These stockyards once help up to 10,000 cows but they were probably empty when this picture was taken.
During WW I, a serious drought killed hundreds of cattle and drove off many ranchers. In fact by 1919, the lack of grazing and terrible low prices for beef had forced most ranchers to sell off their herds or slaughter them as part of the governments plan to maintain high prices for beef.
Price recovery was slow into the early 1920's, though Mother Nature began to co-operate. According to many old timers, if the oil speculators hadn't arrived with money in hand, very few ranchers would have been able to hold onto their places.
1920 Photo of stock on an unknown ranch.
Courtesy, Permian Historical Society Collection,.