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What did cow towns do?

What did cow towns do?

Cattle towns were midwestern frontier settlements that catered to the cattle industry. These towns were the destination of the cattle drives, the place where the cattle would be bought and shipped off to urban meatpackers, midwestern cattle feeders, or to ranchers on the central or northern plains.

What did cattle towns do for the economy?

The economies of these communities were heavily dependent on the seasonal cattle drives from Texas, which brought the cowboys and the cattle that these towns relied upon. Cattle towns were found at the junctions of railroads and livestock trails.

When did the cow towns start and end?

COW TOWNS. A by-product of the dramatic growth of the cattle business in the latter part of the nineteenth century, cow towns flourished from 1867 until the 1890s when railroads ended the necessity for long cattle drives.

What was the life of a western cowboy like?

One of the best ways to describe accurately the life of an 1800’s western cowboy is to detail what was involved in a cattle drive. After the end of the American Civil War there were three trails established from Texas to the rail heads and markets to the north.

What was the name of the first cattle town?

Cattle towns were made famous by popular accounts of rowdy cowboys and outlaws who were kept under control by local lawmen, but those depictions were mostly exaggeration and myth. The first cattle town was Abilene, which was made into a market for Texan cattle in 1867.

Where did the cattle come from in the cow towns?

Beginning in 1867, when the Union Pacific Railroad reached westward as far as Abilene, cowboys began driving large herds of cattle from Texas northward along the Chisholm Trail which were then loaded on trains and transported to markets in the eastern United States.

Where was the first cow town in Kansas?

Kansas’ first cow town boomed as the Chisholm Trail endpoint from 1867 (when drovers arrived with 35,000 head of cattle) through 1871, thanks mainly to cattle dealer Joseph G. McCoy.

How many people died in the cattle towns?

But the legendary street homicide associated with the cattle towns has been very much overdrawn by novelists, screenwriters, and journalists. Between 1870 and 1885, including justifiable killings by the police, only forty-five adults died violently at the five major Kansas cattle towns, an average of 1.5 fatalities per cowboy season.

Why did cattle towns have low body count?

In large part, the low cattle town body count resulted from businessmen’s fear of violence, which not only could escalate into property damage but could also deter the in-migration of substantial citizens and capital investment. But potential violence always presented something of a quandary for cattle town elites.