“A veritable Who’s Who of pioneer cattlemen.” —Elmer Kelton, from the ForewordJohn and Mahlon Thatcher were two of the many pioneers looking to begin a new life in the great open spaces of the West. In the 1860s, the brothers began a small mercantile in the town of Pueblo, Colorado. From a safe in the corner of their new store, the brothers founded what was to become the First National Bank of Pueblo, Colorado—and the beginnings of a financial empire that would encompass cattle companies from New Mexico to Canada.Together with such legendary figures as Frank Bloom, Henry Cresswell, O. H. Perry Baxter, William Anderson, Burton Mossman, and Mahlon T. Everhart, they created a cattle empire, financing and directing the Bloom Land and Cattle Company, the Diamond A Cattle Company, and the Hatchet Cattle Company. Their herds of cattle, horses, and sheep ranged on some eleven million acres of land. Great Plains Cattle Empire tells their stories, spanning the years from just after the Civil War through World War II.