Buffaloe Cattle Company
Buffaloe Cattle History
James Robinson established the JR brand at Nursery, Texas in the late 1800’s. The brand was first registered in Victoria County in 1895. James farmed and raised cattle on the west side of the railroad opposite the town of Nursery.
James passed away in 1904. His daughter, Berith Robinson, was born east of Nursery at a house in the first turn, to the north, on the Fordtran Road about 1/4 mile east of Nursery. Berith and her sisters, Stephna and Jewel, grew up at Nursery. Berith was Bruce Buffaloe’s Grandmother. In 1916, William Charles “Bill” Gullett Sr. moved to Nursery and was the station master at the Nursery Railroad Station. In 1919, after Bill returned from World War I, he married Berith Robinson. Glen Davies, who married Jewel, was a prominent Houston CPA. He and Bill raised Hereford cattle and used the D-G brand until the 1960’s.
The original D-G branding iron resides with Charles Gullett, my uncle, in Austin, Texas. The original JR brand sits by our fireplace at the Buffaloe residence at Victoria, Texas. In 1964, Gene and Wilma Gullett Buffaloe bought out the heirs to the Robinson Estate and reinstated the JR brand in the herd. Gene had a keen sense of cattle confirmation that was developed in Palacios, Texas under the supervision of his father, Ed Buffaloe and his uncle, Frank Buffaloe.
Frank Buffaloe, Ed Buffaloe and J. W. Sartell, founders of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, were partners in the Brahman cattle business. Frank, Ed and J.W. imported some of the first Brahman cattle into the United States in the mid 1920’s.The Brahman cattle raised by the Buffaloes were world class genetics. In 2004, at the Annual Meeting of the American Brahman Breeders Association, Bruce visited with Mr. Fontenot from Louisiana and he advised that for 6 years from 1950 to 1959 the Grand Champion Brahman Bull from the Houston Fat Stock Show was the son of a Buffaloe bred Brahman female.
After Gene Buffaloe, my father, acquired the Robinson estate he raised Brahman, Brangus, and later Red Brangus cattle. He knew the value of crossing the English Breeds with Brahmans which were heavily muscled, heat, disease and insect resistant. He raised cattle that exhibited hybrid growth as demonstrated by high weaning weights. Gene produced thick, heavily muscled, “Easy Keeper” cows.
In 1970, Gene began to acquire registered Brangus cattle. The first registered Brangus Cattle were bought from a ranch at Goliad, Texas. In 1986, Gene introduced the first Red Brangus Bulls into the herd. Those bulls were purchased from Franklin Flato at Berclair, Texas.
In 1991, Gene Buffaloe passed away and Wilma Gullett Buffaloe handed the ranching over to her son, Bruce. Wilma and Bruce added more registered Red Brangus cows. Wilma and Bruce immediately recognized that registered 3/8 x 5/8 Red Brangus Cattle were the cattle of choice and the premium animals to breed. Wilma and Bruce decide to join the International Red Brangus breeders Association in 1995. The International Red Brangus registered cattle were premium cattle to own and have since become the most desired cattle to breed and own in the world. In 1999, Bruce was elected to the International Red Brangus Breeders Board of Directors where he has served as Vice President and Secretary of the organization. In addition, Bruce and Dennis Kmiec established the IRBBA’s first website.
In 2000, Guillermo Zambrano of Monterrey, Mexico invited the IRBBA Board members to meet with 40 Mexican Cattlemen who were interested in raising Red Brangus Cattle. Guillermo established and funded the Mexican Red Brangus Association. This organization has grown into a world class breeders organization whose herds were established by purchasing seed stock from the members of the IRBBA Board.
In 2008, Wilma Buffaloe passed away. At the time of her death at age 85, Wilma was the oldest, active Red Brangus Breeder. She bought her last registered heifer in the CX Advantage Sale in October 2007 and she actively made decisions about which bulls to buy to improve our herd. Her last two Bull purchases were CX Home Run 135P and Sureway’s Rocky Street 227N. These bulls are held in partnership with Cox Excalibur and Triangle Farms respectively.
In 2009, Vincent Price from Cameron, Texas joined the Buffaloes when he married Tracee. Tracee and Vince graduated from Texas A&M where they were expert marksmen and represented Texas A&M in national competitions in trap & skeet. Vince and Tracee are now living in Victoria and participate in administration of the herd.
Lissa Buffaloe is the youngest Buffaloe daughter and has received her Bachelor’s and Masters degree from Texas A&M. Lissa is active in our Show Cattle Program and shows our cattle at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. In 2015, Lissa married Dan Traber of Victoria, Texas. Dan and Lissa now reside in Houston, Texas.
We are proud of our heritage in the breeding of Brahman influenced cattle. We have used the best bulls and top females in Red Brangus to develop our herd and have passed this legacy to my daughters Tracee and Lissa.
Our 3/8 x 5/8 Red Brangus Cattle are derived from the top registered Red Brangus bulls such as BCC Mr. Gene 306R, Chief Cardinal 847/G, Rocky Street 227N, Home Run 235P, Predominant 706/0, Sensation 872,Topline, Oak Creek’s 27D the Forage Champion, Cardinal 107D, Powerman 307/H and Mr. High Star X19/E.
We have purchased an interest in a potential herd sire from Stacey Costello at BKC Ranch. The bull is BKC HOT ROD 10W and was crowned the Bull Calf Champion at every show in which he was entered in 2009. BKC HOT ROD 10W is a ROCKY STREET grandson.
In addition, Chief Cardinal has passed on but he left behind a great herd sire in his last calf crop, The Bull is BCC MACHO 124W. He was a great bull that showed well in the 2010 and 2011 shows. We are still using chief in our embryo program.
Buffaloe Cattle Company offers over 125 Years of quality cattle breeding. Come by our ranch at Nursery, Texas; just outside of Victoria, and we’ll be happy to show you our outstanding cattle.
Early Texas History and more Family History
This Family History was told to Bruce Buffaloe by his Uncle Ken Buffaloe on March 2, 2010 while Bruce traveled to Victoria to pick up the cattle that he was about to show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Buffalo Hump was Ken Buffaloe’s great, great grandfather. That made Buffalo Hump, Bruce’s great, great, great grandfather. The story was told by Rufus Buffaloe to Ken in about 1940 when Ken was approximately 10 years old. Ken said that he would come see Rufus on Saturday afternoons and fish on the pier at Palacios, Texas. Ken always liked to come see his grandfather because he always gave him a quarter. The quarter was enough money to get Ken into the movie, buy a Coke, popcorn and some candy. Ken liked to hear Rufus’ stories because they were about early Texas and Indians. Ken’s brothers and sisters never paid much attention to the stories. He said his brothers were more interested in girls. They were several years older than Ken.
Rufus Buffaloe relayed the Buffaloe Family History as follows
Buffalo Hump was Rufus’ grandfather. He never knew or met Buffalo Hump. Buffalo Hump was a Comanche Indian who was a chief of a tribe that lived in Oklahoma and Texas. When Buffalo Hump was an older man, the US Army Calvary attacked Buffalo Humps’ village and killed his family and most of the women and children. Buffalo Hump escaped by hiding between some big rocks in a stream nearby. Buffalo Hump hated the white man after that and tried to kill as many as he could thereafter. He was extremely mean due to his encounters with white settlers and the US Cavalry.
In about 1840, when Buffalo Hump was young, Buffalo Hump and a large war party came down from Oklahoma and raided the central and south Texas area. Their raiding party went through Victoria and they killed many settlers and stole their horses and cattle. They came down the coast and raided several Coastal towns. They had so much loot and stolen cattle and horses that they could not travel fast. The Republic of Texas Militia let by Captain Tumlinson, gathered together forces and attacked Buffalo Hump and his braves and won a great victory over them at Plumb Creek which is north of Lockhart, Texas. The Republic’s Militia killed many of the Indians. History books tell us the the battle lasted 5 days. This Comanche raid into South Texas is documented in many Texas history books. When Bruce was 24, he met Pat Tumlinson while working for Brown & Root. Pat’s wife Marsha, started doing research on Captain Tumlinson and found out about Buffalo Hump. She relayed the story above to me. Hence, Pat and my ancestors fought against each other in 1840.
Once Buffalo Hump was in west Texas and camped with some of his braves. In the night, they heard noises. When daylight came, they crawled through the huisache bushes and found a rock cabin with a white man whipping a black man with a bullwhip. Buffalo Hump had never seen a bullwhip so he watched for a while. He wanted the bullwhip so they attacked the white man and killed him and also killed the black man. When they were about to enter the cabin a woman came out the door with a double barrel shotgun and shot and killed two of the Indians. Buffalo Hump killed the woman.
Buffalo Hump learned to use the bullwhip but it took a long time. When he was learning to use the whip, he pulled it on a backstroke and the end cut a gash in his forehead. He had a large scar on his head after that.
Buffalo Hump had a son named Buffalo Horn. When Buffalo Horn was about 15 years old, Buffalo Hump whipped him with the bullwhip and almost killed him. Buffalo Horn’s mother saved him from dying. As soon as Buffalo Horn recovered, he stole one of Buffalo Hump’s horses and rode toward a remote part of west Texas. He lived off of the land and was about to starve to death. We was about 30 miles west of Fort Stockton when he came up on a two room, rock cabin. He fell off of his horse, due to weakness, and the family that lived in the cabin nursed him back to health. Their last name was Lee.
Buffalo Horn lived with the Lee Family for about 17 years. The Lees made a living by raising cows and goats. Buffalo Horn worked for the Lee Family and was a hard worker. The Lees had one daughter and she was about Buffalo Horn’s age. The Lee daughter and Buffalo Horn decided to get married. They were married at Fort Stockton and when they were married; his new wife gave him a Christian name. He was renamed Jim Buffaloe and the “e” was added to his name by his wife. She did not want her children to be considered to be Indians. Jim had no middle name.
Jim and his wife lived at the ranch until her parents died in about 1870. They moved to East Texas and had 3 children. Rufus, Sel and Ivan. Ivan died when he was very young. Jim Buffaloe never returned to west Texas. Rufus was raised in east Texas and later moved to Palacios. He was married and his first wife died. His second wife was Mary Buffaloe. That ended the story that Rufus told Ken and Ken told to Bruce.
I met Mary Buffaloe when I was very young. I just barely remember her. It seems like I also met Rufus but I can’t remember much about him.
Rufus had two sons, Ed and Frank. William Edward “Ed” Buffaloe was my grandfather. Ed, Frank, Rufus and Mary Buffaloe are buried in the cemetery at Palacios, Texas. There is a road in the center of the cemetery. They are buried close to each other just north of the road and in the center of the cemetery. Frank’s son, Hugh Buffaloe, is also buried with them.
More Robinson Family History
Allen Davies, who was the son of Glen and Jewel Robinson Davies, wrote a Robinson family history. This history was updated by Wilma Buffaloe and published in the Victoria County History book in 2000. In it, Allen and Wilma address the Robinson family lore of Melanie Brande Clay who was their great grandmother, and a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria of England. Allen wrote, “Thomas married Melanie Brande Clay. She was born 25 August 1820, also in London. According to family lore, Melanie was “of nobility”, possibly a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria. The ages of Victoria and Melanie make this an interesting possibility. Melanie was a year younger than Queen Victoria. Both Melanie and Victoria were married in the same year, 1840. Melanie is said to have spoken five languages and to have been an attendant in Victoria’s wedding. No title was attached to her father’s name where he was listed on her marriage certificate as a witness, nor was any rank indicated. Melanie was not in the list of attendants at Victoria’s marriage–nor was she listed at the coronation.
Melanie’s mother was Clarissa Degrange who was born about 1799 in England and her father was Thomas K. Clay who was born in England about 1795. Melanie was married to Thomas Robinson on February 15, 1840 at St. Pancras in Middlesex, London, England.
William Andrew and James Welch Robinson were children of Thomas and Melanie Clay Robinson who came to America from England in 1842. The Robinson Family came to Victoria County in the 1890’s as was documented by the registration of James Robinson’s JR brand at the Victoria County Courthouse in 1895. We still use the JR brand on the ranch today to mark the Estate cattle. Land development opportunities that were advertised by John Kyle and John Gano interested the brothers. William Andrew, a bachelor, made the first move followed by James and his family.
James Robinson married Neva Hickman before moving to Nursery. Their daughter, Jewel, was the first born, when they lived at Hamilton, and the three other children were born at Nursery. They were Stephna, Berith and Allen. They were born in the house at the first curve to the north, in the Terryville Road (now Fordtran Road). The house is east of the Nursery Methodist Church about 1/4 mile.
Both brothers tried land speculation for a few years. Later the brother’s two sisters also came to Nursery. They were Elizabeth Robinson Trice, a widow, and her two children and another sister Katherine Robinson Stubblefield, “Aunt Kate”, and her two sons. The two Trice children grew up in Nursery. They were Mary Ann “Mamie” who married Adolph Brady and Jesse Trice who married May Lenderman.
James Robinson became disillusioned with prospects in Nursery and moved his family back to Hamilton. In 1902, James who was possibly depressed by his lack of success, committed suicide in Hamilton. He left Neva with four children to raise. Neva and the children, returned to Nursery to be near her brother-in-law and two sisters-in-law. She purchased property on Gano Avenue (now Kohutek Road) next door to her sister-in-law Elizabeth. William Andrew their brother-in-law, who was ill with tuberculosis, continued to care for his extended family until his death.
Katherine “Kate” Stubblefield lived with her brother, William Andrew Robinson and raised her two sons. They were George Henry Stubblefield and William Andrew Stubblefield who was named after his uncle William Andrew Robinson. The two Stubblefield sons were well know to railroad travelers since their house was just east of the Railroad Track on Nursery Drive, “old Highway 87″. Each time a train would come along, they would run to the front yard and stand on their heads and perform other acrobatics much to the delight of the passengers. Kate always noted that the conductors warned the passengers to watch for the show. George moved to Houston and became a prominent lawyer. William,” Brother Will” was a teacher and later became a contractor in Houston.
When Bruce Buffaloe was about to graduate from high school in 1970, Brother Will approached Gene and Wilma Buffaloe and asked where Bruce was going to go to college. Bruce aspired to attend Texas A&M and Brother Will financed his first two years at A&M. Later Brother Will’s estate provided some funding for Bruce’s cousins, Susan Gullett and Sharon Gullett to attend college also. Brother Will knew the value of higher education and supported his family in achieving their college goals. We are grateful for his contribution to our education.
The Robinson Children grew up in Nursery. Stephna married Clarence Gathright. Berith Married William Charles “Bill” Gullett who was the Railroad Station Master at Nursery. Jewel married Richard Glen Davies who arrived from Kansas to settle and raise Hereford cattle. Glen and Jewel moved to Houston where he owned an accounting firm. Allen Robinson married Pearl Bode, a nurse and they lived in Victoria. Allen was a real estate developer.
Neva later sold the property on Gano Avenue and bought 100 acres on the west side of the Railroad in 1905 for $20 per acre. This sale is documented in the Victoria Advocate and the County Records. Neva Hickman Robinson remarried later in life. Several men over the years tried to pay court to her. One even threw rocks in her yard as he rode past on his horse to get her attention. She remarried Robert Tucker, a Methodist Church member, county commissioner and farmer who had moved to Nursery after the death of his wife. Neva is buried in the Nursery Cemetery beside her brother Robert Hickman. Elizabeth Robinson Trice, Katherine “Kate” Stubblefield and William Andrew Robinson are buried not far away in the same cemetery. James Welch Robinson is buried in Hamilton, Texas.
Gullett Family History
William Charles “Bill” Gullett Senior grew up in Pierce, Texas and his father died at an early age. Bill had two sisters Nellie Gullett and Mamie Gullett. Nellie and Mamie lived at Markham, Texas. Mamie was an epileptic and she was not treated well by many people because of her affliction. Nellie married ……need some input from my cousin.
At age 15, Bill’s father died and Bill had to go to work to help support this mother and sisters. He got a job in El Campo and had to ride his bicycle to work from Pierce to El Campo every day.
Later he moved to Nursery where he was the Station Master for the Railroad. He met his wife, Berith Robinson, at Nursery. Later Bill worked as an oil salesman. I have Bill’s sample case with oil samples in it. About 1930, Bill went to work for the Humble Oil and Refining Company as a Driller. He worked in many oil fields in Texas including, West Columbia where my Mother, Wilma Berith Gullett Buffaloe was born. He also work in Jourdanton, Refugio, Bloomington, and Duval County.
Bill Gullett retired in 1964 from the Humble Company. He and Berith lived at Nursery at our Ranch House that was built by Neva Robinson.
Bill Gullett’s uncle was “Colonel” Newton Cannon Gullett who was an officer in the Confederate Army. Newton owned much of the area around Tivoli, Texas and he founded the town. His wife named the town in honor of Tivoli Gardens in New Orleans. The following is an accurate biography of Newton. There are many inaccurate articles about his life including articles in the Victoria Advocate newspaper. The Advocate and other publications have written several retractions after being corrected by my uncle, William Charles Gullett, Junior.
GULLETT, NEWTON CANNON (1822–1900). Newton Cannon Gullett, merchant and rancher, was born in 1822 in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of Samuel and Rebecca (Thompson) Gullett. He attended public schools in Columbia, Tennessee, and at the age of nineteen left home to work in a store in Lynnville. In 1850 he moved to New Orleans. The following year he began a general loan business in San Antonio, buying and selling notes for a commission and engaging in land speculation. He returned to New Orleans in 1856 and operated a successful grocery business until the Civil War began, when he offered his services to the Confederacy. He served on the staff of Gen. R. V. Richardson and was promoted to captain under Gen. Nathan B. Forrest.
After the war he returned to New Orleans and opened a commission house that dealt very profitably in cotton and cottonseed oil. His first wife, L. C. (Carter), died in 1870. In 1872 he married Mrs. Schortalle D. Barnard, who in 1875 became one of the heirs to a large, undeveloped estate on the Texas coast between the San Antonio River and Hynes Bay in Refugio County. Gullett already owned land in several Texas counties, and his proved business ability led the heirs to name him trustee of the property, which his wife named Tivoli Ranch, after a suburb of her native New Orleans. Gullett formed a company to carry on his New Orleans business and immediately set about transforming the estate into a successful cattle operation. In the fall of 1876 he traveled to New York City to purchase wire fencing, and in November of that year built the first wire stock fence in the state.
He and his wife made Tivoli Ranch their home, but under their influence it was much more a Southern plantation than a Texas cattle enterprise. The Gullets built a cotton gin and a general store, and their formal home was the center of social and cultural life in the area. The community of Tivoli, Texas was founded by Newton. Upon his second wife’s death in 1883, Gullett bought out all other interests and became the sole owner of one of the finest ranches on the coastal plain, encompassing 25,000 acres, a great percentage of which was fenced pasture. In 1889 he married Mattie A. Deseker of Selma, Alabama.
In 1892, Gullett became the first big landowner in Refugio County to subdivide large portions of his property into farm plots and seek colonists, especially German and Bohemian immigrants. He maintained the cattle operation at the heart of Tivoli Ranch by forming partnerships with other land and stock owners. One such partnership, with Alonzo R. Allee, former sheriff of Goliad County, involved co-ownership of some cattle and a contract with Allee to oversee the repair of fences on the ranch, but in August 1897 the partners disagreed over the suitability of one of Allee’s men. A quarrel on August 18 apparently lasted through breakfast. After the meal, Allee knocked Gullett down. Gullett called to bystanders to bring him a rifle, but Allee leaped upon him and persuaded Gullett to promise to behave himself if he were released. Once released, however, Gullett stepped back, both men drew guns, and in an exchange of fire Allee fell, mortally wounded. Gullett was indicted for murder and tried in Beeville, since the Refugio county judge was a witness to the shooting. Gullett was acquitted but sold the remainder of his holdings, and moved to Galveston, where he was when the Galveston hurricane of 1900 swept over the island. Although he survived the storm, he died of an epidemic fever a few months later and is buried in the old Evergreen Cemetery at Victoria, Texas under a large marker.