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PEELER cattle were the first cattle purchased by Dickinsons. In the fifties and sixties many people started raising Longhorns because of the colorful old Graves Peeler, a retired Texas Ranger, of Atascosa County, Texas.
Peeler's efforts to establish his Longhorn program were started about the same time as WR, in the late twenties and early thirties. The other five herds started from ten to several dozen years earlier. Some of these old family herds just don't have any recorded beginning. The Peeler, WR and Butler all have a dated beginning. The WR herd was the latest of origin.
The Peeler cattle are truly professional range cattle. He wanted his cows to come in every year with a fat, live calf and no excuses. They lived in semi-desert, lots of mesquite, diamond back rattlers and timber wolves. Graves wanted lots of fight in his cattle. I've been to sales in the late sixties that Graves attended. When a fighty cow came in the ring, most breeders were not that enthusiastic. They sure weren't going to pay any extra premiums. Not so with Mr. Peeler. One time a WR cow come in the ring, ran over to Elmer Parker, who was horseback, and promptly tried to hook his horse down. Elmer wheeled and got away. Mr. Peeler let out an Indian war hoop, stood up leaning on his cane and placed the final bid. No one bid against him after that. This was his kind of cow . . . with fight!
The old herd that he established were fairly big cattle. Generally speaking they were larger boned than most Longhorns. They were excellent milkers and raised big fat calves. Most of the Peeler stock were sold at the San Antonio Stock Yards, so pounds of meat were his goal. He was successful in raising that. Some Peeler cows give so much milk their udders become damaged and their productive life is reduced.
Like the Yates cattle, only a few Peeler cows had the long horns. Many had a slight Brahman look and a V shape horn, rather than the straight out, lateral shape so popular today. Peeler probably was more careless in allowing non-Longhorn blood to creep into his herd than any of the other six. Who cared anyway in 1929? No one offered any premium for purebred Longhorns thirty years before the first Longhorns were registered.
The King Ranch was the main stronghold of Peeler blood. Some have a slight roman nose and the prominent color is red. Very few people use Peeler bulls today but the heavy milking cows are appreciated by those who do.
The Peeler cattle have size, lots of milk and they are protective mother cows deluxe. Today the Peeler family herd is under the management of Justin Peeler. The Dickinson Cattle Co., Inc. herd has about 3% Peeler blood.