Horn Gallery - Page 2
4 feet 6 inches
The number of cattle in a trail herd varied. Some herds were as few as 700. There are
reports of as many as 10,000 head in one trail herd. But, on the average, there would have
been about 2500 head -- a manageable yet profitable number, requiring about 13 cowhands,
including the cook.
Sometimes horns are just simply beautiful,
particularly when having this much twist and curl. 31 inches wide. Raised on
the Emil Enderud Ranch of Fowler, Colorado.
Fancy Longhorn steer of the latter 1880's. 4 ft. 5
ins., tip to tip. Mounted on a portion of his own skull.
Group Photos of Some of the Alan Rogers Collection in Its Current
Kansas was the end of the trail for millions of Texas cattle. Some cowtowns are much more
well known than others, and Dodge City is often referred to as the Queen of the Cowtowns.
This list includes 15 towns in Kansas from which Texas cattle were shipped, and their
years of operation.
- Abilene 1867-71
- Baxter Springs 1866, 1870-79*
- Brookville 1871
- Caldwell 1880-85
- Chetopa 1869-74
- Coffeyville 1869-73
- Dodge City 1875-85
- Ellsworth 1871-75
- Great Bend 1871-75
- Junction City 1869-70
- Newton 1871
- Salina 1869-71
- Solomon 1869-71
- Waterville 1868-69
- Wichita 1872-76
|* The cattle pens were actually a
short distance away, across the state line in Indian Territory - Oklahoma.
The cattle towns thrived from Spring to
early Fall with the arrival of Longhorns. Fortunes were made by local merchants supplying
the cowboys' necessities. Some cowboys went back to Texas broke, having spent all of their
wages wastefully. Others didn't.
The cattle trade was transient. As the
quarantine lines were moved further westward in the state to avoid the fear of Tick Fever,
the trail herds went along and, very often, merchants moved their business to accommodate
Photo: Kansas Historical Society
An Alexander Gardner photo taken about
1870 at the stockyards in Abilene, Kansas. Shows cattle cars of the Kansas Pacific
Railroad. Each car would hold about 20 head. The first shipment of Texas Longhorns, twenty
carloads, left Abilene September 5, 1867, bound for Chicago. The loading pens at Abilene
were large enough for 3000 head but thousands more were held on grazing grounds outside of
town, waiting their turn. As cattle were driven up the loading chutes, cowboys would often
use poles or prods of some kind to encourage them along. It is from this practice that the
term "cow-puncher" arose.
Photos of Some of the Alan Rogers Collection in Its Current Location
At 5 feet. 4 inches,
early Longhorn steers of this grade would always have been considered a prize. Beautifully
colored and well balanced in shape.
Settlers who lived near
the cattle trails knew in advance when the herds would soon pass by as they could see the
trail dust long before the cattle arrived.
A combination of
rolling dips and a beautiful twist produced these exceptional horns.
Millions of cattle were driven up
the trail from 1866 - 1895.
Large numbers of these were loaded onto
cattle cars and shipped to eastern cities, such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Albany, and New
York City. Huge numbers of Texas cattle were driven into northern ranges to stock newly
established ranches in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Longhorns were driven to mining
camps for beef supply, and many were herded to Indian reservations.
In the beginning, Indians were allowed to
chase their steers from horseback and make their kill with bows and arrows, in their old
traditional way. But in time, this practice was abandoned as it became difficult to
control and was replaced with the herding of cattle into corrals, where the Indians were
allowed to use rifles.
A beautifully colored, mature Longhorn
Found in Kansas. Originally
came to me with the centerpiece wrapped in old red longjohns with bone buttons. May date
to the 1880's.
Cowboys on the ranch and on the trail during this time were earning about $30 a month in
wages. A trail boss might earn about $90 a month. At the end of the trail drive,
some Mexican cowhands who distrusted American paper money requested to be paid in gold and
A fancy steer with the beautiful long black tips, still attached to a portion of his own
skull. Of the 1890's.
average, if nothing went wrong, cattle driven up the trail could make 10 to 12 miles a
day. A really good day might make 15 miles.
Steer horns about 1915, having more
droop than the average. About four feet wide.
There is always the exception but, generally speaking, steers will commonly live to 15 to
22 years of age.
Baxter Springs, established as a
shipping point in 1866, was the first cattle town in Kansas, although her shipping pens
were actually just a short distance away, across the state line, in Indian Territory
(Oklahoma). These early Kansas shipping points for Texas cattle were referred to as cattle
towns. The term "cow town" only came into common usage about 1885, and sometimes
carried a negative connotation.
Cow 1910-20. 31 1/2 inches wide.
Twisted up and out with tips turning forward.
Classic shape for a
Shipped to the Kansas City Stockyards in 1937.
Killed at Swift & Co.
38 inches wide, with 7 1/4 inch bases.
Longhorn cows are known
for long lives. They commonly live into their mid-twenties and produce a calf every year,
generally un-aided by man. Some cows are known to have lived 32 years.
Horns of Mexican-type cow from the South Texas border
country, of the late 1920's, having a not-so-common sharp, backward curl. About 34 inches,
tip to tip.
Lateral, wavy twist on this steer born in the early1890's
and killed in 1905. 5 feet 4 inches.
Deer, elk and moose grow antlers, and they
are shed every year. Cattle, sheep and goats grow horns and are never shed.
Cattle horns can grow as long as the animal lives although, in later years, the growth may
slow down considerably.
These steer horns from about 1890, and only about
40 inches wide, exhibit a generous amount of twist and curl. Cattle often produced a lot
of horn growth without having much tip-to-tip width.
to Horn Gallery - Page 1