In October 1894, Roosevelt writes to his friend, Bob Ferguson, about the realities of ranching, as well as the impending winter. He also expresses a melancholy feeling after staying at his ranch house and seeing what it has become.
“I got back a few days ago from my trip on the ranch. I am sorry to say I haven’t good news about the cattle. The drought out west this year was very severe. This meant two things, both of them bad for us: First, the cattle didn’t put on flesh well, and so instead of selling off the 4’s and the top 3’s we merely gathered the top 4’s; and this decreased of course the number of animals sold and lessened the price per head. Second, the animals being in poor condition, I feel a little uneasy as to what may happen in the winter….
"Then I went down to the ranch for a couple of days, but that made me rather more melancholy than ever. The house had been deserted for some time and some wolf hunters had been living there, who had left it literally as swine would not have left it; filthy to a degree, without and within. We had to sleep on the porch. It will soon be pulled to pieces I think.”
Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Robert Harry Munro Ferguson, October 16, 1894. Electronic copy sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. For reproduction or publication permission, contact the Arizona Historical Society.