About Martin B. Loyd
Martin B. Loyd
In the final years of the 1860s, Fort Worth, Texas, was so undeveloped it had only a couple of businesses and few families. Originally a military outpost, Fort Worth was transformed as drovers, bringing cattle north along the Chisholm Trail, stopped to purchase supplies and get news related to the trail. During 1871 alone, more than 650,000 head of cattle passed through Fort Worth.
M.B. Loyd came to Texas after the Civil War and for five years gathered and sold wild South Texas cattle. The large number of cattlemen in those post-Civil War years created a need for a reliable banking enterprise in Fort Worth. Therefore, Loyd used his cattle profits to open the Loyd Exchange Office on the square in Fort Worth in the early 1870s, making him the first permanent banker in the city. It was the beginning of a life in high finance. The loan exchange business soon proved insufficient, and in March, 1873, with a capital stock of $40,000, Captain Loyd and an associate chartered the California and Texas Bank of Loyd, Markley and Co. In January 1877, he and several associates pooled their interests to create the First National Bank of Fort Worth – the ninth national bank to be chartered in the United States.
As a banker, Loyd developed many lasting relationships with cattlemen. His daughter, Ruth, married Samuel “Burk” Burnett, a cattleman who held interests in several banks in Texas. In 1883, Loyd named Burnett to the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Fort Worth. The union joined the interests of two influential Texas businessmen. The marriage also produced children, one of whom was Thomas Loyd Burnett.
Along with his extensive support for cattlemen, M.B. Loyd made many loans for the purchase of racehorses. The craze for ownership was a result of the construction of a half-mile racetrack built two years prior to the arrival of Loyd in Fort Worth. Owning racehorses quickly became a symbol of status, and like many other men of wealth, Captain Loyd began amassing his own stable of fine racehorses. He branded his stock with the single letter L. His interest soon grew to incorporate breeding and selling of quality race and cutting horses. With his death in 1912, his interest in horses and the land surrounding Wichita Falls passed through inheritance to his grandson, Thomas Loyd Burnett. His L brand remained on the Burnett horses and is still used today.
In addition to his passion for racehorses, M.B. Loyd collected more than 130 weapons produced in the 18th and 19th centuries. He acquired firearms from the United States, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Albania, Spain, Belgium and Holland. Many of the weapons reflect the history of America, including a matched pair of Colonial-era flintlock dueling pistols and an 1841 rifle manufactured by Eli Whitney. Prominent in the collection is a pair of large .45 caliber derringers with brass-tipped ramrods that by all appearances have never been fired. They are among the finest sets in existence, according to experts.
The collection stayed in the family until 2002, when M.B. Loyd’s great-great-granddaughter, Anne W. Marion, a trustee of the Anne Burnett Tandy Testamentary Trust, gifted the collection to the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas.