A brand-blotting case or “rustling” or “grand larceny” was the big news in 1884. The Hoover Bros. accused the Brown Bros. of the cattle-stealing crime and produced nine cattle at the trial to prove their claim.
Old-timers told me when I first moved to Pagosa Springs circa 1970 that cattle rustling was an all-too-common method to build a herd and place a cattle ranch on solid financial footing. They even named names and told stories about the early cattle rustlers. I’m not going to repeat the names because descendants of some of those families still live in the county.