From a fusion of Native Americans, Spanish colonists, Mexican rancheros, planters, African slaves and European immigrants would arise ranching empires, the American West and a Republic uniquely Texan. They created villages and cities; today some exist as giant metropolitan areas, others are ghost towns – each has its story.
During the 19th century, modest farmer as well as the giants of Texas cattle culture registered their cattle brands and marks at county courthouses.Wilson County's Archives possess a wealth of cattle brand registrations dating to the county's founding. These brands are a Texas legacy akin to European heraldry. They tell us about where individuals grazed their cattle, how herds changed hands and how individual brands evolved over time. Many of the legends of Texas trail drives first registered brands in and around Wilson County. Here you can see the brands registered in Wilson County's first Brand Book.