By William T. Hagan

Charles Goodnight used to be a pioneer of the early variety farm animals industry—an opinionated and profane yet vigorous and common rancher.

Goodnight’s tale is now re-examined through William T. Hagan during this short, authoritative account that considers the position of ranching in general—and Goodnight in particular—in the improvement of the Texas Panhandle. the 1st significant reassessment of his existence in seventy years, Charles Goodnight: Father of the Texas Panhandle lines its subject’s existence from hardscrabble farmer to livestock baron, giving shut realization to lesser-known points of his final thirty years.

Goodnight got here up within the days while a lot of Texas used to be unfastened diversity and open to occupancy by way of any cattleman courageous adequate to stake a declare. Hagan exhibits how Goodnight realized the livestock company and have become essentially the most well-known ranchers of the Southwest. Hagan additionally provides a clearer photograph than ever prior to of Goodnight’s enterprise preparations and investments, together with the monetary setbacks of his later life.

As unique because it is informative, Hagan’s account takes readers again to the Palo Duro Canyon and the Staked Plains to proportion insights into the cattleman’s life—riding the diversity, combating grass fires, using farm animals to the closest railhead—the very stuff of cowboy legend and lore. This interesting biography enriches our realizing of a Texas icon.

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Additional resources for Charles Goodnight: Father of the Texas Panhandle (Oklahoma Western Biographies)

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Trouble with Mexican rustlers also had enlivened their layover. In one confrontation Goodnight ran down and killed a Mexican threatening to shoot him. When spring came the partners prepared to return to the Upper Brazos for another herd. This trip, their gold—ten thousand dollars’ worth—was carried in a wagon, and they had the reassurance of more guards. That proved to be fortuitous because Indians ambushed them before they reached Horsehead Crossing. But after a few volleys the Indians concluded that there were no easy pickings and retreated.

Indeed, they preferred that he not join them in a task because he could forget lunch and rest periods, and they dared not break on their own. Whatever was being done, he thought that he was able to do it better than his hands, and usually could. One friend was surprised to drop in at JA headquarters to find Goodnight shoeing mules while the blacksmith, to whom he was paying the handsome salary of $150 a month, shooed flies from the animal being worked on. Charles Goodnight might be a stern taskmaster, but he respected his men.

15 16 charles goodnight The only historian to directly address this conjecture is Charles Kenner in his The Origins of the ‘‘Goodnight’’ Trail Reconsidered. He points out that not until the 1930s was the trail from Horsehead Crossing to Fort Sumner labeled the Goodnight, or Goodnight-Loving Trail. Kenner credits J. Evetts Haley as being ‘‘primarily’’ responsible for crediting the opening of the trail to Goodnight and Loving. Undoubtedly, he was unaware of army correspondence documenting the herd driven up the trail in 1865 by James Patterson.

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