Will King

December 10, 1902 - 1985
Role: Cowhand
Nicknames: Buddy

Will was born on the Traylor Ranch, raised on the Traylor Ranch and attended school on the Traylor Ranch. In 1910 his family moved to Bloomington which, at the time, was on the Traylor Ranch. In the early twentieth century the ranches in the Coastal Bend comprised a large part of everyone's lives. His parents and both sets of grandparents worked on the Traylor Ranch their entire lives. Will started riding as a ten year old and by sixteen he was working as a cowhand. He loved to hear the cattle “lowing”. He said “some of those cowboys loved to hear the cattle lowing so much they made their beds outside”. Will was the prototypical cowhand in the Coastal Bend, working on all the big ranches - the Terrell, the O’Brien, the Power, the O’Connor and the Welder. The title of Louise O'Connor's first book, Cryin' for Daylight, was pulled from a Will King quote.

Introduction to Will King

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Will King
WK – Bud's daddy, he is older than I am. They started him - put him on the horse – your daddy, workin' cattle. He was little. He started workin' cattle from that little and I'd see 'em puttin' him on a horse and I'd almost cry I wanted to go so bad but I was little. And he say after he grow'd up, and got to workin' and runnin' them horses that grow'd up, you know, got good size. He said at night, they'd be workin' cattle down there at Green Lake, said, they'd go to bed at night. Said, he'd almost cry for daylight to come, he wanted to work cattle so bad, you know. Said, he'd be layin' down at night wishin' for daylight to come after he got to ridin' and runnin' them cattle.


“We loved to work cattle so much we’d just be sittin’ around cryin’ for daylight to come...”

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