The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 66
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
$11,5oo by the Texas and Pacific. But he could trail them to
Kansas for $i,ooo and ship them from there to St. Louis for
$7,500, making a total of $8,50o. In trailing, of course, he risked
losses from river crossings, stampedes, and Indians; but most of
the cowmen were willing to take those chances. The differences
in cost, declared the Fort Worth Democrat, "are altogether too
great. So long as they exist, we may certainly look for the trade
to go where it has always gone-to Kansas."
So the trailing continued. Fort Worth handled twice as many
cattle as did Fort Griffin in i876, but in the next two years the
larger town began to feel the pinch of competition. In the sum-
mer of 1878 the Fort Worth Democrat berated local merchants
for letting much of the cattle trade slip away from them. In the
early spring of 1879, Fort Worth leaders sent a man down the
trail to persuade the drovers to use the old route. The Fort
Worth and Fort Griffin newspapers engaged in much bantering
and boasting on the size of their cattle drives. When the season
ended, the figures showed that nearly half of the cattle had fol-
lowed the new trail.
In 188o the Chisholm Trail gained a temporary advantage
when the town of Caldwell, near the southern edge of Kansas,
obtained a railroad connection and began shipping cattle in
June. Caldwell, which was directly on the Chisholm Trail, was
closer than Dodge City for many of the drovers; and it did a
flourishing business. In 188o it shipped more cattle than did
Dodge City, though the latter received many more-the others
being trailed on to Nebraska or beyond.
But barbed wire was narrowing the old cattle route, and after
the trailing season of 1884 it barred the beaten path. Even on
the Western Trail, the drives were diminishing and lasted only
a few years. Not only was fencing a factor but Texas railroads
were beginning to offer better facilities for carrying the cattle
to market. Cattlemen asked Congress to establish a National
Trail along the eastern edge of Colorado, but the lawmakers de-
clined to take this action.
Except for a few sporadic drives, trailing from Texas north-
ward ended with the 188o's. As rain beat out the prints of Long-
horn hoofs and grass spread over the bare ground, cowmen
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/79/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.