Geography of Denton County Page: 25
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western part of Denton County, through Bolivar, and
on across Red River Station in Montague County to
markets in the north. This trail is known as the
"Chisum Trail," one of America's most noted cattle
trails. From Ft. Worth the trail ran slightly northwest,
passing near Elizabeth settlement in the southwest part
of Denton County, and passing the Justin area by about
two miles to the west. It was named for John S. Chisum,
a most successful cattleman of Denton County, who
built for himself the title of "America's Greatest Cattle
King." There has been much confusion relative to the
spelling of the name "Chisum." Some records say John
spelled his name Chisholm, others state it as Chisum.
Some sources explain that the spelling of the name
changed from Chisholm to Chisum about 1814 when
some names were misspelled on the records in the war
office at Washington during the battle of New Orleans.
But a ten page genealogy of the Chisum family, which
is in the private library of a Denton citizen, shows that
John's grandfather in Tennessee spelled his name
Chisum back in 1790. The Chisum family moved from
Tennessee to Paris, Lamar County, Texas, when John
was a boy. When John Chisum grew up he served La-
mar County as county clerk for a number of years, and
it was at that time of his life that he began to manifest
an initial interest in the cattle business. Such an in-
terest prompted him to buy a ranch near Bolivar, in the
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Cowling, Mary Jo. Geography of Denton County, book, 1936; Dallas, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth90885/m1/40/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.