a Pecan Shell
Although it was
never a community, Zulu Station deserves inclusion for being the first
non-native “foothold” in what would become Hansford
The area was grazing land for the huge herds of buffalo
that roamed these vast expanses. In 1873 when the area was still under
Comanche “occupation” James and Robert Cator arrived. The English
brothers had been sent by their father to start a farm in Kansas,
but buffalo hunting was a faster way to make a living – without depending
on cooperating weather.
As the buffalo were slaughtered, and the Red River Wars* removed the
Comanche into Indian Territory, the brothers and their sister Clara
decided to try ranching.
They settled in along North Palo Duro Creek and built a house. They
were soon joined by others who replaced the dead buffalo herds with
They named their house and store the Zulu Stockade – perhaps
for the prairies resemblance to the Zulu-lands of South Africa (which
would soon erupt in the 1879 Zulu War).
When Hansford County
was organized in1876, there were so few people that the county had
to be administered by Wheeler
County. The first census taken was in 1880 when only 18 people
Descendants of the Cators and Billy Dixon of Adobe
Walls fame, continue to live in the region.
4 miiles N of Morse on SH 136, then
1 mile W on FM 520
Site of Old
In 1875, a large,
two-room pole building furnished with staple groceries and ammunition
became the first trading post in Texas above the Canadian
River. The stockade, located in Indian-infested country, was fittingly
named for the fierce Zulu tribe of Africa. It began as a buffalo camp
which crack hunters Jim and Bob Cator (from England) had made the
first permanent Panhandle
residence at Christmas, 1873. In 1876 Zulu became a major depot on
the Ft. Dodge-Ft. Bascom military road, and it eventually received
a post office contract. It was finally abandoned, 1912.
with 1912 Zulu postmark.
Note name of sender - James H. Cator.
John J. Germann Collection
Click on postcard for large image
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