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Famous cattle trail debuts in print


In its edition for this day in 1870, the Kansas Daily Commonwealth made the earliest known printed reference to the Chisholm Trail, the major livestock route out of Texas. Cattle drovers followed the old Shawnee Trail by way of San Antonio, Austin, and Waco, where the trails split. The Chisholm Trail continued on to Fort Worth, then passed east of Decatur to the crossing at Red River Station. It followed the same route as modern U.S. Highway 81 from Fort Worth to Newton, Kansas. Although the Chisholm Trail was used only from 1867 to 1884, the longhorn cattle driven north along it provided a steady source of income that helped the impoverished state recover from the Civil War.

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