In 1864 the adventurous half Cherokee Native American trader from Tennessee
named Jesse Chisholm scouted out the trail from Texas through Oklahoma Indian
territory north as a means to transport his goods in his wagon from one trading
post to another. The trail named after Jesse soon became the main highway for
driving cattle north. The long horn cattle were the choice of cattle because of their
ability to fight of disease and survive the harsh drive north. The live stock owners
were called Cattlemen and the workers commissioned with driving the cattle were
called the Cowboys. The cattlemen decided to have their cattle dove north to be
sold for 10 time their worth in Texas. One long horn may only bring $4 south in
Texas were as if the cowboys could deliver the cattle to a railroad station called
the Railhead in Kansas they were likely to fetch $40 or more a head. Driving cattle
north up through Indian territory otherwise known as Oklahoma was a long and
dangerous job and the trail its self ran about 1000 miles and could take two months
On average, a single herd of cattle on a long drive (for example, Texas to Kansas railheads) numbered about 3,000 head. To herd the cattle, a crew of at least 10 cowboys was needed, with three horses per cowboy. Cowboys worked in shifts to watch the cattle 24 hours a day, herding them in the proper direction in the daytime and watching them at night to prevent stampedes and deter theft. The crew also included a cook, who drove a chuck
wagon, usually pulled by oxen, and a horse wrangler to take charge of the remuda, or spare horses. The wrangler on a cattle drive was often a very young cowboy or one of lower social status, but the cook was a particularly well-respected member of the crew, as not only was he in charge of the food, he also was in charge of medical supplies and had a working knowledge of practical medicine.
Over all the trail is what allowed this country to develop out into the super nation we are today by breaking new ground and slowing people to have supplies needed to survive.