Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Bone Hunters - Tales of a Texas Boy

Tales of a Texas Boy
The Bone Hunters

Between 1870 and 1937, the bone business played a major role in the economy of Texas. In the nineteenth century, the bones were from the millions of buffalo slaughtered for their hides and then left to rot on the plains. Once the buffalo were depleted, cattle became the primary source of bones. During the Great Depression, hundreds of families overcame droughts, debts, and famine by picking up and selling bones. Bone buyers made a circuit of the farms, collecting tons of bones to be ground to meal, leached of calcium phosphate to fire the furnaces of bone china makers, and made into buttons for the garment factories. 

In 1929, at the age of nineteen, James Ridgley Whiteman discovered the existence of Clovis Man, believed to be the earliest human being to live on the North American continent.

“HEY, YOU DROP that right now!” I yelled at my little sister when I saw her pickin’ up a cowpie. Cowpies was fine, if they were good and dry, but the one Dorothy picked up looked a mite green.  

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