The Pulido Legacy in South Texas Ranching

The Pulido legacy in South Texas ranching started when Aniceto Pulido and his wife, Andrea Garcia left the Rio Grande Valley and came to the area known then as Nueces County (present day Jim Wells County) in the 1880's and went to work for Charles Premont. Premont was the manager-administrator of the Seeligson Ranch.

During that period, the drought in South Texas was having its effect on the Seeligson Ranch. Times were hard and money was needed. Pulido and other vaqueros went and rounded up ganado orejana (unbranded cattle) to drive up north to the cattle markets of Kansas where they would get top dollar for the cattle. Three cattle drives were made. The first trip was not very productive as about 1,000 head of cattle were lost in Indian territory (Oklahoma). On the second cattle drive, herding thousands of cattle, Pulido, as trail boss, took sacks of tobacco to give to the Indians in exchange for safe passage. On the third trip, bottles of mescal were taken for exchange. After two successful trips, enough money was made to keep the ranch operational.

Aniceto died in 1928 but his son, Narciso Pulido, was already managing part of the Seeligson Ranch by then. Narciso was born on October 30, 1887 in Santa Rosa, Cameron County, Texas. He came with his parents as an infant to the South Texas area. At the age of 14, he went to work for Charles Premont as a cook at his ranch known as Rancho Viejo or also known as Galveston Ranch. In 1916, Pulido married Manuela Trevino and went to work managing 8,300 acres of the Seeligson Ranch located in Jim Wells County. In 1931, he was put in charge of all 33,300 acres. He raised commercial cattle that would be driven to the shipping pens at Ella Switch located about nine miles north of Premont, Texas. There was also another railroad shipping site located south of Premont. The cattle were taken to the markets of Kansas via railroad.

In 1949, the Seeligson Ranch was divided into three sections. Pulido retired and lived at the one called Los Jaboncillos. His eldest son, Narciso Jr., took over as manager of Los Jaboncillos.

Narciso Jr. was the general manager and was in charge of the cattle including Santa Gertrudis show cattle that were exhibited in Texas and Louisiana. His cattle were of such championship quality that even Robert Kleberg of the King Ranch would buy his bulls. These Santa Gertrudis bulls sold for up to $10,000 in the 1950's and 60's.

Erasmo Pulido, Narciso's younger brother, was in charge of the ranch quarter horses. These were the working cattle horses. He sold horses to buyers in Mexico City and Guadalajara for up to $20,000.

The youngest brother, Aniceto, was in charge of the farming operation for Los Jaboncillos. He made sure that there was enough feed for the commercial cattle, the show cattle, and the quater horses.

The Pulido's left Los Jaboncillos in the mid to late 1960's. Since then the ranch has been sold numerous times but the legacy left behind by the Pulido men will always be remembered with the people that were associated with them and the ranch.

Editor's note: This oral history of Aniceto Pulido was told to me by Erasmo Pulido as told to him by Charles Premont, namesake of Premont, Texas.

All Photos courtesy of Eddie Pulido

Narciso Pulido Sr. (early 1900)
Los Seliqueños - Charles Premont (in middle/back row)
his brother Ben Premont (far right/front row)

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