Henry Brown

September 11, 1920 - 2003
Role: Foreman, Tophand
Nicknames: Pete, Menno

Henry “Pete” Brown was a cowhand and ranch foreman for the Traylor-Bauer family. Later in life, he was deputy sheriff of Victoria County. He was born and raised on the Traylor Ranch. He is unfamiliar with his father’s people, but his mother was Stella Harvey and the Harveys were very well known for suppling the Coastal Bend ranches with exceptional cowhands. Pete started working cattle when he was thirteen or fourteen years old by holding the little herd after the men cut them out of the big herd. He just loved to be on a horse. As children Pete and his brother Sonny rode a tree limb so often and so long that it developed a sway where they sat. He looked forward to saddling his horse, “Daylight never catch me in the bed, it’s just like drinking water to me.” Pete was wonderful, filled with the joy of his work and the caring for others. He and his brother fulfilled the Harvey legacy becoming famous tophands. Both had great senses of humor, and when together, their stories of their lives as cowhands were side-splitting.

Introduction to Pete Brown

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Pete Brown
Pete Brown - If you're raised up on it, I tell you, I don't care where you go to work, you can't get that out'cha blood. No way. I don't care what you do.

Will King - You sure can't!

Pete Brown - Anywhere you go if you see a cow or somebody ridin' them horses, going on down the highway, it take your attention. It take your attention, I don't care how long you been away from it, if you born and raised on it.

Will King - That's true.

Pete Brown - you gonna die with it in you. I don't care what other thing you do. You just can't help it.

Will King - Like Pop said in the olden days, them ole fellas, they loved that cattle work so, when they'd have a bunch of cattle in a trap, like and bring 'em out, you know, they'd be lowin' or they'd either be cut the calves off her. So what be camp, he'd take his bed out and make it side the pen, he loved to hear them cattle low so, so he could listen to them cattle low at night so. See he loved it so well he take his bed out... like to hear them cattle lowin' at night.

Pete Brown - Oh that's true, yeah I tell ya I like to hear a bunch of cows been cut off from their mama, calves. I like to hear that ole cow lowin'. I tell ya, ya just can't get it out'cha. You like to hear that cow when she get away from the calves...you like to hear 'em high ballin'.

Bud Harvey - Specially when you ship the calves.

Pete Brown - Oh boy, that sounds good. You just get a thrill out of it, I tell you. You just can't help it.


“If you was raised up on it, you can’t get it out of your blood no way. I don’t care what you do or where you go — you see a cow, it takes your attention. If you was born and raised on it, you gonna die with it in you. You get a thrill out of it. It’s in my blood, its my life.”

Cryin' For Daylight: Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend