On Sunday, October 23rd, at the Van Stellman Hall, Wilma Kite Magladry brought us back to the historic era of cattle ranching so prevalent throughout the west during the 1850's and beyond. Being a rancher, Wilma knew the importance of branding and was curious as to the
ownership of particular brands marked inside the left ears or on left shoulders of stock. This seemed so fascinating that Wilma spent seven years researching the various cattle brands used in and around Shasta County. Her research included going through 23 boxes of leather pieces, each piece burned with the brand of a different owner. She also had access to The Livestock Registry, three books with illustrated brands used between 1850 and 1936. The text in this registry was scripted at a time when graceful hand penmanship with flourishes was routine.
Eventually, the 1,644 color-photographed brands, along with owner information, was computerized and ready for printing, an expensive undertaking. The owner of the Red Bluff Auction Yard, Ellington Peak, was so impressed with the idea of a comprehensive book of brands, that he donated one half of the printing funds. The rest of the funds were donated by cattleman Allen Shufelberger, of Redding Roofing Supply.
One hundred copies were printed, one of which is available by reservation for on-site research at the Shingletown Historical Office. 530-474-0321.
Two hundred of the leather brands that were found in the cardboard boxes, mentioned above, were once displayed (1999) at the Shasta Historical Society office in downtown Redding, where all the leather brands are presently stored.
Wilma also showed us two fire-branding irons and one electric-branding iron. She emphasized that new owners with new brands are still being registered today, nearly 175 years later. Quite a history!
Wanted: People with a lively curiosity & an interest in local history. No experience necessary. Training provided. Call Beverly 1-530-474-5110