The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 33
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A History of the J A Ranch
blazed the trail from Palo Duro Canyon on his ranch in the Pan-
handle to Dodge City, Kansas.
When Goodnight and Loving arrived at Fort Sumner with their
herd of about twenty-six hundred cattle, they found the government
had nine thousand Apaches "loose herded like cattle." They sold
their two-year olds and up for eight cents per pound on foot, an
enormous price for that time. Loving took what cattle were not
sold to the government on to Colorado while Colonel Goodnight,
with six thousand dollars gold and silver, returned home and began
buying cattle for another drive.
The following year Goodnight and Loving started again over
the same trail. It was on this trip that Loving was killed by the
Comanches.2 This was the last trip made over the Goodnight
Trail by Colonel Goodnight.
In 1867 Colonel Goodnight made a trade with John Chisum to
receive cattle at the Bosque Grand-Big Woods-on the Pecos
about seventy-five miles below Fort Sumner, for one dollar per
head above Texas prices. Ten thousand head of cattle were pur-
chased each year for seven years by Colonel Goodnight from
Chisum. These cattle were sold at various points in New Mexico,
Colorado, and Wyoming. In the meantime, Colonel Goodnight
established the first cattle ranch in Colorado on the Arkansas
River above Pueblo. The panic of 1873 swept away all of his hold-
ings except about sixteen hundred head of cattle.
In 1876 he trailed this herd of cattle to Texas and established
the J A Ranch as has already been told and made a fortune out
of it for himself and his partner, John G. Adair. In 1887 after
the division of the Adair Ranch, Colonel Goodnight established
the well known Goodnight Ranch at Goodnight, Texas. At the
same time he and a man by the name of Thacher organized the
G oodnight-Thacher Cattle Company and had extensive holdings
northwest and east of Goodnight and their holdings extended as
far as the "breaks" south of Goodnight. This company went out
of business in 1902. However, Colonel Goodnight kept the part
known as the Goodnight Ranch until six years ago and continued to
live on it until January, 1927, when he moved to Clarendon, Texas.
2A complete story of the death of Oliver Loving as told by Colonel
Goodnight will be found in Southwest Plainsman, Amarillo, December
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/37/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.