Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop 

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old West Legends IconOLD WEST LEGENDS

The Goodnight-Loving Trail

Bookmark and Share
 

 

Spanning from Texas to Wyoming, the Goodnight-Loving Trail was first blazed by Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving in 1866 to sell cattle to the U.S. Government at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Ultimately the trail ran from Young County, Texas, southwest to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, then northwards to Fort Sumner, through Colorado, ending in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

 

Goodnight, a former Texas Ranger and Indian Scout met pioneer cowboy, Oliver Loving sometime after the Civil War. At this time, the cattle markets were inadequate for the available cattle and the two wanted to capitalize on the need for cattle at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where some 8,000 Navajo had been settled at the Bosque Redondo reservation. Bad planning by the government for provisions at the reservation led to an urgent need for food supplies.

 

The drive would be a dangerous one, traveling across hostile Indian country, but the pair, with their combined skills, were dedicated, and on June 6, 1866 they set out with some 2,000 head of Texas Longhorns and 18 cowhand's from Fort Belknap, Texas.

 

Upon reaching Fort Sumner, they sold beef to the army for eight cents per pound, or about  $12,000 in gold. The army was only interested in the steers, leaving the pair with 800 stocker cattle. While Goodnight returned to Texas for a second herd, Loving drove the remaining cattle north, paying Richens Lacy Wootton ten cents a head to go on his toll road through Raton Pass, on his way to Denver, Colorado. He sold the remaining herd to cattle rancher John Wesley Iliff. This profitable venture led to more drives, including a partnership with John Chisum.

 

Cattle Trails of the Ameircan West Map

A map of western cattle trails, with the Goodnight-Loving trail as the westernmost. Click to enlarge.

 

 

 

Oliver LovingHowever, in the summer of 1867, when Oliver Loving went ahead of the herd to negotiate contracts, taking only one trusted scout with him, he was attacked by Comanches and seriously wounded. Though he was able to reach Fort Sumner, New Mexico, his injuries resulted in gangrene in his arm and it had to be amputated. He died from complications from the procedure on September 25, 1867.

Goodnight continued the drive to Colorado, but later returned for Loving’s body and brought it back to Texas, where he was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford.

 

In the spring of 1868 Goodnight entered into a contract with John Wesley Iliff in which he agreed to deliver his cattle to to the Union Pacific Railroad town of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Goodnight traveled the trail a couple of times, straightening out the route along the way and avoiding having to pay the toll at Raton Pass.

 

Charles GoodnightGoodnight then settled down on his Texas Ranch, but cattle drivers throughout Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado continued to utilize the trail that he and loving had blazed, and cattle ranches stocked with Texas Longhorns sprung up across Wyoming, with several Texas companies relocating or starting subsidiaries there.

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, last updated June 2015.

 

Also See:

 

Charles Goodnight - Blazing a Cattle Trail 

Oliver Loving - Pioneer Cowboy

Loving's Bend - A 1910 Account

Tales & Trails of the American West

Cowboys & Trailblazers Photo Print Gallery

 

Cowboys and Trailblazers:

 

 

Slideshow images available as prints and downloads HERE

 

From Legends' General Store

Personalized Products from Legends' General StorePersonalized Products - See your name in "Lights"! - Personalized Products make great gifts for all occasions - weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more. Here, you'll find a large selection to suit most any need. See your name emblazed on Wall Art, Frames, and Fine Gifts, your initials on Barware & Party Gear, Sports Memorabilia, beautiful Jewelry, and Accessories with names, initials, and monograms.

Personalized Products from Legends' General Store

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com