Talon Longhorns is owned and operated by CDR Markham B. Dossett, USNR (ret). The brand of Talon Longhorns is a capital S on left hip. This brand was registered in McLennan County, Texas in 1871 by Fabius Hoyt Sleeper. Mr. Sleeper was from Liberty Mississippi. He was a Confederate officer and attorney. After the War of Southern Independence he sold his plantation and moved his family to Waco, Texas. He established his law practice and purchased a ranch. The Sleeper Ranch is now the site of Waco High School, New Road and Sleeper Street. His son was William Markham Sleeper. After graduating in the first class of Texas A&M, in 1879, William joined his father in the practice of law in Waco. Commander Markham B. Dossett is Fabius Hoyt Sleeper’s Great Great Grandson.

Commander Dossett’s father, Walter B. Dossett purchased the Hardway Ranch near McGregor, Texas in 1968. Talon Longhorns operates on the Hardway Ranch which is owned by Commander Dossett, his brother and 3 sisters.

Commander Dossett is an active member of the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Registry and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Sleeper Longhorn Part of Branding the Brazos Public Art

Markham Dossett announced the delivery of a Sleeper bronze longhorn to the Suspension Bridge in Waco as part of “Branding the Brazos”, a public art display at the entrance to the Waco Suspension Bridge. “I am happy to report that the Sleeper Longhorn was delivered to the Suspension Bridge Longhorn herd in October. It was originally delivered in June but the horns were too straight so I sent it back. It will be dedicated to Fabius Hoyt Sleeper and Walter B. Dossett, Jr.”

“My great, great, grandfather Fabius Hoyt Sleeper registered the S brand on the left hip in McLennan County in 1871. This sculpture bears the S brand. I use that brand on my cattle today. All of the longhorns will eventually have a plaque at their feet yet denoting the dedication.”

The significance of the statues at the Suspension Bridge derives from the many cattle drives that crossed the Brazos there. Construction on the bridge was completed in 1869. Prior to that the only way across the river was via ferry. Crossing cattle on the Chisholm Trail was dangerous and losses were costly. The bridge was wide enough for stagecoaches to pass each other, or for cattle to cross one side of the bridge, and humans to cross the other side. Being the only bridge to cross the Brazos at the time, the cost of building the bridge, which was estimated to be $141,000 was quickly paid back. Tolls were 5 cents per head of cattle that crossed, along with a charge for pedestrian traffic. McLennan County removed the tolls in 1914.