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P.O. Box 62
Ellsworth, KS 67439
785-531-2058 phone

About 1867…

The word spread down the trail. Ranches in Texas received flyers in the mail. The Union Pacific, Eastern Division was building across Kansas. Cattle could be driven to railheads far west of the settlements.

At Ellsworth, the Topeka Livestock Company proposed to build a cattle depot where the Texas cattlemen and buyers from all over the nation might carry on their transactions. At virtually the same time, a young cattle buyer from Illinois was working on the same idea. Joseph McCoy was successful in arranging verbal contracts for shipping with the railroads and soon selected Abilene to build his cattle station, The Great Western Stockyards. Personal acquaintances served McCoy well.
Colonel John J. Myers supported the project and with that came the respect of most drovers. From his trading post in Indian Territory, Jesse Chisholm blazed a trail north to the mouth of the Little Arkansas River establishing a post there. Chisholm's trail is adopted by Texas drovers. By July, cattle were grazing the flint hills far and wide and on September 5, 20 carloads of cattle were shipped to Chicago. Between 18,000 and 20,000 head were shipped that year.

To the west, General Hancock ordered Custer to seek out and subdue the warring plains tribes. At Hays City, a young fellow acquired the name Buffalo Bill while hunting buffalo for the railroad.
That year -- 1867 -- the Cowboys rode up the trail to Kansas and into the pages of history.

Today's American cattle industry was founded on that trail as the great herds of Texas Longhorns spread across the high plains and the mountain ranges of the West. When you sit down to have your way with that mouth-waterin', juicy steak, you're not just satisfying your hunger, you're participating in a Cowboy tradition that undeniably "takes hold" on the Kansas prairies in 1867.

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