Society of the Old West

From early westward expansion through the early 20th Century.

Bose Ikard was born a slave in July 1843, in Mississippi.  Later, he became one of the most famous black frontiersmen and trail drivers in Texas, The young slave moved to Texas and grew to adulthood with his owner's family.  He learned to farm, ranch, and fight Indians, as the Civil War drew near. The war left Bose a free man. Then, in 1866 he went to work for Oliver Loving as a trail driver. After Loving was killed by Comanche Indians in New Mexico Territory, Ikard continued in the service of Loving's partner, Charles Goodnight, for four years. The two men became lifelong friends. Goodnight later commented that he trusted Bose Ikard "farther than any living man. He was my detective, banker, and everything else in Colorado, New Mexico Territory, and the other wild country I was in." In 1869 Ikard wanted to settle in Colorado, but Goodnight persuaded him to buy a farm in Parker County, Texas, because there were so few blacks in Colorado. Ikard settled in Weatherford and began his family at a time when Indian attacks were still common in North Texas. In 1869 he participated in a running battle with Quanah Parker's Comanche band, riding alongside his former master, Milton Ikard.  After Ikard's death, Goodnight bought a granite marker and wrote an epitaph for his old friend: "Bose Ikard served with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanches, splendid behavior."

Bose died on January 4, 1929.

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