Good Grass for Cattle:
The Beginning of Texas Ranching, 1690-1890
Texas ranching traces its roots to 1690 when Spain introduced cattle to Texas. Cowboys soon developed tools and techniques that were adapted for working cattle. This gallery traces the development of the Texas cattle industry beginning with the “vaqueros,” the first trail drives of the 1850s, and the importance of cattle to Texas during and after the Civil War.
With the era of trail drives, beef was introduced to new markets across the country. As the cattle industry grew into a booming business, expansive ranches emerged and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association was formed to protect them.