Circa 1888

General Rules of XIT Ranch

January, 1888

No. 1

Whenever a person is engaged to work on the ranch, the person so engaging him will fill out and sign a blank, giving the name of the party employed, for what purpose employed, the amount of wages he is to receive, the date he will begin work, and deliver the same to the person employed, who must sign the counterpart of such contract, which must be forwarded to headquarters at the first opportunity; and no one will be put upon the Company’s pay roll, or receive any pay until this is complied with.

No. 2

Employees, when discharged, or on leaving the Company’s service, are required to bring or send to the headquarter office, a statement from the person under whom they were at work, showing the day they quit the Company’s service, and no settlement will be made with any employee, until such statement is furnished.

No. 3

Employees discharged from or leaving the service of the Company are expected to leave the ranch at once and will not be permitted to remain more than one night in any camp.

No. 4

The wages due any employee will not be paid to any other person without a written order from the employee to whom such wages are due.

No. 5

No person in charge of any pasture, or any work on the ranch, or any contractor on the ranch, will be permitted to hire any one who has been discharged from the Company’s service; nor shall any one who leaves an outfit, of his own accord, with the intention of getting employment at some other place on the ranch, be so employed except by special agreement, made beforehand between, the person in charge of the outfit he leaves and the one in charge of the outfit he wishes i work for.

No. 6

Private horses, of employees must not be kept at any of the camps, nor will they be allowed to be fed grain belonging to the Company. No employee shall be permitted to keep more than two private horses on the ranch and all such horses must be kept in some pasture designated by the ranch manager.

No. 7

No employee shall be permitted to own any cattle or stock horses on the ranch.

No. 8

The killing of beef by any person on the ranch, except by the person in charge of the pasture, or under his instruction, is strictly forbidden. Nor is the person in charge of a pasture allowed to have beef killed. unless it can be distributed and consumed without loss. And all hides of beef killed must be taken care of and accounted for. It shall be the duty of each person having beef killed to keep a tally of the same and report the number, age and sex killed to headquarters every month.

No. 9

The abuse of horses, mules or cattle by any employee will not be tolerated; and any one who strikes his horse or mule over the head, or spurs it in the shoulder, or in any other manner abuses or neglects to care for it while in his charge, shall be dismissed from the Company’s service.

No. 10

Employees are not allowed to run mustang, antelope or any kind of game on the Company’s horses.

No. 11

No employee of the Company, or of any contractor doing work for the Company, is permitted to carry on or about his person or in his saddle bags, any pistol, dirk, dagger, sling shot, knuckles, bowie knife or any other similar instruments for the purpose of offense or defense. Guests of the Company, and persons not employees of the ranch temporarily staying at any of its camps, are expected to comply with this rule, which is also a State law.

No. 12

Card playing and gambling of every description, whether engaged in by employees, or by persons not in the service of the Company, is strictly forbidden on the ranch.

No. 13

In case of fire upon the ranch, or on lands bordering on the same, it shall be the duty of every employee to go to it at once and use his best endeavors to extinguish it, and any neglect to do so, without reason- able excuse, will be considered sufficient cause for dismissal.

No. 14

Each outfit of men that is furnished with a wagon and cook is required to make its own camping places, and not impose on the other camps on the ranch unnecessarily.

No. 15

Employees are strictly forbidden the use of vinous, malt, spirituous, or intoxicating liquors, during their time of service with the Company.

No. 16

It is the duty of every employee to protect the Company’s interests to the best of his ability, and when he sees they are threatened in any direction to take every proper measure at his command to accomplish this end, and as soon as possible to inform his employers of the danger threatened.

No. 17

Employees of neighboring ranches on business are to be cared for at all camps, and their horses fed if desired (provided there is feed in the camp to spare); but such persons will not be expected to remain on the ranch longer than is necessary to transact their business, or continue their journey.

No. 18

Bona fide travelers may be sheltered if convenient, but they will be expected to pay for what grain and provisions they get, at prices to be bed from time to time by the Company, and all such persons must not remain at any camp longer than one night.

No. 19

Persons not in the employment of the Company, but freighting for it, are not to be furnished with meals for themselves or feed for their teams at any of the camps on the ranch, but are expected to come on the ranch prepared to take care of themselves.

No. 20

Loafers, “sweaters,” deadbeats, tramps, gamblers, or disreputable persons, must not be entertained at any camp, nor will employees be permitted to give, loan or sell such persons any grain, or provisions of any kind, nor shall such persons be permitted to remain on the com- pay’s land anywhere under any pretext whatever.

No. 21

No person or persons, not in the employment of the Company, shall be permitted to hunt or kill game of any kind, inside of the ranch inclosure, under any pretext whatsoever, and all employees are instructed to see that this rule is enforced. Employees of the Company will also not be permitted to hunt or kill game except when necessary for use for food.

No. 22

It is the aim of the owners of this ranch to conduct it on the principle of right and justice to every one; and for it to be excelled by no other in the good behavior, sterling honesty and integrity, and general high character of its employees, and to this end it is necessary that the fore- going rules be adhered to, and the violation of any of them will be considered just cause for discharge.

No. 23

Every camp will be furnished with a printed copy of these rules, which must be nailed up in a conspicuous place in the camp; and each and every rule is hereby made and considered a condition and part of the engagement between the Company and its employees, and any employee who shall tear down or destroy such printed rules, or shall cause the same to be done, shall be discharged.


By Order of the Company,