Aotes awd DocIuIeIts
Parker Couty Cattle trails
FRED R. COTTEN*
OON after this group, as members of the Chisholm Trail Del-
egation of 1956, left Waco this morning, your caravan began
to veer westward into what was once a sea of grass. As the
procession entered in between the Upper and Lower Cross Tim-
bers there was encountered an area which was once a waving body
of grasses composed principally of Indian grass, the blue stems,
and the gramas.
The early cattle drives crossed at Waco and kept east of the
Lower Cross Timbers on through Dallas to a crossing of Red
River at Preston Bend. Three things determined the later drives:
water, grass, and settlements. As the settlements became thicker
and passage more difficult, the trail shifted further westward to
this grass channel between the Lower and Upper Cross Timbers.
Cattle from this area were driven northward in the decade of
the fifties with Oliver Loving, the Dean of Trail Drivers, going
into Southern Illinois. In 1857 his son, William Loving, wrote
back from Illinois of date August 2, 1857, "We have done toler-
able well. We sold for $38.oo. The expense on the whole has
been about $2.00 per head and we have cleared on the whole
As the trail moved westward, the crossing of the Brazos at
Waco became less popular and crossings were made at Kimball
Bend on the Brazos and thence approximately along the line of
the march of the Santa Fe Expedition up into this area. The
drovers passed near old Buchanan in Johnson County and on by
Fort Worth, but settlements again began to shove the herds west-
ward; crossings were made on the Clear Fork south of Aledo and
*This is a slightly revised version of a paper presented in Weatherford, Texas,
on May 2, 1956, before the delegation of "modern" Trail Drivers who were retrac-
ing the Chisholm Trail.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed March 4, 2015.