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The famed XIT brand was first drawn in the dirt of the Texas Panhandle by Ab Blocker’s boot heel and the simple brand became the name of the Capitol Syndicate’s ranch.

The Texas brand book shows two brands registered to brothers John V. and Charles B. Farwell who ran cattle in the Panhandle.

Accompanying the XIT brand on the right side of the cow is a slash on each ear which could help a cowboy spot XIT cattle when mixed in with other rancher’s cattle at a big roundup.

Later, when XIT cowboys had tens of thousands of calves to brand every year, they switched to an even simpler and faster brand to stamp onto the cattle: the “Long X”. The Long X was located on the cattle’s right hip and ears were left unmarked.

Due to the sheer volume of cattle moving through the syndicate, the Long X was a welcome bit of efficiency.