During the half-century between the American Civil War and World War I, the cattle industry, for which Texas is well known, grew from the disparate activity of hardy individuals into an industry on a business footing comparable to that of industries of similar magnitude. In the process, the management of information became as central to the rise of the industry as the breeding of meatier stock. Information literacy rested as much on the ability of cowboys to read brands and “sign” as on office workers to control documentation. The industry developed a language of brands and vocabulary for managing cattle and created the new information-worker position of brand inspector. The information-driven transformation was accomplished within the working lives of cowmen who both led and were profoundly affected by it.