MEADOW SWEET PASTURES
One day after Bertha had bought up all the best land Sarasota had to offer, her real estate friend Arthur B. Edwards brought her in his horse-drawn buggy all the way out to a ridge that overlooked the Myakka River. She fell in love with the beauty of the spot and wanted to buy it. Edwards told her it was part of a cattle ranch owned by “Dink” Murphy. She declared that if he would sell her the ranch, she would buy up all his cattle too! An agreement was reached and she promptly wrote out a check for $93,000. This is how Mrs. Palmer became a cattle rancher.
Bertha called her ranch “Meadow Sweet Pastures.” She added to her herd by bringing in 1,000 cattle by rail from Texas and importing 17 Brahma bulls. Brahmas are heat tolerant and insect resistant. By 1917, the entire tract supported 2,200 head of range cattle, sixty grade Hereford, Angus, and Brahman bulls in fenced pastures. Mrs. Palmer’s fences broke the tradition of open ranges free to all cattlemen, and prompted episodes of night riders and wire cutters. Meadow Sweet was equipped with mules, a Chicago-built International Harvester gasoline tractor, a road grader, wagons, harnesses, harrows, two feeding pens, scales, two stables, four homes, and a silo.