfight Manual.
10 General book collection correspondence, 1960-1974. 10 items. Includes two letters from Ben K. Green, western author, regarding the book collections.
Donation to SMU
Box Folder
1 11-13 Correspondence about the donation of the book collection to SMU, 1973-1976.
14 Correspondence: arranging luncheon celebrating the donation of the book collection to SMU, 1974.
15 Colophon Broadsheet no. 1 1974: printed notice, describing the collection, and announcing its acquisition.
16 Exhibit—printed labels from SMU’s exhibit of collection.
17 Collection inventory, description, and appraisal.
Box Folder
1 18 Book lists and catalogs from various dealers and presses, and miscellaneous advertising ephemera.
Ramon Adams
Box Folder
1 19-20 Mss. Of Ramon Adams; The Cowman Says It Salty, pp. 1-119; 120-187.
21 Ramon Adams’ research notes for The Cowman Says It Salty.
Box Folder
3 1-2 Galleys for Ramon Adams’ Six Guns and Saddle Leather, a bibliography of books and pamphlets on outlaws and gunmen.
1-3 Corrected galleys for Ramon Adams’ Western Words: a Dictionary of the Range, Cow Camp and Trail.
Other Texas writers
Box Folder
1 22 Jeff Dykes autographed, printed material “A Range Man’s Library” and “A Bibliographer’s List of the Writing of Samuel Stone Hall” in The American Book Collector.
23 Jeff Dykes autographed reprint of The True Life of Billy the Kid.
24 J. Evetts Haley copy of When the Stagecoach Rule the Road, Christmas cards, and Christmas monograph written by Haley and illustrated by Harold Bugbee.
25 Tom Lea, “The Fabulous King Ranch, pt. I,” Life July 8, 1957.
Miscellaneous printed material
Box Folder
1 26 The Fort Worth National Bank - Century One, 1873-1973.
27 “Cowboy Santa Claus” by Carter Taylor in the National Photographers Album Company’s Christmas book, 1976, and in People—an oil refinery publication (2 copies).
28 The Quarter Horse, four issues; June 1946, July 1946, December 1946, and January 1947.
29 Charles Russell reproductions on cards.
30 Script from “The Land We Live In” radio show entitled “The Cowboy from Oak Hill” about Charles Russell.
31 Miscellaneous magazines: The American “Junque” Journal March and June 1968; and 2 Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce publications.
32 Jesse James—two photos of James’ home, 2 copies of postcards of band robbed by the James brother, newspaper clippings about James.
33 Miscellaneous printed material. Includes an anti-McCarthyism article “Who Is Loyal to America” sent to Taylor by J. Frank Dobie.

Series 3: Ranch records, 1937-1974
2 boxes

Documents from the CT Ranch in Baylor County, Texas.
Box Folder
1 34 Notebooks, 1937-1974. Six notebooks containing entries about ranch operations, weather conditions, etc. An additional notebook contains administrative records of various pastures on the ranch.
35 Photographs showing Carter Taylor on horseback, the Baylor County courthouse, various ranch horses, and ranch people with dead bobcat.
36 Correspondence, 1947-1968. Letters to Carter Taylor from ranch manager L. D. Burnett regarding ranch business. Includes some personal correspondence from Burnett’s wife and son.
Box Folder
2 1-4 Conservation. Soil and water conservation plans for period from 1940s through the 1970s. Material includes plans, maps, and charts from the Miller-Brazos Soil and Water Conservation District.
5 Report by the Southwest Research Institute on Stull brand Brush Killer (for mesquite), 1949.
6 Two copies of map of Baylor County [undated]

Series 4: Barbed wire collection, 1888-1966
9 folders

Carter Taylor collected approximately 250 samples of barbed wire, and various antique fencing, which he donated to SMU in 1975. The related papers include correspondence with dealers and other collectors, barbed wire literature and miscellaneous related material.
Box Folder
2 7 Correspondence with various dealers and collectors regarding barbed wire, 1966-1971. Includes letters from a cousin in Vietnam trying to get Chinese and North Vietnamese samples.
8 Forth Annual Glidden Barb Wire Pocket Compendium for 1888, Containing Valuable Information in Reference to Fence Building, published by Sanborn & Warner, Houston, Texas.
9 The American Barbed Wire Journal, v. 1, issues 1-7, June-December 1967.
10 The American Barbed Wire Journal, v. 2, issues 1-9, and 11-22.
11 The American Barbed Wire Journal, v. 3, 1969, issues 1-5.
12 Miscellaneous newsclippings related to barbed wire collecting.
13 Texas Barbed Wire Collectors Association material; membership booklet, letter, newsletters, ballots, etc.
14 Miscellaneous material: convention paraphernalia (bumper stickers, flyers, etc), dealer price lists, and advertisements.
15 Miscellaneous magazines with information or articles relating to barbed wire.

Series 5: Brand registry, 1950
6 folders

1950 Cattle Brand Registry, published by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Box Folder
2 16-21 Brand Registry, pages 1-1217. Each folder contain (in order ) 200 pages.

Series 6: Miscellaneous, 1839-1953
1 box

Box Folder
2 22 1839 land grant certificate giving 640 acres to George Bledsoe for “having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto 21st April 1836.” Signed by Texas Secretary of War A. Sidney Johnston (future Confederate General).
23 1863 land grant: “one Third of a League of Land, situated…in Baylor Country…” to the heirs of John Barclay.
24 Tax receipts from Jack and Wise Counties, 1886-1889.
25 Badge from Second Annual Meeting of Cowboys’ Reunion of Texas, August 4-5-6, 1897, and ribbons from Old Settlers’ Reunion June 18, 1953, Seymour, Texas.
26 Souvenir edition of the Baylor County Banner, Seymour, Texas, August 15, 1900.
27 Photographs of J. C. Owens at the home site and at the grave of his grandfather Oliver Loving.