“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Barbed Wire

Barbed Wire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, October 17, 2012
1. Barbed Wire Marker
Inscription. At first called "Devil's Rope" by cowboys, barbed wire was patented in 1873 but found little favor with Texas cattlemen until the late 1870s, when its use and practicality were shown in a sensational demonstration here in San Antonio. Its showman-sponsor was John Warne Gates (1855-1911), who came here as agent for a pioneer wire manufacturer.

With permission from city officials, he built a barbed wire corral on the Military Plaza, then went into various resorts of cattlemen and boasted of its strength and economy. Some of the ranchers made bets that the wire would not hold wild cattle. While the scoffers looked on, some longhorns where turned into the corral and prodded to frenzy by burning torches. They charged the fence furiously, but the wire held. The experiment was such a success that for a long time orders exceeded the supply of barbed wire. In later life known as "bet-a-million" Gates, the agent founded or organized several wire and steel plants. About 1901 he also invested in Spindletop oil field and helped develop the city of Port Arthur, Texas.

With its sister utility the windmill, barbed wire led to upgrading of beef cattle and enhancement of nutrition and the quality of human life.
Erected 1971 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 300.)
Barbed Wire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, October 17, 2012
2. Barbed Wire Marker

Location. 29° 25.461′ N, 98° 29.718′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker is at the intersection of Dolorosa and Plaza de Armas, on the right when traveling west on Dolorosa. Click for map. On the southwest corner of Military Plaza, grounds of San Antonio City Hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 Dolorosa, San Antonio TX 78204, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bexar County Under Nine Governments (within shouting distance of this marker); Zero Milestone Old Spanish Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Remains of the Alamo Heroes (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); San Fernando Cathedral 200th Anniversary (about 400 feet away); San Antonio de Padua (about 400 feet away); T.C. Frost and the Frost Bank (about 500 feet away); Civil War Centennial 1861 - 1961 (about 500 feet away); Reaffirming the Miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Antonio.
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & Commerce
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 372 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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