For the earliest settlers, farm animals supplied the family with meat, eggs, milk and butter. Horses and oxen were used to pull the wagons and plow the farmland.
As more people moved into the communities, some families focused on just farming, while others focused on raising cattle.
Farmers had to get up early and work until nighttime to keep the farm productive. When crops were ready, they would load them in their wagons and take them to the markets in Houston.
For cattle, the area had abundant open ranges, where cattle roamed freely. Farmers branded their cattle to be able to identify them from their neighbor’s stock. Some of the earliest cattle ranching families in the area were the Lees, Trahans, Longs, Schlobohns, Benders and Koinms.
The Humble Museum's Farming & Cattle Ranching Exhibit contains many items, including:
A longhorn steer, owned by J. B. Lee, lived on a large ranch near US 59 and Will Clayton Boulevard. Old Limey roamed three counties for nine years. He never had a rope around his neck and had never been dipped. He swam rivers and jumped fences, going wherever he pleased. He caused problems for the local ranchers, but no one could ever catch him. Limey was donated by the J. B. Lee Family in 1998.
Chaps are sturdy coverings for the legs; protective garments to be used when riding a horse through brushy terrain. They are buckled on over trousers, and are usually made from leather or a leather-like material. The name is a shortened version of the Spanish word chaparreras. These chaps were donated by Homer Shafer in 1998.
The sidesaddle allows a female rider to sit aside, rather than astride a horse. Invented in the 1830s, a sidesaddle has a second, lower pommel. The rider’s right leg goes around the upright pommel. The rider places her left leg beneath this pommel and places her left foot in a single stirrup on that side. This sidesaddle was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Virgil Tapp in 1997.
The milking stool and milk jug is for milking cows. The milking stool was donated by Jean Anderson in 2007. The Milk Jug was used by Cornelius Woodyard in the 1930s, and was donated by Charles Goodwin in 1989.
This saddle belonged to John Oates, a cattle rancher in Humble. This saddle was custom design for Mr. Oates. Being a big man, the saddle measures 22 inches (where as a typical saddle is 16-18 inches.) The saddle had to be used on a large horse. The saddle was donated by Homer Shafer in 1988.
A planter is used to plant seeds in rows throughout a field. This planter was used starting about 1834 to plant corn, wheat, and all general crops. It was pulled by mules. Purchased from the Otto Sefcik family of Rockdale, this planter was restored by Mr. John Putz of Houston. This planter was donated by Mrs. Johnnie Lee Fisk and Mrs. Charmain Fisk Johnson in honor of Mr. James William (Jack) Fisk in 1977.
This antique double oxen neck yoke dates from the 1890s. It was bound to a pair of oxen, and was attached to a pole (or chains) to pull farm implements. This yoke was given to Charles R. Goodwin by Dee and Betty Lou Wiederhold in 1990. They had owned it since the 1940s.
These brands were used by many ranchers throughout Humble’s history. Brands are used to mark livestock so as to identify the owner. These brands were donated by Charles R. Goodwin, Dean WIlliams, Lad Eckols, Charles Eckols and Jean Anderson.
Carding combs have wire teeth used to separate fibers, usually wool or cotton. The teeth on the cards separate the fibers, spread them into a web, and remove any short or broken fibers, as well as other impurities. The web is used to make a continuous untwisted strand of fibers called a sliver, which are then turned into threads.
Early 1900s cowbell owned by Dave Eckols and a cowbell that was dug up at the Artesian Well site.
These milk crates, bottles, and milk caps were used by the Francis Dairy. Did you know a horse named Billy pulled the first buggy that delivered Francis Dairy milk bottles? His owner was Thomas Barker Francis, who started the Francis Dairy on Carpenter Road, off Old Humble Road. Mr. Francis was a well respected man and even has a school named after him in the Aldine Independent School District!