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Brewster County was established in 1887 from Presidio County. It is located on the southern tip of the southwestern corner of the state. It is bordered (clockwise) by Pecos and Terrell Counties, Mexico, and Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties. The county seat is Alpine.


1906 (From F. C. by Mrs. Gussie Hale, P.W. Early Day Cowboy Tales and Experiences Uvalde County, District #10. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940.)

ED BELL, Sabinal, Texas, p. 6

In 1906. I went to Marathon in charge of COMBS' and KINCAID'S outfit. We had branded 6,600 calves on this ranch and had sold 2,500 steer yearlings in one straight mark and brand. We [had] gathered the 2,500 steers when the buyer got there with his crew. Got about half of them branded out. One day we had the branded cattle in the pen and were herding the other half out on the range. It came up a little rain storm that night and when it would lighten, I could see the men and cattle all mixed up together. I went to the wagon and got my lantern and waved the hands all in and just let the cattle drift one way. We tied up our horses with the saddles on. Next morning, we had about all the cattle gathered when Billie Kincaid came after the herd and asked me if I expected to turn the cattle 'a-loose' ever time it rained. I told him I expected to do just as I had always done and if he thought someone else could handle it better than I to go ahead and get 'em. Billie said, 'Ed, hold your temper now.' He said he told Mrs. Bell before he left the house he was afraid I hadn't turned them cattle 'a-loose.'

Note: This would be David St. Clair Combs. See below.


From The New Handbook of Texas, Volume 2 of 6, Published, Austin Texas by The Texas State Historical Association, © 1996. p. 247

Combs, DAVID ST. CLAIR (1839-1926). David St. Clair Combs was born on May 26, 1839, in Johnson County, Missouri, the son of David and Rebecca (BURRUSS) Combs. In 1854 the family moved to Texas and settled near San Marcos, then a frontier town. In August 1861 at La Grange, Fayette County, Combs enlisted in Company D of the Eighth Texas Cavalry, better known as Terry's Texas Rangers. He fought in all major engagements in which the rangers participated through Chickamauga. While he was on furlough in Texas, he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department, where he served to the end of the war. He fought in the battle of Palmito Ranch on May 13, 1865, the last engagement of the Civil War. After the war Combs was one of the first raildrivers; from 1866 to 1879 he drove cattle and horses to Louisiana, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. In 1880 he and his partners ranched near San Angelo, but in 1882 they moved ranching operations to Brewster County. In 1900 he established Combs Ranch, one of the largest ranches in Brewster County, near Marathon. As one of the last surviving members of the Eighth Texas Cavalry, Combs was instrumental in getting L.B. GILES to write his history of the regiment, Terry's Texas Rangers (1967); Combs's letter is the preface. Combs married Eleanora BROWNING on February 27, 1873, and they had two daughters and a son. Combs died on January 3, 1926, in San Antonio and was buried in San Marcos.

Bibliography: J. Marvin Hunter, Trail Driver of Texas (2 vols., San Antonio; Jackson Printing, 1920, 1923; 4th ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985). Grank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E.W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916])

Notes: See Hays Co., where David St. Clair Combs appears in both the 1870 and the 1880 Census records, along with his brother James.


Important: All Records collected for this county may not have been added here as yet. See also the Combs Research List Archives


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