Re: Foreign Road Stock Cars

gn3397 <heninger@...>

--- In, "Dave Nelson" <Lake_Muskoka@...> wrote:

Think about the paperwork for a sec: Farmer Brown puts his 30 steers in the
hands of the SP for transit to the public stockyards in Salt Lake City.
Less than 28 hours later, the SP stops an unloads Farmer Brown's steers for
rest. Once unloaded, how do they know which 30 (nice and fat) steers are
Brown's... and not those 30 old, scrawny, dried up dairy cows Jones has
shipped? Probably the waybill. Some kind of paperwork has to go with the
steers; they have to be in their own pen; they have to continue to their
intended destination. Something has to be done to link Brown's shipment
with the pen Brown's steers are in. No other way would ensure Brown gets
the right auction price in SLC. Does that particular paperwork include the
Car Initial and Number? I dunno, but I'll bet it does. I would imagine
what is used is the waybill. After all, Brown was there when his steers
were loaded; he, like most other consignors, checked his car and was
satisfied *that* car was good.

Rest time has passed and Brown's steers are reloaded. Which is easier for
the people doing the work -- put the steers into the same car as they
arrived OR put them in any car and mess with the waybill (copy to Brown?)?
I'll wager it is the former, just as Schuyler describes, below. It's just

Dave Nelson
A few comments on your post. First of all, remember that in the steam era, cattle were branded, and brands were registered with the respective states stockmen's associations. This is to prevent exactly the situation that you describe above. Being caught altering brands (essentially, stealing livestock) was not good for one's health!

Second, cattle shipments were often accompanied by either the rancher or his representatives (drovers) all the way to their final destination, again to supervise the loading and unloading of the livestock. I am most familiar with the Great Northern, and they had several ancient coaches that were provided for "drover cars". I know other roads used cabooses, etc. These make for some interesting models.

Third, I have several Thirties era bills of lading from the GN that are for shipments of cattle from the southwest in SP/T&NO stockcars, with routing specified SP/UP/GN (the interchange in Butte, MT), so obviously the originating car was used for the entire trip, at least in these instances.

Robert D. Heninger
Iowa City, IA

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