Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

TEXAS LONGHORNS

Post by Betty Barlow


The Texas Longhorn is one of the state symbols that best describes personalities of the true Texas cowboy.  They are stubborn when they get a certain idea in their head, they are strong enough to take on whatever is thrown at them, they are independent and like to roam free, and they don't look like most others,  they can survive on next to nothing, they are loyal, and although they are  wild, they can be gentled with love.   

Early settlers in Texas obtained feral Mexican cattle and mixed them with their own eastern cattle. The result was a tough, rangy animal with long legs and long horns extending up to seven feet, resulting in the Texas Longhorn.

In the years after the Civil War, when refrigeration was nonexistent, the demand for Texas beef was at an all time high.  The railroad system in Texas was in its infancy.  Texans solved this problem by having cattle drives  from their ranches to the stockyards on railheads of the Union Pacific lines at Dodge City and Abilene, Kansas.  They would then make their way to slaughter houses or breeding ranches in the North and East.  The Longhorn steer was the primary animal used for the trail as it could go farther without water and endure more suffering than most cattle. 

It was around 1867 that the United States Government decided to move 3,000+ Wichita, Caddo, and Waco Indians to a new reservation which became known as the "Oklahoma Territory".  Jesse Chisholm, who freighted supplies to the reservation for the US Military, crossed the Red River near Wichita Falls.  This became known as the Red River Station.  In1872, the whole trail drive from Austin to the Red River Station and on to Kansas, became known as the Chisholm Trail.  Smaller herds from the Gulf Coast and South Texas would merge south of Austin at the Montopolis Crossing of the Colorado River.

Every season, for the next ten years, this trail was used by Texas trail drivers.  My husband's uncles rode with the herd from the Rothe Brother's Ranch in Medina County, Texas.  Typically, a herd would travel 10-15 nines a day, depending on weather, rustlers, Indian raids and such.  The cattle drive would take four to five months from the ranch to the railhead.  In these ten years an estimated ten million head were successfully delivered to Kansas.  

In 1964 Charles Schreiner III of the YO Ranch  near Kerrville, took the lead in organizing the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, which maintains a registry in order to perpetuate the breed in a pure state. Since then the number of longhorns and their use in cross-breeding have steadily increased, and their future appears secure. 

Longhorns will once again be leading the Celebrate Bandera parade this Labor Day weekend.  These animals are magnificent and always draw a crowd.

Come on and join us:     http://www.celebratebandera.com/





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