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  • Circa 1870, my great-grandfather, John Jay, arrived in Texas from Wales, by way of the Great Lakes and Chicago. On his way south to Texas, he met a Cherokee widow who had five full-Cherokee sons. They married and explored the Texas High Plains together. My grandfather, Hardin Taylor, was born in a mud dugout on the Middle Concho River, west of San Angelo, Texas.

    West Texas springs and rivers still flowed strong then and the grasses still grew waist-high, far past the Rio Grande.

    "The Welshman" learned from his wife how to trade for horses from the native Americans, mostly Commanche and Apache warriors near El Paso. John and "the boys" - his stepsons - would drive strings of horses each year across the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Here The Welshman sold his horses to the U.S. Army.

    Now John had a "special permit" to sell these horses to the government each year for, like as not, half the horses were the same horses he sold the year before.
    ~*~~**~~~***~~~~ Image credit: "Storyteller" by Joel Nakamura
    ~*~~**~~~***~~~~ under the Creative Commons License.
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