“Crony legislation, unappropriated holdings bought with land scrip, and loan-fueled survey teams carved up Indian Country into the Almighty grids and lots that launched the great Cattle Empires.”
Jot Gunter was able to push a law through the Texas Legislature, authorizing a man to file exclusive survey certificates on a whole county for one dollar and a half! Then, at the end of the year he could renew it. Gunter and Bill Munson then employed an Englishman, John S. Summerfield, who, in 1874-75 was employed as a surveyor to run boundary lines in Kansas, Colorado, and Indian Territory. As their partner, Summerfield went to the Panhandle each year with a surveying crew to select unappropriated holdings that Gunter and Munson bought with land scrip, to run lines, or to correct previously made surveys. One was a major survey along the Canadian River. When Goodnight first came to Palo Duro Canyon in 1876, he found that Gunter had surveyed him in. This forced Adair to purchase the first 12,000 acres of the JA Ranch through Gunter and Munson. The financing may well have come via a mortgage loan that Adair secured through the Texas Land & Mortgage Company of Edinburgh, Scotland.