John Fancher's original branding iron was used to burn his brand into the piece of wood pictured below.
This is the first cattle brand issued by Tulare County in 1852 after the county received its charter. John Fancher was the older brother of Alexander "Piney Alex" Fancher. John Fancher Owned a cattle ranch east of Fresno, in Tulare County, California (now in Fresno County, California). The Alexander Fancher party was headed was headed to John Fancher's ranch prior to their execution style murder by the Mormons at Mountain Meadows Utah.
John Fancher made at least two trips across the country from Missouri to the West. He moved to California in 1849, was in San Diego in 1850 and in Monterey County, in 1880. Mr. Fancher registered the first cattle brand (as seen above) in Tulare County. Francher Creek in what is now Fresno County was named after him.
On another trip out west, Mr. Fancher and his son, James K. P. drove wagons and a large herd of cattle and horses across the New Mexico Territory, now Arizona, and were the first cattlemen to bring cattle into Arizona. They had started in 1857 from Arkansas with the ill fated wagon train which was massacred at Mountain Meadows, Utah, but separated and took a more southerly route.
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LOCATION OF JOHN FANCHER'S CATTLE RANCH
John Fancher's cattle ranch in 1857 was located in Tulare County, California and approximately 50 miles north of Fort Visalia. Tulare County in those days was a very large county and was later broke up into 4 smaller counties. The former John Fancher ranch is now in Fresno County in the fertile flatlands near the intersections of McKinley Ave. and Del Rey Ave., due east of Fresno, California. A creek named after John Fancher runs through the ranch and into Fresno where in runs by the Fancher Creek School.
Alexander Fancher had prior to the massacre spent a great deal of time at his brothers ranch, and this was his intended destination when he and the 140 members of his wagon train were murdered and robbed at Mountain Meadows, Utah.