A 97 year old cattleman who still saddles up and works at branding time, Marshall Cator, still sits tall in the saddle as a living legend of the Golden Spread.

Born in a sod house on Palo Duro Creek near Spearman in 1902, Cator currently lives near Sunray, about 20 miles from where he was born.  "I think he's quite an individual," said Perryton oilman Harold Courson.  "He's the last of a kind."

Cator's uncles, James and Bob Cator were sent to America by their father, John Bertie Cator, administrator of the Port of Hull, England.  That was in 1877,  and their mission was to strike it rich farming in Kansas.

Finding farming in America, different from farming in England, the brothers decided to become buffalo hunters, which they continued until 1877.  The next year they began ranching along the North Palo Duro Creek in Hansford County.  They built a house and started a store they called the Zulu Stockade, because they considered their territory wild as the Zulu Land of Africa.

Marshall's father Bert O. Cator, arrived at Zulu Stockade in 1879.  Bert Cator was Hansford County Sheriff from 1893-1895 and served again from 1900-1909.

This part of Hansford County History is connected to the activities of the Famous Fort Adobe Walls, the site of the last battle between the whites and the Indians.  The Battle of Adobe Walls took place June 27, 1874, along with other battles, now known as the Red River Wars.  Billy Dixon came to the area with the buffalo hunters who built Adobe Walls and later became the Chief Army Scout for General Nelson Miles.  Bat Masterson was on the scene as well.  Adobe Walls Historical Battlesite is 17 miles South of Spearman.

Marshall Cator was recently honored with the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award during the National Cowboy Hall of  Fame and Western Heritage Center's Annual Awards.

Many of the decedents of the Cators and Billy Dixon remain as ranchers in the area.  The Panhandle of Texas is rich with the history and stories of these fascinating pioneers and the way of life they lived is still very similar to the way life is still lived today.


Red River Wars Update

Nature Tours


Wild Flowers


For more information about ZULU,
contact the Spearman Chamber of Commerce at 806-659-5555
or email at spearman@arn.net