Cattle Kingdom in the Ohio Valley 1783--1860

Cattle Kingdom in the Ohio Valley 1783--1860

Copyright Date: 1959
Pages: 208
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Cattle Kingdom in the Ohio Valley 1783--1860
    Book Description:

    The great beef-cattle industry of the American West was not born full grown beyond the Mississippi. It had its antecedents in the upper South, the Midwest, and the Ohio Valley, where many Texas cattlemen learned their trade. In this book Mr. Henlein tells the story of the cattle kingdom of the Ohio Valley -- a kingdom which encompassed the Bluegrass region in Kentucky and the valleys of the Scioto, Miami, Wabash, and Sangamon in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

    The book begins with the settlement of the Ohio Valley, by emigration from the South and East, in the latter part of the eighteenth century; it ends with the westward movement of the cattlemen, this time to Missouri and the plains, toward the end of the nineteenth century. Mr. Henlein describes the intricate pattern of agricultural activities which grew into a successful system of producing and marketing cattle; the energetic upbreeding and extensive importations which created the great blooded herds of the Ohio Valley; and the relations of the cattlemen with the major cattle markets.

    An interesting part of this story is the chapter which tells how the cattlemen of the Ohio Valley, between 1805 and 1855, drove their fat cattle over the mountains to the eastern markets, and how these long drives, like the more famous Texas drives of a later day, disappeared with the advent of the railroads. This well-documented study is an important contribution to the history of American agriculture.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6303-1
    Subjects: History, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-viii)
    Paul C. Henlein
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Chapter 1 Establishing the Industry
    (pp. 1-20)

    THE OHIO VALLEY BEGINS TECHNICALLY, AT THE WATER DIVIDE in the Appalachian Mountains. But the range after range of mountains tumbling away to the west blocked off a clear picture of the great valley. The awareness of that valley—the land promised by the brochures of the land companies and later glorified by Thomas Hart Benton as the “Garden of the World”—came to different men at different points as they approached the valley. It came to Daniel Boone and John Finley in 1769 as they stood on Pilot Knob, an escarpment rising 800 feet over the undulating Bluegrass Basin;...

  5. Chapter 2 Early Breeding Practices
    (pp. 21-40)

    CATTLE CAME, OF COURSE, WITH THE FIRST SETTLERS. WHAT breed these cattle were depended upon the part of the eastern seaboard that the settler came from. The New Englanders brought Devons (“Rubies”); big, yellow Danish cattle; the short-coupled red-and-white and black-and-white Dutch cattle; cattle of dubious origin which they had obtained from Virginia; and animals that were mixtures of these strains. The Middle Staters brought Holland cattle; coarse, Flemish-type beasts; West Indian cattle; and crossbreeds of these. The Southerners brought Spanish cattle; English cattle; animals derived from an importation—to be discussed later—in 1783; and the inevitable crossbreeds. There...

  6. Chapter 3 The Cattle Kingdom, 1834-1860
    (pp. 41-73)

    IN THE TWO AND A HALF DECADES BEFORE THE CTVTL WAR THE old feeding regions of the Scioto and the Kentucky Bluegrass reached their peak production of fat cattle. The range cattlemen greatly increased their business, and corn fattening encroached on these ranges. Before discussing the causes and details of these developments in the various regions, we should mention the trend of production in the whole Ohio Valley.

    Apparently cattle prices in general were better in the years 1831-1832 and 1835-1838 than for years afterward; unfortunately, records of crop conditions and of the supply of cattle in the early and...

  7. Chapter 4 Importations, 1832-1857
    (pp. 74-101)

    THE PERIOD OF THE CATTLE KINGDOM WAS CHARACTERIZED BY importations of Shorthorn stock direct from Britain to the Ohio Valley. This era was divided into two phases (1832-1840, 1850-1857) by the depression of the forties. During the first phase, although almost all the animals being imported to the Ohio Valley were Shorthorns, the merits and demerits of all breeds, including the Shorthorn, were freely discussed with open mind; and furthermore, the mixing of bloodlines and the breeding of partbloods were regarded as sensible, especially in Kentucky. In the late 1830’s, however, the controversy about the Sanders importation began, and around...

  8. Chapter 5 The Drives over the Mountains
    (pp. 103-129)

    WHO FIRST THOUGHT OF DRIVING OHIO VALLEY CATTLE OVER THE mountains to the eastern markets is unknown, but the first man actually to drive corn-fat cattle from what is now southern Ohio was George Renick, in the spring of 1805. This was the herd of sixty-eight head, already mentioned, which he had fattened the preceding winter. He trailed them to Baltimore, that city thus becoming the first on the seaboard to see fat cattle that had been driven from the new state of Ohio. Many more long drives across the mountains followed during the next fifty years, but then, like...

  9. Chapter 6 Stockyards and Slaughterhouses
    (pp. 130-168)

    ON ITS WAY TO THE CONSUMER, OHIO VALLEY BEEF PASSED through the stockyards and slaughterhouse, finally emerging as fresh beef for the retail shops or as cured beef for export to other American cities or foreign cities. This chapter will treat the rise and location of cattle markets, the cattlemen’s explorations of these markets, how the stockyards and slaughterhouses operated, the nationwide trend of cattle prices, and, briefly, the individual histories of the more important cattle markets.

    Terminal markets for live cattle had not always existed in America. They do date far back into colonial times, however, having become established...

  10. Chapter 7 The Industry Moves Westward
    (pp. 169-182)

    BY THE MIDCENTURY THE CORN BELT WAS TAKING SHAPE. THIS became, not long after 1860, a geographical region of staggring immensity—250,000 square miles stretching from Columbus, Ohio, almost to the northeast corner of Colorado. The decisive factor in its emergence in Ohio and Indiana was conquest of the drainage problem; in Illinois, drainage plus railroads. Once the Corn Belt began to develop, its settlers drew upon the knowledge and the breeding stock of the older feeding regions. If the Corn Palace at Mitchell had a hall of fame for the founders of the Corn Belt, names like Renick, Selsor,...

  11. Bibliographical Note
    (pp. 183-184)
  12. Index
    (pp. 185-198)