History of Texas Longhorns
It’s a shame more isn’t written about the importance of the Texas Longhorn Cattle and the part that they played in the history of the old West. Go to your local Library and check the shelves for books on Texas Longhorns. It’s a sure bet maybe just one, titled "The Longhorn" by J. Frank Dobie. It’s a very good book and the author is one of the reasons the Texas Longhorns walk the earth today. You see the Texas Longhorns have been abandoned many times and left on their own to survive for decades. Every one knows about the Buffalo and what terrible fate they faced, but little know that the Texas Longhorns dwindled down to a few hundred head as late as the 1930’s. The poor Longhorn is so disrespected for all they did to feed and save Americans before and during the Civil War. Left again abandoned to survive on their own the Longhorns populated quickly to millions of head of cattle. The desperate Texans with no options but to gather the Longhorns and make much needed money for the Texans survival. The Texas women with their Men at war had no money so they sent the teens with the Longhorns. The young Cowboy’s that accompanied the Longhorns were often young teens that drove the cattle to market for months at a time. Many times for their first time away from home and unfamiliar with trail life. The Longhorns lead to the beginning of the American Cowboy and all the stories of life on the trail. The Longhorns were tough to make the trip with sharp hoofs and long legs and can swim the mighty rivers and go lengths for time without water. The Longhorn cattle are healthy and resistant to disease and could travel great number of miles. The Longhorn can climb mountains and fight of wolves and predators on the trails protecting their own along the trail. They would also maintain their weight for top dollar at the end of the trail for the starving Northerners. The pay to the teenagers received help purchase some of the biggest ranches in Texas during devastating economic times as well as put food on the tables of their families. But wait, the Longhorn role is forgotten again. The American imported the fatty European beef that was marbled with fat rather than the lean Longhorn beef. The Texas Longhorns lost their value and the fatty European beef was preferred. Ranching of the European beef prompted fences to protect their investment. The free grazing that feed the Longhorns was no longer available and the Longhorn dwindled. It wasn’t until the 1930’s when wildlife refuge for the Longhorns was started to save the Longhorns for extinction.
This is what prompted me to start the educational program with my Steers We are constantly amazed of how many people look at my Big horn Steers and ask "What are they"? I travel to daycare, after school programs, Texas History events, museums, fairs, festivals, schools and churches. I would love to tell all about these Texas Legends and gladly share their History.