The Old Western Cattle Drive | The Log of a Cowboy

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His story is captivating so that you will want to keep reading to the end. Cover: Rounding Up by N.

Cattle Drive Revives 'Best of Old West' - Los Angeles Times

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John Wayne: American quantity. Cattle ranchers could sell their cattle for times the amount they could in Texas. The cattle market in California dropped along with gold mining. Cattle ranching halted for a time; however, the longhorn population grew as they continued to graze and reproduce on the prairie.


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After the war , large cattle herds and consumer demand in cities resulted in cattle drives to locations where the railroad had a railhead. These towns were called "cow towns. Cattle Drive Map. Source: National Agriculture in the Classroom. Cattle drives continued for about 20 years through the late s until the railroads grew and ranchers had closer access to railheads.

Rail transport not only changed the speed of delivery, but as tracks were laid and refrigerated rail cars were developed, trains could go to where the cattle were located.

The Log of a Cowboy and the True American West

Thereby reducing rangeland degradation on the way to market and keep weight on the animals because they had not been moved miles north. Butcher shop, circa Nebraska State Historical Society. Life on the Trail: A typical cattle drive pooled together cattle from several ranches. Most drives consisted of a total of head of cattle. The historical era of the cattle drives took place before the wide-spread use of fencing. Cattle roamed free and owners used brands and earmarks to identify the cattle they owned.

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Cattle brands were registered and could only be used by the owner. When a cattle drive was organized, the trail boss kept record of the brands and earmarks in the trail herd.


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  • A person crew could manage most cattle drives. While most of the crews were composed of men, there were some women who drove cattle to the railhead. Massey, like men "some [women] took to the trails by choice; others, out of necessity. Some went along to look at the stars; others, to work the cattle.

    The 5 Best Books About Cowboys and Cattle Trails

    Some made money and built ranching empires, but others went broke and lived hard, even desperate lives. There were numerous trails used.


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    Noted trails include the Chisolm Trail, which led from Texas to Kansas. It was named for the Indian trader Jesse Chisholm.

    The original trail expanded as time passed due to cattle herds making new trails. The Chisholm Trail became obsolete in the mids after an interstate railroad came to Texas.

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