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trail driver, the starter and finisher of the destiny of this great state, and the men that blazed the way that led to many great commercial enterprises, besides stocking and causing to be stocked the ranges from the Rio Grande to British possessions that before that time were a desert (not bringing a cent of revenue to the state's treasury) inhabited by wild animals and savages. From 1885 the drives were lighter up to 1895, when the trail which had been used twenty-seven years was closed. Nothing like it and its far-reaching accomplishment ever happened before and will never happen again. It is estimated by the most conservative old-time trail drivers that an average of 350,000 cattle were driven up the trails from Texas each year for 28 years, making 9,800,000 cattle at $10 a head received by the ranchmen at home making $98,000,000; 1,000,000 horse stock at $10 per head received by the ranchmen at home, making $10,000,000, or a total of $108,000,000. This vast amount sounds like a European war loan, but it was not. It was all caused by a few fearless men making the start in 1867 or 1868. No one had any idea that the cattle, the staple product, would blossom out thus and bring such prosperity to our state and heap so much glory on the heads of the oldtime trail men. The circulation of the billions of dollars produced by the industry, passing as it did, directly into channels that were opened to receive it, produced the prosperity that has been in evidence in Texas for so many years, the cowman, the merchant, the farmer, the day laborer, profited thereby, and the vast volume of gold that flowed through these channels is absolutely incomprehensible.
Had these old-time trail drivers not looked for and found this market our vast herds would have died on the ranges and the vast unstocked ranges would have lain dormant and unproductive. Our ranchmen would have left Texas disgusted and broke, and it would have been