Elizardo "Charlie" Hernandez was born in Yorktown, Dewitt County, Texas. His first experience working cattle came as a seventeen year old when he was given a buggy horse to ride. When the horse pitched and threw him everyone laughed. From that day forward Charlie decided that not only would he become a cowboy but he would also become a very good rider. When his father, Manuel Hernandez, went to work for Lawrence O’Connor in 1934, Charlie followed. Three years later Manuel brought his whole family to the T. M. O'Connor River Ranch formerly knows as the El Oso Ranch which was run by Lawrence. His father suffered an eye injury in a horse accident and Charlie took over his father’s job. His father taught him everything he knew about working cattle. Like so many of the cowboys, Charlie loved to ride and loved to break horses. “I kissed the ground many times” [was thrown]. Charlie worked his way up from cowhand to pasture rider to foreman. Charlie was a quiet, elegant man who knew his business well.