One For The Oklahoma History Books

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By Max Nichols

It was 150 years ago, in 1867, that cowboys began driving longhorn cattle from Texas up through Indian Territory to the Kansas- Pacific Railroad in Abilene, Kan., so they could be shipped to northern and eastern cities. The trail became famous as the Chisholm Trail, named after Jesse Chisholm, a Cherokee trader who made several trips down the road. He died in 1868, not knowing the trail would bear his name. Texas ranches were teeming with cattle after neglect during the Civil War.

Cattle worth $3 a head in Texas would bring $40 to $50 in Chicago and New York, said Andi Holland, director of the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid. However, no railroads had yet reached the Texas Plains.


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