Letter to the Editor: Reader pleased with designated cattle trail name
Having family in the Grant and surrounding areas stretching all across the “Western Cattle Trail,” which ran south to north into Nebraska in the 19th Century, I am pleased the word “Great” was dropped from the former designation of “Great Western Cattle Trail.” I, myself, was born in Wichita, Kansas, one of the hubs on the “Chisholm Trail” which ran from Texas northward to Kansas railheads, where the cattle were shipped to Omaha, Chicago and other points where they were processed by packing plants to feed people mostly “back East” in the 19th Century.
Today, tourism is the main remnant of such trails and it is vital that “historical markers” be clear, consistent and uniform for travelers studying the trail.
The Western Cattle Trail would occasionally incorporate the word “Great” at various points. However, I am glad that uniformity is being sought.
The Western Cattle Trail was a bit more dangerous than other cattle trails since it was more prone to cowboys and their herds being raided by American Indians. It was a perilous journey. Nothing “Great” about it. I am glad for a return to the original wording.
This trail, likewise, went from Southern Texas into Nebraska in the 19th Century. One of its most famous hubs was also Dodge City, Kan. Few people realize the trail was also casually called “The Dodge City Trail,” so it is best to make this change to avoid confusion. It will enable history buffs to follow the trail completely through Kansas and into Nebraska. Thus, Nebraska’s tourism economy will be enhanced. In short, the name change will help bring more tourism dollars into Nebraska.
James A. Marples