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Mar 25th, 2012
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Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger #6893541
09/20/17 08:17 PM
09/20/17 08:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
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Katy, Texas
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George - w/ Map My Ranch Online content OP
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I just saw Traces of Texas post on FB about Bob Lemmons - and my family has some investing connection with him. I thought I'd share the photo I got from the Library of Congress that was taken in the 1930's by Dorothea Lange.

A little history on Bob:

"Bob Lemmons was one of the greatest mustangers of all time. He became a legend in his day by perfecting his unique method of catching wild mustang horses.

Bob Lemmons was born a slave in Lockport, Caldwell County, Texas in 1848. He moved to Dimmit County, Texas; then a sparsely uninhabited land overrun by wild horses. Lemmons gained his freedom at the end of the Civil War at age seventeen. He found employment with Duncan Lammons, a man who taught him about horses and gave Robert the surname “Lemmons,” (a variant spelling that evolved over the years). Robert Lemmons farmed, hauled supplies, and went on cattle drives for Duncan Lammons.

No other cowboy equaled Lemmons in capturing mustangs, which were in high demand for roundups during the cattle drive era of the 1870s and 1880s. Lemmons usually worked alone totally isolating himself from humans to gain a mustang herd's trust and thereby infiltrate the heard. He then uprooted the herd hierarchy by mounting the lead stallion and then taking control of the herd, which followed him into a pen on a nearby ranch.
​
In 1870 at age twenty-two, Robert Lemmons had earned a small fortune of $1,000 for gathering wild mustangs. He bought his own ranch and learned how to read and write. Eleven years later he married Barbarita Rosales, a Chicana, on September 3, 1881. During that time inter-racial marriage was a big deal. The couple had eight children. During his life Robert Lemmons had amassed 1,200 acres of land and impressive holdings of horses and cattle. With his own financial security achieved, Bob and Barbarita Lemmons became well known as people who helped their neighbors during the Great Depression. Robert Lemmons died on December 23, 1947 at the age of ninety-nine years."

My great great grandfather and Bob ranched together and my great grandfather, Erskine Rhodes, took care of Bob in his last 15yrs of life, when his eye sight started to fail. He lived on our family ranch in a humble one room building. The chimney still stands today, and I hope to one day replicate his house where it once stood.

I have a webpage that has a lot more information about him that I put together, below. I think I may even get an ebook together on the stories we have of his life.
My mother wrote her Thesis paper on him and we even have his old rifle.


Here's a link to the page I put together, if you want to read more about him:
http://www.mapmyranch.com/mmr-blog/bob-lemmons-the-original-mustanger

Also, here is a picture of his old shotgun:


Notice the hand carved stock, that Bob himself carved:





Some historians believe that the character in Lonesome Dove that stayed with the horses and never spoke or stayed with the other men, was based on Bob Lemmons. I've always wanted to ask Larry McMurtry and the people who put the movie together for verification. If anyone has a contact for Larry or the production team, let me know please. J Frank Dobie also wrote about time spent with Bob in the book, "The Mustangs."


george@mapmyranch.com
www.MapMyRanch.com

"Keep your aim as true as your word" - GB
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893584
09/20/17 08:48 PM
09/20/17 08:48 PM
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The Outer Limits
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Stub Online happy
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That is really interesting and how cool it must be to have those historical family ties, thanks for sharing up


texas flag




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Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893587
09/20/17 08:50 PM
09/20/17 08:50 PM
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Weatherford, Texas
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Thank you for posting this extremely interesting part of Texas history. I have spent part of my horse career in the company of mustangs.
Regards,

Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893604
09/20/17 09:01 PM
09/20/17 09:01 PM
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Katy, Texas
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George - w/ Map My Ranch Online content OP
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Glad to share! I love Texas history and this was a very interest part of our history.

Here's a pic of the chimney that remains form Bob's house at our ranch:


george@mapmyranch.com
www.MapMyRanch.com

"Keep your aim as true as your word" - GB
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893642
09/20/17 09:45 PM
09/20/17 09:45 PM
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That is very cool. Great Texas history. And what an heirloom.

Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893695
09/20/17 10:26 PM
09/20/17 10:26 PM
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bastrop county
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colt45 Offline
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great history story, to be proud of, try to get that house done.


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893717
09/20/17 10:42 PM
09/20/17 10:42 PM
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Oak Harbor, Slidell La
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Very very interesting read, thank you sir for sharing with us!


A true friend reaches for your hand but touches your heart.
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893719
09/20/17 10:43 PM
09/20/17 10:43 PM
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McKinney, TX
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Very interesting read indeed. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893760
09/20/17 11:16 PM
09/20/17 11:16 PM
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Hen House Tx
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Very cool story. Will be checking out Mr. Dobie's book.


Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893771
09/20/17 11:24 PM
09/20/17 11:24 PM
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HuntnFly67 Offline
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awesome!

There is a museum at Texas State with a whole lot of Lonesome Dove and cattle drive era artifacts. Perhaps that'd be worth a trip?

Ran across this 2009 vid on youtube:

Last edited by HuntnFly67; 09/20/17 11:26 PM.

meh
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893778
09/20/17 11:33 PM
09/20/17 11:33 PM
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Corsicana
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Thanks for sharing that! Very, very neat.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6893794
09/20/17 11:57 PM
09/20/17 11:57 PM
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The Island Cres
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Yep, cool! Thanks for posting this!


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: TEXASLEFTY] #6893825
09/21/17 12:19 AM
09/21/17 12:19 AM
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Sanger, Texas
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That is one of the stories I would very much like to read. Earlier in life I was privileged to share several conversations with Watt Matthews. Man he had stories to tell and me and my boys would sit mesmerized by them. He would always invite us to stay for supper or lunch and spend the night. The Lambshead Ranch was a special place and miss going out there. Everyday we were there Watt and his nurse (he was in his late 80's at the time) would be driving around on the ranch and at 4:30 he would have his Crown. He died April 13, 1997 at 98 years of age.


Bobby Barnett

Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6894034
09/21/17 03:27 AM
09/21/17 03:27 AM
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Fort Worth TX
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Awesome read! I would absolutely be interested in the e-book. Thank you for sharing



Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6894081
09/21/17 06:03 AM
09/21/17 06:03 AM
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Abilene or on the road...
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Abilene or on the road...
Thanks for sharing the rest of the story.


Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
_____________"Illegitimus non carborundum est"_______________



Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6894165
09/21/17 12:35 PM
09/21/17 12:35 PM
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Murphy, TX Dickens county
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Really cool story and pics. cheers


Marc C. Helfrich
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Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6894218
09/21/17 01:22 PM
09/21/17 01:22 PM
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Great story and thanks for posting. My Great Grandfather Erskine Outlaw lived in Frio County and made his living gathering unbranded cattle in Mexico and driving them back to Texas. I never knew him as he passed before I came along in 1953. My Uncle A. E. Outlaw, son of Erskine made his first trip into Mexico at age 13. I knew A. E. (Everett) Outlaw very well and rode with him most of my early life catching working cattle or penning spoiled cattle that no one else could catch. The stories that he told on the forays into Mexico were pretty wild.
As a youngster, I had a bull horn used for calling hounds that had a steer head on one side and a cowboy roping a steer on the other. It was old and brittle and should have been in a museum some where. I wore it around my neck most everywhere I went and was beginning to get a pretty good sound out of it when I feel on a sidewalk and broke it. I would give anything to have that horn today.
Adios,
Gary

Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6895393
09/22/17 02:57 PM
09/22/17 02:57 PM
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Glad y'all enjoyed. Will be updating the webpage with more info as I have time. And will ad some more here, too.

Gary and bobcat1 - cool stories! Sorry the horn broke, Gary.

HuntnFly67 - will definitely need to take a look at that museum! Thanks for the info!


george@mapmyranch.com
www.MapMyRanch.com

"Keep your aim as true as your word" - GB
Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: George - w/ Map My Ranch] #6895395
09/22/17 02:59 PM
09/22/17 02:59 PM
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Shreveport LA
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Thanks for sharing...


Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Re: Bob Lemmons - the Original Mustanger [Re: JKC] #6896083
09/23/17 02:47 AM
09/23/17 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted By: JKC
Thanks for sharing...
x2



To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
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