Sunday, October 12, 2008

Texas Trail Canyon Marker

I've been wondering about the Texas Trail Canyon marker. Can anyone tell me what happened to it?

It no longer sits on the site east of Haigler along Hiway 34.

When did it disappear and where did it go?
WOW! Just got a quick reply from Linda Jones:

Hi: I read the article on the blog about the Texas Trail Marker. It is back up after having been re-painted at the State shop in Benkelman.

We are having beautiful rain. It has rained off and on for over 24 hours and is just perfect!
Take care. Linda J

The inscription on the Historical Marker was this:

"Texas Trail Canyon. After the slaughter of the buffalo and the last of the Indian hunts, ranchers moved into this part of the Republican River country in 1875. Among them were J. P. and Ira Oliver, who were using this canyon on their range in 1876. Herds of Texas cattle were delivered to them here before being driven north to Ogallala.

Prior to 1880 the main Texas-Ogallala Trail entered Nebraska fifty miles east of here, but with the influx of homesteaders, the trail was pushed west to this area. By 1881, this canyon was known as Texas Trail Canyon and a checkpoint was established here in 1883-84, where the cattle were checked for brands and disease. It is said that 150,000 cattle were moved through here in 1886, the last year of the trail drives.

A number of pioneer burials were made in the immediate vicinity, beginning with Mexican Leon, a cowboy killed in a fight with Ira Oliver. When the railroad built through in 1881-82, a worker was killed and buried 100 yards east of here. Remains of several unidentified pioneers, adults and children have been discovered over the years and were interred here in 1971."
--Dundy County Historical Society - Nebraska State Historical Society

A note in the 1976 Haigler Centenniel Book states:

"Trail Canyon, about five miles east of Haigler, was said to be on the route taken by the cowboys who trailed cattle from Texas to Ogallala, Nebraska, the northern terminus of the Texas Trail.

Back in the 1920's I met an old gentleman on the Little Medicine, in southeast Lincoln County, Nebraska. When he learned that my home town was Haigler, he volunteered the information that he knew where the town was and that he had been one of a number of riders who trailed a bunch of about 3,000 steers from Texas to Ogallala. Coming down off the flats between the Hackberry and the Republican, they came down this canyon. It was a hot summer day, and when some distance away, they broke into a run. When McDermott (for that was his name) told of his experience following that herd of cattle in the choking dust they raised, one could easily visualize the scene."
--Taken from "Reminiscences of Haigler", by Olin O. Wood, 1976 Haigler Cenntennial Book, page 23
Other References to Texas Trail Canyon

Texas Trail Canyon

The Texas Trail - Digging In

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