Bill Wilson

  Bill Wilson


                                                           Mike Capron


I am not sure how Bill lost his arm and I have never seen a picture of which arm he lost. His reputation was well known when Charlie Goodnight was putting together a crew to take a herd from Belknap TX to Ft. Sumner, New Mexico on June 6,1866. He needed a good crew as this was a virgin trail and would take the strongest to achieve the trip.  Bill Wilson had a reputation and Charlie wanted him on the crew. Bill Wilson joined the crew of 18 well armed men to take 2000 head of longhorns to Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.They reached the head waters of the Middle Concho River with little trouble. After resting and filling the herd for a couple days, they headed for Horsehead Crossing through Castle Gap. It took 3 days with little sleep to get to Horsehead Crossing. Lots of problems with the thirsty cattle and horses. They suffered many losses after reaching  Horsehead Crossing with thirsty cattle stampeding from the smell of water and running over each other and being pushed off steep banks at the river.  But the prices they got at Ft.Sumner with the remainder of the herd that survived made the trip very profitable. With the profit they decided to return to Texas and purchase another herd. They delivered another herd to Ft. Sumner that year with great success and ended up wintering in Northern New Mexico .

Goodnight and Loving formed a partnership that proved very successful for both and the history of them and Bill Wilson is written in “Charles Goodnight, Cowman and Plainsman” by J. Evetts Haley with illustrations by Harold Bugbee. I highly recommend reading the book if you want to know the history of these three men. It is a great story.!      


1 comment

Linda Lou Moore

I enjoyed your pen and ink drawing of the standing buffalo. We have some buffalo at the Nature Center near Fort Worth. When our kids were young, we went out there and took a wagon ride to see them. They came right up to the wagon, and I’m glad I was on it. They were huge, especially their head. I wound not have liked to have been on the ground. Now I’m 80 and my husband, Jim will be 86 Feb 4th. He was a farm boy from Bangs, his father a farmer and carpenter so Jim has always loved cowboy lore and Indian tales.

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