The Wild West - Ranches on the Plains

The Wild West

The History of the West  -  Wild West Merchandise

The wild west, cowboys, ranches on the plains, wagon trains and more....... plus wild west merchandise
ranches in the old west

Ranches on The Plains

The Great Plains [Prairies] were grasslands which were thousands of miles of flat open land. Between the 1830's-1850's most settlers had avoided the Plains because they thought that it was no good for fanning, but there was a number of herds of cattle grazing on the grasslands of Texas. Gradually the frontier for grazing beef cattle moved in to the prairies of Kansas. On the plains and also in Texas there was very little market for the beef. The main centres of population were in the east and on the west coast. In order for them to reach theses markets the cattle had to be driven there by the 'Cowboys'.

In 1861 the American civil war broke out., lasting until 1865. During this time there was a huge demand tor beef, which was used to feed both sides armies. A man called Charlie Goodnight became very rich. He and a chap called Oliver Loving made a trail to the Colorado Goldmines, where they sold their beef to the coalminers. People like Charlie and Oliver owned thousands of cattle and by the 1880's the Prairie had been divided up and fenced off into 'ranches'. This ensured that rather than the cattle roaming all over the plains they would then graze on the ranches which covered thousands of hectares.

The History of the West - Native American Peoples Of the Plains - Wagon Trains - Gold Fever - Cowboys - Homesteaders - The Railroad - Justice in the Wild West - War Between The Settlers and The Native American Indians



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