In bullfighting, the principal performer, who works the capes and attempts to dispatch the bull with a sword thrust between the shoulder blades. Most of the techniques used by modern matadors were established in the 1910s by Juan Belmonte (b. 1894–d. 1962) of Spain. The matador's traditional costume, which offers no protection, is known as the “suit of lights.” The audience judges the matador according to his skill, grace, and daring. Almost every matador is gored at least once a season with varying degrees of severity, and many have received fatal wounds in the ring.
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At the end of the 19th Century, townspeople freed the community from the domination by the Matador Ranch by moving in non-ranch families and electing their own officials.
The community was incorporated in 1912.
The highest population occurred in 1940: 1,302.
There were 308 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 21.2% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $27,778, and the median income for a family was $32,054. Males had a median income of $26,042 versus $12,639 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,001. About 16.3% of families and 19.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.4% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.
Matador Ranch Records, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech Univ.