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

The Western Cattle Trail Crossings at Fort Griffin

 
 
The Western Cattle Trail Crossings at Fort Griffin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
1. The Western Cattle Trail Crossings at Fort Griffin Marker
Inscription. Cattle have been important to Texas’ economy since early Spanish mission days. Before and after the Civil War, routes developed for driving herds through Texas to sell in Missouri and Kansas. The best known was the Eastern, or Chisholm Trail, but cattlemen continued seeking new trails and markets. In 1868, members of the Barber Watkins Reynolds family drove cattle to New Mexico and California from the Fort Griffin area.
     In 1874, John T. Lytle drove 3,500 head of Longhorns from south Texas to Nebraska on a new trail, which he determined could sustain cattle to a shipping point at Dodge City, Kansas. The route became known as the Western, Fort Griffin or Dodge City Trail, and Fort Griffin served as an important watering and supply point. The trail began near Bandera and proceeded to Baird, where it fanned out at several points for optimum grazing. North of Albany, the route took drovers toward Fort Griffin, crossing the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in this vicinity (¼ mi. N) and at other upriver points. Multiple paths continued northward, merged again and finally crossed the Red River in Wilbarger County.
     Two years later, between 73,000 and 108,000—about a quarter of Texas’ northern-bound cattle—came through the Fort Griffin area. By 1879, as rail lines extended across the Eastern Trail area, the Western
Marker near Reconstructed Town Site of Fort Griffin image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
2. Marker near Reconstructed Town Site of Fort Griffin
Replica buildings and the original civil jail of the town of Fort Griffin are located north of the marker
Trail became the primary Texas cattle route and continued as such until the last drive, led by John Blocker in 1893. By then, three to five million cattle had passed through this area on their way to northern markets. Cattle raising continues to be important in Shackelford County, a legacy of the early trail.
 
Erected 2006 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14110.)
 
Location. 32° 55.925′ N, 99° 13.802′ W. Marker is near Albany, Texas, in Shackelford County. Marker is on County Road 184 0.6 miles west of U.S. 283, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Albany TX 76430, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Frontier Town of Fort Griffin (here, next to this marker); Fort Griffin Civil Jail (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Griffin Lodge Hall (about 700 feet away); Fort Griffin (approx. 0.4 miles away); Russell Young Gilbert (approx. half a mile away); Civilian Conservation Corps at Fort Griffin (approx. 0.7 miles away); Family Forts, C.S.A. (approx. 0.8 miles away); Bush Knob Massacre (approx. 12.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Albany.
 
Also see . . .
Marker and Concrete Great Western Trail Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
3. Marker and Concrete Great Western Trail Route Marker
1. Western Trail. From the Texas State Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online”. (Submitted on April 5, 2016.) 

2. The Post on Government Hill. From the Texas Beyond History website, an extensive web page with photos, illustrations, and maps of Fort Griffin, the town of Fort Griffin, and the Western Trail. (Submitted on April 5, 2016.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureAnimalsRoads & Vehicles
 
View to West on County Road 184 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 23, 2016
4. View to West on County Road 184
Marker at intersection of CR 184 (that goes right) and Lambshead Ranch road (that goes left)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 176 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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