Although I would have preferred to link directly from my web page to this oral history at the WPA's web
page, this was not possible.  Their pages are not set up to accommodate such links.  I was able to copy the
text exactly as it appears on their site.  What follows is an exact copy of the document found at the WPA's
web page with one exception.  I deleted a bit of information on viewing  the document that is not relevant for
this site.  The references to "Page image" below refer to links of images of  the original type written page.

This project is online thanks to the:
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA General Writer's Project Collection.



Miss Gula B. Foote



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Range-Lore

Nellie B. Cox

San Angelo, Texas

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RANGE-LORE {Begin handwritten} - From a diary {End handwritten}

A pioneer girl of the West carried a revolver, rode bad horses, roped cattle and herded sheep.
These activities were not carried on in a spirit of bravado or daring but as part of the every day
work. Miss Gula B. Foote, who came to Ben Ficklin in 1876, has done all of these things and
has kept a diary of the things she thought of as ordinary happenings in a busy life.

Miss Foote's father, C.D. Foote, a civil engineer, came to the western part of Texas in 1875.
The next year he sent to Michigan for his family which consisted of his wife who was a teacher
of piano in a large school; a daughter Gula, aged nine and a small son, Harry. Miss Foote tells in
her diary: We had an uneventful train trip to Round Rock, Texas. There we were met by my
father. {Begin handwritten} C.12 - 2/11/41 - Texas {End handwritten}

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We then traveled in a fearful (to mother and me) manner, that is, a brown topped hack drawn by
horses. We were afraid of every thing- principally the horses- but we imagined worse things;
Indians, rattlesnakes and skunks. My father did all the cooking on the trip as my mother was
never good in the culinary arts even in the best equipped kitchen. However, through it all I was
thrilled to be going to our new home".

The diary relates that at an early age she overcame her fear of horses. She delighted to meet the
stage at Ben Ficklin; for the driver, W. J. Ellis, after discharging the passengers, would permit
Gula to drive the four horses hitched to the big stagecoach down to the corrals.

Miss Foote tells of riding bronchos at fairs in competition with men riders and of winning. She
always rode sideways- never astride. "White Bess", an Arabian mare owned by Mr. Foote,
would permit no one except Gula to ride her.

After her father became disabled, Miss Foote took over the entire management of their ranch,
which they named, "Kiowa Ranch". Here she bred, raised and broke to saddle and harness the
fine horses which were the best in show ring or in actual use. She gave them such names as
"Lady Bird", "Chaquita", "Chico". Miss Foote had nothing but ridicule for "scrub stock".

On the ranch Miss Foote did all kinds of work even milking the cows which is always a
distasteful job to any ranchman or ranchwoman. She tells that one Sunday a somewhat

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shiftless widower in the neighborhood [stayed?] around the ranch all day. When milking time
came and she started out with the milk buckets, the man sidled up to her and said soulfully,
"Miss Gula, don't you ever feel the need of a man about the place?" "Yes", replied Miss Foote,
"but when I do, I hire one".

The many mementoes tell of her part in the social life of the "gay 90's" and earlier. Dance cards
filled with the names of popular gentlemen; engraved cards; pressed flowers; photographs and
newspaper clippings attest to the fact that Miss Foote was a much sought- after young lady in
the society circles of Ben [Ficklin?] and later of San Angelo.

After leasing out the ranch, Miss Foote sold her horses and moved to her home in San Angelo.
She owned and learned to drive a car but always insisted that she would much prefer driving her
favorite team of ranch horses.