On January 21, 2020, Don Nichols from the Houston Live Stock & Rodeo's Speaker Committee, spoke to the Magnolia Rotary's Club's membership about the history of cattle branding in the United States. Pictured above from left to right are Don Nicholas and Magnolia Rotary Club's current President, Janice Thigpen.
Don Nichols (Aka Cowboy Don) told everyone that he was the past president of the Galena Park / Jacinto City Rotary Club but had to quit in order to prepare for his retirement by working more. Don is also a Double Paul Harris Recipient and owns his own business called "Allance Safety" which is a fire extinguisher service & safety training company. Don also reminded everyone that the 2020 Houston Live Stock & Rodeo starts on March 3, 2020 and goes through March 22, 2020. Don also told everyone that the Houston Live Stock & Rodeo has raised $500 Million towards the Texas youth and education since 1932. One of the most famous individuals to perform at one of their shows was Elvis Pressley.
Don provided a slide show telling about the history of cattle brands in the United States starting in the 1800s. In the early 1800's, their was a big cattle boom in the southern states and the owners needed a way to both identify their cattle as well as a way to drive them to markets in the north, east and west. To take care of who owned the cattle, branding with a red hot iron was used (Don showed some of the Texas cattle brands, including the famous King Ranch "Running W" brand). Don also showed a map of the many cattle trails from Texas to the railroad lines in the north. Today, they freeze the cattle brands onto the cattle.
It was stated that a good brand is one that can not easily be modified to look like another brand.
Some of the brands that Don showed can be seen below: