Prospectors Turned Ranchers
The similarities between Erastus Ewing and Grosverner W. Barry are striking:
These water rights allowed them to irrigate their respective ranches. Hay and gardens were then created that produced food and fodder for livestock as well as their families. Neither was a stranger to controversy. Ewing was caught up in a dispute over cattle he was grazing. This conflict led him to a close brush with frontier justice. Barry was reviled by many of his neighbors. Some even stated that he had only come to the Dryhead while fleeing creditors.
One Big Difference
Conversely, Barry came from a cultivated background. His parents were well to do and he never wanted for anything. Even in the remote Dryhead he affected the life of a frontier intellect. His bookshelf was well stocked with the classics. He had thousands of dollars worth of antiques and furniture shipped in to furnish his home. Even after his death Barry’s ranch remained operational for several decades.
In both their similarities and differences, Ewing and Barry are bound together by history. They were among a select few who found a way to exploit this land and live a legendary lifestyle that in retrospect seems to be as much about myth as reality.