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Brownsville in Cameron County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Chisholm Trail

 
 
The Chisholm Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 24, 2021
1. The Chisholm Trail Marker
Inscription.  

Iberian range cattle, progenitors of the Texas Longhorn, were brought into Texas by Spain in the 1600s and 1700s. The cattle thrived on the area's rich grasslands and roamed throughout Texas. At the time of the Texas Revolution (1835-36) vast Mexican ranchos with their illustrious vaqueros (Spanish for cowboys) were an established tradition in the Rio Grande Valley. By 1860 cattle ranching dominated land use in the region.

Demand for beef rose dramatically after the Civil War. Longhorn cattle worth $2 and $3 in Texas sold for $30 and $40 in midwestern railroad centers such as Kansas City and Chicago. Area ranchers, aware of the longhorn's stamina, united to drive their cattle to frontier railroad terminals in Abilene and Dodge City.

The Rio Grande was the southernmost point at which cattle were gathered for the drive north through Austin, Fort Worth, Red River station and into Oklahoma. There the trail joined the original 220-mile Chisholm Trail into Kansas established by Indian trader/guide Jesse Chisholm in 1865. The entire route and its feeder trails soon became widely known as the Chisholm Trail.

An estimated
The Chisholm Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 24, 2021
2. The Chisholm Trail Marker
10 million cattle were driven north along the Chisholm Trail by the late 1870s when use of the trail was drastically curtailed by quarantines.
 
Erected 1994 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 5304.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 25° 53.949′ N, 97° 29.956′ W. Marker is in Brownsville, Texas, in Cameron County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Sam Perl Boulevard and East St. Charles Street. The marker is located in the Alice Wilson Hope Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brownsville TX 78520, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brownsville-Matamoros Ferries and River Boardwalk (a few steps from this marker); San Roman Building (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); San Román Building (about 800 feet away); Bollack Department Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Federal Court Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Celaya Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brownsville Home of Charles Stillman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Stillman House / Residencia Stillman (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brownsville.
 
Also see . . .  Chisholm Trail.
When the Civil War ended, the state's only
The view of the Chisholm Trail Marker in the park image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 24, 2021
3. The view of the Chisholm Trail Marker in the park
potential assets were its countless longhorns, for which no market was available—Missouri and Kansas had closed their borders to Texas cattle in the 1850s because of the deadly Texas fever they carried. In the East was a growing demand for beef, and many men, among them Joseph G. McCoy of Illinois, sought ways of supplying it with Texas cattle. In the spring of 1867 he persuaded Kansas Pacific officials to lay a siding at the hamlet of Abilene, Kansas, on the edge of the quarantine area. He began building pens and loading facilities and sent word to Texas cowmen that a cattle market was available. That year he shipped 35,000 head; the number doubled each year until 1871, when 600,000 head glutted the market. Source: The Handbook of Texas
(Submitted on January 26, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 26, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 26, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 26, 2021