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  Cattle Buying

Edson Foulke related this story of early day cattle buying after the railroad came through Shasta Valley. Cattle originated at distant points, and were purchased en route or at the shipping points, which were Montague or Gazelle.

W.D. "Dean" Duke was one of the younger cattle buyers, and had a reputation as a ladies man. A group of buyers was staying at Gazelle with the knowledge that a large herd of un-contracted cattle was en route over Bald Mountain, headed for Montague. Each buyer was trying to figure out how to reach the owners of the herd without raising the suspicions of the other buyers.

Dean Duke asked a young waitress at Gazelle if she wanted to take the train to Montague for dinner, and return on the evening train. This aroused no suspicions, due to Dean's reputation. Once in Montague, Dean gave the waitress enough money for dinner and her return fare to Gazelle, rented a team and headed for Bald Mountain.

He intercepted the herd and closed the deal while his rivals were comfortably warming their feet before the fire in Gazelle.

from The Siskiyou County Museum and Historical Society
Keith Arnold

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