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Frisco in Collin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Origins: Cattle Country

 
 
Origins: Cattle Country Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 11, 2022
1. Origins: Cattle Country Marker
Inscription.  Hispanic and Anglo settlers entered Texas to find a land well suited for cattle raising. English herding traditions from the East and Spanish ranching traditions from the South met in this region of vast open grasslands. Here English and Spanish cattle breeds thrived, and the two traditions combined to create a unique American ranching industry.

As the Texas frontier moved westward, the native grasses which had nourished millions of buffalo proved equally as beneficial for cattle. First, little bluestem grass, common in the prairies of the Fort Worth/Dallas area, continued almost to the plains. Little bluestem became a mainstay of grazing. Then, as the frontier moved across the prairies and closer to the plains, various species of grama grass gradually replaced little bluestem in importance. Finally, the legendary buffalo grass of the High Plains provided forage for Texas cattle. This westward movement into a semi-arid environment, where agriculture was difficult but grass was plentiful, made Texas famous as a cattle empire.

Origins: Preston Ridge
The geographic location where Frisco was
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founded is dominated by a gently sloping ridge of high ground that extends from the Red River to present-day Dallas, Texas. The ridge runs between the East and Elm forks of the Trinity River in northern Texas. In Texas it is called Preston Ridge.

With rainfall draining to the east or west, the ridge presents a dry natural roadway with few creeks and ravines to cross. Always a primary north/south game trail, it was adapted by Native Americans as an easy route to avoid the heavily wooded and boggy areas of creek and river bottoms. As the region's population growth continued, Preston Ridge naturally became a primary travel route into and out of Texas along the Texas Road.

Origins: Preston Road
As traffic increased along the Texas Road into the Texas Republic, entrepreneurs built ferries made of log rafts. These were pulled back and forth across the river by suspended ropes drawn by mules or oxen. Colbert's Ferry was established on the Red River where the Texas Road and the famous Butterfield stage line crossed into the Choctaw Nation of Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. The establishment of this ferry soon caused a trading post and inn to be built at the location.

Upriver from the ferry and just down-river from Preston Bend lay a natural ford called Rock Bluff. Texas cattle driven northward across the river there
Origins: Preston Ridge Side Panel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 11, 2022
2. Origins: Preston Ridge Side Panel
soon joined the Texas Road to Fort Towson in Indian Territory. In Texas, the combination of Rock Bluff ford near Preston Bend on the Red River, and the north/south natural transportation route of Preston Ridge came to be called Preston Road. Later this route would also be called the Shawnee Trail, Texas' earliest cattle trail.

Origins: Early Ranching
Before the Civil War ranching in Texas was not a very profitable occupation. There was no local market for livestock and the primary market lay far away in New Orleans. Cattle could only be transported there by shipping them on the Gulf of Mexico, always a hazardous venture, or by driving them overland across rivers and swamps. Consequently, cattle were more commonly slaughtered for skins and byproducts, called the hide and tallow trade, rather than for meat.

Rarely were herds driven more than a short distance. On these occasions, early Texas drovers did not use the customary deep South practice of corralling their cattle at night in fenced "stopping pens." Instead, they camped on the open prairie and posted night riders to watch the cattle. They also used long stock whips to control the livestock and made minimal use of the Spanish "lasso." Food and supplies were carried on pack animals or in small carts, as the chuck wagon was not developed until after the Civil War.
 
Erected by
Origins: Preston Road Side Panel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 11, 2022
3. Origins: Preston Road Side Panel
City of Frisco.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsNative AmericansRoads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 33° 6.427′ N, 96° 48.481′ W. Marker is in Frisco, Texas, in Collin County. Marker can be reached from Mall Road F, 0.1 miles north of Gaylord Parkway, on the left when traveling north. The marker is located in the shopping center parking area. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Frisco TX 75034, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Lebanon (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Texas Longhorn (approx. 0.2 miles away); Trail Driving Prior to 1845 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Military Survey of Preston Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Cow Camp (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Trail Crew (approx. 0.2 miles away); American Bison (approx. ¼ mile away); The Trail Drive Company (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frisco.
 
Origins: Early Ranching Side Panel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 11, 2022
4. Origins: Early Ranching Side Panel
The marker has four panels around it image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 11, 2022
5. The marker has four panels around it
The view of the Marker from the shopping lot parking lot image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 11, 2022
6. The view of the Marker from the shopping lot parking lot
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 25, 2023, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 106 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 25, 2023, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 24, 2024