The origin of the BlackJack Livestock Co dates back almost 150 years to the days of the cattle drives from Texas to Sedalia, Missouri and subsequently to Abilene, Kansas as the rail head moved west.
Its members were former cattle drovers in conventional cattle drives who were dismissed by the trail boss for unruly behavior – often without pay. This forced the band of renegades to adopt a technique of stampeding other drover’s herds at night and rounding up the strays to sell back to the stockyards. Buyers often paid a premium for these cattle, knowing that if the BJLC members didn’t have enough funds to support their Bohemian lifestyle, they would just disrupt the regular deliveries.
The name comes from the reputation they earned as savvy card players – feared in gambling halls and saloons from Tulsa to Wichita. There is some speculation that these men were the original card counters.
Today’s members - many descendants of the original BJLC – are a kinder, gentler lot. They can often be found handing out $5 gaming chips to cowboys down on their luck; and Lammles gift certificates, prepaid PetroCan cards and a warm meal and a soft bed to barrel racers.
Still, some elements of the original BJLC can still be seen in modern day members – unconventional behavior, Bohemian lifestyle and a penchant for playing games of chance.
Come relive the days of the Wild West with the BJLC!