The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 399
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History of the Cattle Industry in the Southwest
until about 1875.20 The arbitrary freight rates demanded by the
railroads limited the shipping of packed meat for several years.
In 1885 the rates were seventy cents per hundred weight against
forty cents for live stock from Chicago to New York. This was
before the days of the Interstate Commerce Commission.2' But
in 1908 it was estimated that the saving was $2.25 to $2.50 per
head from Kansas City to New York and $13.60 to $16.70 from
Chicago to Liverpool by shipping the packed meat instead of the
Railroads brought competition into the beef market, which
proved to be a great advantage to the consumer. This is shown
in a government report of 1870, which says:
Beef and mutton are furnished to the San Francisco market
chiefly by a few butchers who own considerable areas of pasture
land near the city, and buy up great numbers of cattle. They
agree on the price charged for beef, and before the competition
of the Pacific Railway small dealers accepted their prices. But
markets have been affected by receipt of beef slaughtered in
Wyoming Territory and shipped in a frozen condition in refiig-
erator cars to San Francisco, where it is sold at eight or ten cents
per pound, where California beef would otherwise sell for twelve
or fifteen cents.2"
While the railroad increased the profits of the cattle industry
temporarily, it brought in the settler. Limitation of the ranges
was inevitable and much dreaded by the cattle growers.
Railroads eventually displaced the long drive. In 1884, 416,000
cattle, the largest number recorded, were driven to northern pas-
tures from Texas. In 1888, 50,000 would cover the number driven
over the same route, for which decrease the Texas and Denver
Railroad was responsible. This trail was entirely abandoned in
There are drives yet, but they are insignificant in the larger
sense of the term, for they only traverse the distance from the
range to the nearest shipping station.
2University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station Circular, No.
169, p. 7.
"House Misc. Does., 48 Cong., 2 Sess., II, No. 25, p. 245 et seq.
"University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station Circular, No.
169, p. 7.
"House Ex. Does., 41 Cong., 3 Sess., Vol. 13 (not numbered), p. 246.
4University of Illinois Agricultural Exmperiment Station Circular, No.
169, p. 7. House 'Misc. Does., 50 Cong., 2 Sess., No. 139, p. 333.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/426/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.