Railroad ends the Texas cattle drive era

On the Back Porch

The era of the cattle drives from Texas to railheads in the mid-west came after the War of Northern Aggression in the mid-1800s to almost the turn of the century.

The many trails from south Texas began to merge toward the Chisholm Trail and the last stop for supplies and a chance to rest the cattle, as well as the cowboys, would be Fort Worth.

From that point they would cross the Red River at Doan’s Crossing where they entered Indian Territory. These Texas drovers trailed in excess of four million head of rank stock through Fort Worth, soon to be known as “Cowtown.”

The coming of the railroad marked the end of the major cattle drives as Fort Worth became a major shipping point and the precursor of The Fort Worth Stockyards, The Union Stockyards, was built. History shows that northern investors supplied funds to buy massive numbers of livestock and soon enticed major meat packers such as Armour & Co. and Swift & Co. to build packing plants near the Stockyards.

Then change came as change will.

After World War II, newly paved roads brought about the trucking industry that was more flexible and less costly than the railroads.

As a result, smaller local livestock auctions and then feedlots could compete with businesses like the Stockyards. But the legacy lives on as the North Fort Worth Historical Society founded in 1976 by Sue and...

For the rest of the story pick up the Feb 5. edition of The Marlin Democrat or Read the E-Edition here.

The Marlin Democrat

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