Text from "Kit Carson County and its
Back in the fall of 1857, a freighter ran an experiment in order to determine whether or not oxen could be wintered in Colorado and survive. The success story with these oxen spread rapidly. The following fall, 1858, just over a hundred years ago, a number of far-sighted cattlemen, seeing Colorado's potential, established their foundation herds in Colorado Territory.
Nine years later these pioneers, along with other cattlemen organized the State Association, 1867. The major purpose stimulating this organization was to obtain improved quality through more research in management practices, better breeding, and the further development of what was to become one of Colorado's great industries-the production of feeder cattle.
Many of the leaders in early day history who have helped build up the state have held offices in the State Colorado Association, as the cattlemen played a great part in the development of the state.
This new organization, founded back in Territorial Days in 1867, was called the Colorado Stockgrowers Assn. Some thirty brands were recorded at that time.
Before this time brands had been used, each person deciding on his brand and then proving to others it was his. The first brand law was passed in Colorado in 1872. Then in 1879 the state set up and established the brand law and the brand inspection law. The statutes were published in two languages, Spanish and English.
The first brand inspectors were employed by this board in 1879. They were stationed at railway shipping points, on cattle trails and in several eastern markets. Today in 1958 there are forty-five full-time brand inspectors and twenty-five part-time men and they have inspected 2,377,456 head of cattle during the last fiscal year in Colorado.
Each county had to have its own brand letter before the brand. Such as:
Livestock brands were recorded in the county clerks' offices from 1866 to 1885, when all the brand recording was transferred to the office of the Secretary of State. By 1885 the state system was adopted. In 1899 the brand registration and recording was placed under control of the Cattlemen, in the office of the State Board of Stock Inspection Commissioners, and taken out of political office.
In 1899 Colorado introducd [sic] a system of publishing brands that has been adopted by the other western states. All brands are listed under the first character, starting with the letters in alphabetical order, followed by the numbers, geometrical figures and finally miscellaneous brands listed at the end.
The State Brand Book, first published by the Secretary of State Office, showed brands on record from 1885-1888. There were 13,228 brands at that time. In 1938 there were about 30,000 brands on record in the state brand office in Colorado. Prior to the 1957 brand assessment there were 51,058 brands on record.
All county newspapers in the range days ran on or two pages of brands with
the owner's name and address and range. This was given in addition to a
year's subscription to the paper.