The brothers both had connections to Dodge City. The well-known one was married here and the younger one traded here.
James Hamilton Cator who was born in September 1852 near Fintra, Ireland.
Arthur J.L. (Bob) Cator was his younger brother. Their father Capt. John Bertie Cator was administrator of the Port of Hull, England. "Bertie" was best known for his service during the Opium wars of China and for his search for lost polar explorer Sir John Franklin. Hoping his older sons would have less hazardous careers, he had them study engineering and drafting.
However, the two men were unsuccessful in finding employment in Britain.
After hearing of farming opportunities from Kansas Land and Immigration Company in 1871, Bertie sent them to Kansas to find success in farming.
Things didn't go as planned. Farming was different from what they knew in England and they didn't fit in Kansas frontier culture. As experienced hunters, the brothers bought Sharp's rifles and joined the buffalo hunting bonanza. After killing 300 bison, they purchased supplies and killed almost 7,000 buffalo between July 1 and Sept. 1, 1873. When price of hides dropped in the "Panic" of 1873, they turned to hunting wolves and coyotes for bounty.
The Panic was brief and they went back to hunting buffalo. In late fall 1873, they hunted in the Texas panhandle with Josiah Wright and John Wesley Mooar from Clay Center, Kansas. On Christmas day a snowstorm stranded them along North Palo Duro Creek for the rest of the winter, in what is Hansford County today.
In the spring, the Cator’s and Mooar’s established a trading center at Adobe Walls in the Texas panhandle.
The Cator’s, showed up at the trading center on June 28, 1874, the day after the second Battle of Adobe Walls. They, along with their business partners, filed claims for their property taken or destroyed by Indians, but received no relief from the U.S. government until 1892.
After the Battle, the Cator’s lived at their North Palo Duro Creek shelter and returned to hunting bison until 1877 when the herds were hunted out.
In 1878, they bought 40 two-year olds, 11 cows and 10 heifers from the LX Ranch. James brand was Diamond C and Bob's was VP.
They successfully ranched at their North Palo Duro Creek dugout. Here the brothers constructed a three-room house and opened a store named Zulu Stockade. They chose the name "Zulu" because they considered the region, "as wild as the Zululand region of Africa."
Bob hauled supplies from Dodge City, over a freight line he established. Zulu, the first settlement in Hansford County, was well situated for hunters, ranchers and the military.
The photo of the Stockade is from wikitree.com.
As "wild" as Zulu was, the Cator’s brother and sister joined them in 1879 from England. With them was Jennie Ludlow, who married Bob in 1882. The group from England helped them with the store. In December1880, Postmaster Bob Cator took over the County's first Post Office.
James Cator came down with ague and returned to England in the fall of 1879. There, he met his future bride, Edith Land. His plans of marrying her were delayed when the blizzards of January 1886 nearly wiped out the Cator herd. Discouraged, Bob Cator and wife Jennie left for Oregon. James stayed and married Edith in Dodge City in the spring of 1887.
Business improved when Hansford town was platted in 1887. After the organization of Hansford County in 1889, its citizens elected James Cator their first County Judge.
He retired from judgeship in 1894 to work on improving his herds through selective breeding and promoting agriculture in the Panhandle.
Though the Zulu Stockade was abandoned in 1912, James lived in its house until his death in 1927. His widow lived there until she died in 1950.