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Ride ‘Em Cowboy! (1929)

Betty Mayer

Silent | 1929

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  •  Edwin Mayer’s wife, Minnie. The couple married in 1926 and had five children: Edwin Jr., Ralph, Robert, Doris, and Richard. 
  •  Branding and de-horning 
  •  Working sheep 
  •  The film dares viewers to try counting bounding sheep for themselves 
  •  Shearing sheep 
  •  The crew 
  •  Edwin’s stepmother, Ernestine. Solomon and Ernestine Mayer married in 1904. The couple were dedicated philanthropists, donating land for the West Texas Boys’ Ranch and Camp Sol Mayer, a Boy Scouts facility. Ernestine also gave the first library building to Tom Green County. 
  •  Fighting prairie fire 
  •  With Mr. and Mrs. Wynn Hamilton in Saragosa. The gentleman standing on the far fight is possibly Edwin’s father, Solomon.  
  •  Minnie pulls her husband Edwin out from behind the camera 
  •  Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico 
  •  Edwin signing off 
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Produced by Edwin S. Mayer, this 1929 amateur film documents life and work on the T-Half Circle Ranch near Sonora. Ranch hands first herd cattle for branding and de-horning. Then, they turn to working the sheep, sorting them into separate classes before shearing wool. Later, the ranch hands battle a prairie fire on the property. In addition to outlining ranch operations, Mayer also introduces his family and colleagues. At the conclusion, Edwin and his wife Minnie join another couple to explore Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico. The cave is now the primary attraction of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Please note, this film contains a racist joke regarding African Americans. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image does not condone this language, but presents the film as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim this discrimination never existed.
Ferdinand Mayer emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1856. He married Jette Steiner 10 years later. The couple had six children: Max, Solomon, Fanny, Josephine, Theresa, and Abraham. The family settled in Fort McKavett in Menard County, with Ferdinand becoming fort sutler in 1879. After Fort McKavett closed in 1881, he opened his own mercantile store. Accepting livestock and land in exchange for goods, Ferdinand soon found himself in the ranching business. In 1896, he purchased the T-Half Circle Ranch with sons Max and Solomon. The ranch encompassed 75,000 acres and seven pastures across Sutton and Schleicher Counties. The partnership registered the T-Half Circle brand in 1889. Two years later, they introduced sheep. In 1901, Solomon and Abraham bought the ranch from their father and older brother, who subsequently retired to San Antonio. Solomon became sole owner six years later, with the T-Half Circle Ranch eventually passing to his son, Edwin, and five grandchildren. Upon Solomon’s death in 1957, the estate was divided into five separate parcels. The 21,000-acre parcel operated by Edwin Jr. retained the T-Half Circle Ranch title. He continues to run the ranch with sons Stephen and Ernie. In 1983, the T-Half Circle Ranch launched a game management program with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to permit deer and turkey hunting on the property.