Section one:

  • The Spanish introduced Ranches to Texas in the 1500's.
  • As the ranches grew large the Spanish govt. ordered people to BRAND their cattle.
  • By the 1800's there was so much cattle in Texas the demand for beef was very low. Texans made a lot of money selling cattle to places like Chicago & Louisiana where it was in high demand.
  • The Longhorn appeared (bred between English & Spanish cows) in the 1800's in Texas.

Section 2:

  • In 1800's Texas cattle sold for $3 a head, while in New York they would sell for around $80 a head. Cattle driving proved to be very profitable for Texans who did it.

The Sedalia Trail!

  • During a cattle drive on the Sedalia Trail 260,000 head of cattle cause serious damage in the populated states of Kansas & Missouri. The cattle trampled (crushed) crops & infected other cattle with Texas Fever, killing many.
  • The damage to Kansas & Missouri inspired Texan Joseph McCoy to open a cattle market in Abilene, TX.
  • The cattle market in Abilene caused a new cattle drive trail to be formed.

The Chisholm Trail!

  • The Chisholm Trail was the most used cattle trail until about the 1870's. The Chisholm Trail became too populated and a new trail was formed right after.

The Western Trail!

  • The Western Trail passed right by Vernon, TX and was considered very dangerous because of all the Native American living around the area.
  • The major stopping point on the Western Trail was in Seymour,TX.
  • The Western Trail crossed the Red River and went as far as Canada. The trail was successful but ended after most open ranges were closed.

Goodnight-Loving Trail

  • This trail was created to supply military forts with cattle in New Mexico and the trail went as far as Colorado.
  • The Goodnight-Loving Trail disappeared when railroads came to Texas.

Section 3:

  • The King Ranch in south Texas was one of the most important cattle operations in the state
  • One of the first ranches established in the Panhandle was the JA Ranch.
  • Ranches in Texas were located far from towns. Ranchers had to rely on themselves to solve the many challenges they faced.
  • Ranches could never have succeeded without cowboys. Cowboys completed daily tasks on the ranches essential to success.

Section 4:

  • Joseph J. Glidden developed barbed wire in 1873. By the end of the 1880s, there were barbed wire fences in nearly every Texas county.
  • Range wars broke out during an 1883 drought, when cattle began to die of thirst. Ranchers cut farmers’ fences to get access to water.
  • Toward the end of the 1880s, the open range where all the famous trails were formed began to disappear thanks to fences being put up all over Texas.


Created with images by Photography by Daniel Rodriguez - "Curious Cows" • crackdog - "Cattle drive, c1913" • Raw2daBon3 - "texas longhorn cattle san diego zoo safari" • PublicDomainPictures - "valley hills zululand" • Nicola since 1972 - "Red Rocks - IMG_1283" • minicooper93402 - "cattle"

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