"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 8 August 2002


Texas Historical Commission Launches Chisholm Trail Brochure

Many of our ancestors braved the Chisholm Trail for adventure, to find new lands, to move cattle, and some to escape the past. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has a new brochure detailing the cultural and historic tourist attractions along the Chisholm Trail.

The brochure will be available after August 30, 2002, with a kickoff celebration in Fort Worth. Other events are scheduled for sites along the trail, including Lockhart, Yoakum, Houston, San Antonio, Meridian, Gonzales, Bowie, Johnson City, Cuero, Kingsville, Clifton and Belton.

The Chisholm Trail guide is the latest in a series that explores the historic sites and areas of interest across Texas. The brochure feature a glimpse of cowboy life, historical information and highlights of historic sites.

Other THC travel brochures: Texas Independence Trail Region; African Americans in Texas; Texas Forts Trail Region; Los Caminos del Rio; Texas in the Civil War; and Texas Forest Trail Region.

For more information on any of the Chisholm Trail events, or to receive a free brochure, call 512/463-6255; write P. O. Box 12276, Austin, Texas 78711-2276; e-mail thc@thc.state.tx.us or visit the THS website http://www.thc.state.tx.us/. For more information about the Texas Heritage Trails Program, call Janie Headrick at 512/463-6092.

The Chisholm Trail

The Chisholm Trail was named for Jesse Chisholm. Jesse was a Scot-Cherokee Indian trader. He first marked the Chisholm Trail for his wagons and was a trading route. Joseph G. McCoy arrived at Abilene, KS, the end of the extended Chisholm Cattle Trail, in 1867 and built stockyards that he advertised throughout Texas. The trail was over 1,200 miles.

In the five years from 1867 to 1872, more than 3-million head of cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Abilene.

By 1870 thousands of Texas longhorn cattle were being driven over the Chisholm Trail to the Union Pacific (later the Kansas Pacific) Railroad shipping center at Abilene.

By 1871, as many as 5,000 cowboys were often paid-off during a single day. Abilene became known as the roughest town in the West.

For a detailed history of the Chisholm Trail, read an article written by John Rossel, printed in Volume 5, Number 1 of the Kansas Historical Quarterly, February 1936 or you can read the article on-line at http://www.kshs.org/perspect/chisholm.htm.

You can also find a biographical sketch about Jesse Chisholm and the Chisholm Trail in the Texas Handbook On-line at: http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/.

The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is located at 1000 N. 29th St., Duncan, OK 73534 or visit the museum on-line at: http://www.onthechisholmtrail.com/.

Book Review

The Descendants of George Washington Smith and Nancy Shirley by Chaplain Dan Franklin, Lt. Col., U.S. Army, address: 1983 Oakwell Farms Pkwy, #2510, San Antonio, Texas, 78218 or e-mail DANRFRANKLIN@cs.com. 371 pages, Cost $40, including postage.

Family history book on the “Descendants of George Washington Smith and Nancy Shirley” is now available. George Washington Smith was born in 1835 in Georgia and Nancy Shirley was born 1836 in Alabama. They were married in Clay Co., GA in 1854 and lived in Henry Co, AL until moving to Texas in the late 1870s. They are listed in the 1880 census of Walker Co, TX and the 1900 census of San Jacinto Co, TX. George and Nancy are both buried in County Line Cemetery, San Jacinto Co, TX. Most descendants live in Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, and Walker counties; but many also live in west Texas and Florida.

Chaplain Franklin will make one large printing in late September 2002 and the deadline to order a copy is Sept. 15, 2002. The books will be mailed in October 2002. He will accept orders after that time, but it will make it a little more difficult and the price may increase because there would be fewer copies made.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604