In 1915, letters regarding lease rates were exchanged between Lee Bivins and W. H. Bush of Chicago.   From these and from stationery Bush used (seen below), you can see that Bush's interest in the Panhandle was not in cattle, but in land development.   Bivins was, obviously, a cattleman first and foremost.   You can see that Bush land still comprises a lot of Potter County.   These letters are fun to review 85 years later.

                                                                   Chicago,  April 10, 1915

Lee Bivens Esq

Amarillo, Texas

Friend Bivens:-

            It is about time for us to begin figuring on our new lease for another year with you or for another two or three years.

            I have had other applications for the land, also one or two propositions for cutting up a part of your pasture, but I have thought all along the person to trade with was yourself.

            I heard in a round about way that you tried to secure some land in Dumas County, some eleven sections, I believe at twenty five cents, and were refused, but of course this is only a rumor, but on the other hand you do know that the cattle men in that section are willing to pay from eight to ten per cent for money to carry the cattle, and with the large profit there is in the same, you should be willing to pay more.

            As you know the time has gone past for the present for us to get any advance on the price of our land, and for that reason we must get something out of our grass.  I feel that I should have twenty five cents an acre for every acre of grass land that I have.

            I have already written Mr. Summers that I would make a lease with you for fifteen cents the first year, seventeen and one half cents the second year, and twenty cents for the third year on our regular conditions, of giving up the same if it was to be leased for Agricultural purposes or in case of sale.

            I would like to hear from you at once if this is satisfactory to you, as I must give some sort of an answer to the other people.

                                                             Yours truly,

                                                            

                                                            Wm. H. Bush

                                                                                                             April 12, 1915 

Mr. W.H. Bush,

Chicago, Ill. 

Friend Bush :-

             Replying to your letter of the 10th, which was received this morning, will say that I have never offered anybody .25 per acre for land in Moore County nor even one-half that much, and I will state further that I am not in the market for any lease of pasture in Moore County.

            In regard to your proposition of .15, .171/2 and .20 per acre for three years lease on your pasture will say that I am not willing to pay that much for grass.  I will also state that if you can find a man in this country who has made a dollar on cattle in the last nine months, I will greatly appreciate it if you will show him to me.

            You know as well as I do that the beef and cattle business has gone to the bad and not a man who fed cattle but who has lost heavily.

            Will also state in regard to the rate of interest that it is considerably lower than it was last fall.

            The above is simply talk.  Now as to leasing your land will state that I would like to lease your land as I have other land around it and and also fences around it.        

            I am willing to kill the prairie dogs on your land, which is badly needed, during the next three years and pay you twelve and one-half (12 ) cents per acre per year for your grass, subject to your selling or putting any part of it into cultivation at any time. 

            Hoping that the above proposition will interest you and that you will see your way clear to make me a lease. 

            Say, by the way, when will you be down here again 

                                                            Yours very truly,

                                                            Lee Bivins

The back of Bush's stationery:

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