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The meeting of "The Old Time Trail Drivers' Association," of which the writer is a charter member, held at Houston, Texas, calls to mind many interesting bits of history of the early-day cow business and of the drives made over the romantic and historic Chisholm Trail. And I wonder what has become of all of those good boys who blazed the way from San Antonio to where it crossed the Red River near Gainesville, thence through what is now Love, Carter, Garvin, Grady, Canadian, Kingfisher, Garfield and Grant Counties in Oklahoma.
This trail was started in 1868 by John Chisholm, for whom the trail was named. One of the principal water- ing places was at what was called the government spring, and which is now a beautiful park in the city of Enid. In 1872 the terminus was shifted to Ellsworth, Kansas, and in that year the Santa Fe built into the Great Bend country and Dodge City was laid out as a townsite, and in 1874 the head of the drive was located at that point. From 1874 to 1884 Dodge City was headquarters for all cowmen from Oklahoma and Texas. During that ten years it was the toughest spot on the American continent and much history has been written of it and of the men who tamed the population and who turned the wide-open town with its Indian fighters, buffalo hunters, cowboys, dance halls, honkytonks and gambling houses, into the modern city of today, where a beautiful high school building ornaments the summit of the notorious Boot Hill, where many a mother's boy who left the East so suddenly that he forgot to take his name with him was laid away by the followers of the Chisholm Trail.
It was in the year 1881 that the writer made his first drive over the trail for Jesse Evans, one of the cattle kings of that day. He was accompanied by some twenty