The Western Cattle Trail (1874-1897): Its Rise, Collapse, and Revival by Gary and Margaret Kraisinger
Released in April of 2015, this is the second volume that Gary and Margaret Kraisinger have published on the Texas cattle-trailing industry. Whereas their first book concentrated on the middle corridor of the Western Cattle Trail through Indian Territory, western Kansas, and southwestern Nebraska, this more comprehensive volume takes the reader from south Texas to Canada, over some 2000 miles of the Western Cattle Trail trunk line, its feeder routes, splinter routes, and detours. The three other south-to-north trail systems are also presented and mapped and compared one with the other. The time span for the industry is from Texas statehood, 1846, with the use of the Shawnee Trail to the last XIT herd to be sent north in 1897 on the Texas-Montana Feeder Route through Colorado to connect with the Western Trail. Nine years of research and writing has brought forth unknown history about the days when cowboys pushed longhorns north. Over forty new maps by Gary are included, as well as old photos, and discussions of roadside markers. Robbie McMurtry has beautifully illustrated the hardbound 560-page book. For those of you who own the Kraisingers' first book, this one is a companion book of the same size, 9 ˝ inches by 12 inches. This is a history of nine states and their part in the epic cattle-driving industry. Using cowboy diaries and recollections, the Kraisingers have again presented a taste of the Old West as it actually was.