Alex & Griffin

Chapter 17 Section 3
The Cattle Kingdom
~Open range- unfenced land, p. 590
~Cattle drive- the herding and moving of cattle, p. 590
~Persist- to endure; to continue in the face of difficulty, p. 591
~Vaquero- the Spanish word for cowhand, or cowboy, p. 592
~Cow town- settlement at the end of a cattle trail, p. 592
~Myth- story or legend; imaginary, invented story, p. 593
~Cattle kingdom- the region dominated by the cattle industry and
its ranches, trails, and cow towns came to be known as the cattle
kingdom, p. 593
The Rise of the Cattle Industry
~For years longhorns, called that because of their long
horns, wandered the open range.
~Originally they were strays lost by Spanish ranchers.
~In the 1860s, when railroads were crossing the west,
people saw the cows as a source of income.
The Rise of the Cattle Industry (2)
~Ranchers in Texas hired cowhands to round up the wild cattle.
~Their destinations were rail lines in Kansas, Missouri, and
Wyoming, 1,000 miles away
~The herding of the cattle was called a cattle drive, and they
were so grueling that some cowhand brought enough horses that
a fresh one was available each day
The Rise of the Cattle Industry (3)
~Some of the more used trails, carrying
as many as 600,000 cattle each year on
drives that lasted 2-3 months were:
-Chisholm trail, which ran from Austin to
-Goodnight-loving trail, which ran from
Texas to Wyoming.
Cattle Trails
This picture
shows cattle
trails such as the
Western trail and
the Chisholm
Life on the Trail
~Cattle drives were long and dangerous, forcing cowhands
to develop nerves of steak.
~A couple of the primary dangers were:
-Thieves, swamps, and fires.
-A river washing cattle away.
-Cattle stampedes caused by lightning.
~For all the work, cowhands got less than $1 for a 18 hour
~Like in mining, cattle ranching relied on low-paid laborers
Life on the Trail
~For all the work, cowhands got less than $1 for a 18 hour
~Like in mining, cattle ranching relied on low-paid laborers.
~ Even though the work was hard and the pay was low,
cowhands persisted in doing the job.
Spanish Roots
~the original cowhands were Spanish and Mexican
~When other people started rounding up cattle, the
vaqueros taught them how to ride, rope, and brand the
~Many of the cowhand’s tools have names similar to their
spanish roots:
-Saddle/Silla de montar
Spanish Roots (2)
~The origins of the cowboy
hat came from the Mexican
~Nearly one third of
cowhands were Mexican.
The Wild West
~ Illinois businessman Joseph
McCoy founded Abilene, Kansas
in 1867 where the Kansa Pacific
Railroad met Chisholm Trail
~ McCoy thought that cowboys
would want a hot meal and a
bath after long months on the
The Wild West (2)
~ Wichita and Dodge City also sprang up near
~ Cow Towns had dance halls, saloons, hotels, and
The Wild West (3)
~ Due to the rough life in
cow towns many people
began believing that the
West was a very wild place
~ “Buffalo Bill” is a prime
example of the “Wild West”
The Wild West (4)
~ Buffalo Bill
started a traveling
wild west show in
1883 the show
consisted plays
depicting events of
the “Wild West”
such as Custer’s
also and
she could
shoot very
The Wild West (5)
~ There was some basis of fact
of the myth of the Wild West
~ But the West was quickly
changing Natives were being
forced onto reservations and it
was becoming more civilized
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom
~ The cattle boom spanned
from the 1860s to the 1880s
~ In those two decades
herds and markets grew
increasing ranchers
income, but then the
industry collapsed
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom (2)
~ When the cattle boom reached its peak calves
could be bought for $5 and steers sold for $60
~ Ranchers made a lot of money even after
expenses for the drives
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom (3)
~ As new breeds of cattle were introduced that
produced more meat and contracted less disease
profits skyrocketed
~ One company had 800 square miles of ranches in
three states
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom(4)
~ More than 7 million cattle
were roaming the open
range in the mid-1880s
~ Starting in 1886 and 1887
there was a cycle of blazing
summers and freezing
winters that killed millions of
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom (5)
~ There was an economic
depression that put many
out of work
~ Beef demand began to
drop when the depression
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom (6)
~ Sheep began competing against cattle for Prairie
~ Farmers fenced in land to save their crops
~ Many ranchers were forced to buy expensive fed
for their cattle
Boom and Bust in the Cattle Kingdom(7)
~ Giant ranches soon faded into smaller ranches that
could fed their cattle
~ Railroad lines cut onto ranch and open range land
limiting ranchers space
~ The cattle kingdom ended as raising cattle became
increasingly difficult
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