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John S. Chisum

Burial Site of John S. Chisum (1824-1884) Cattle baron whose herds, moving from east to west Texas and into New Mexico, expanded into one of the greatest cattle spreads in the west. Coming from ...

Burial Site of John S. Chisum (1824-1884) Cattle baron whose herds, moving from east to west Texas and into New Mexico, expanded into one of the greatest cattle spreads in the west. Coming from Tennessee to Paris, 1837, Chisum joined S. K. Fowler in a cattle venture in Denton County, 1854. During the Civil War, he supplied beef to Confederate troops west of the Mississippi and his cowboys guarded the frontier against Indians. After moving in 1864 to the Concho River, then to "Bosque Grande" on the Pecos, he finally located his spread at South Spring near Roswell, New Mexico, 1873. His enormous herds-- 60,000 to 100,000 head-- pounded trails across Texas into New Mexico. His name and fame led to confusion with Jesse Chisholm, blazer of part of the historic Texas-to-Kansas cattle trail. Chisum's onetime partner, famous cattleman Charles Goodnight, said that Chisum, who could correctly tally three grades of moving cattle at once, was the best counter he knew. Chisum's distinctive "Long Rail" brand and "Jinglebob" ear-notch defied alteration. A disastrous packing house deal and involvement in the 1876 "Lincoln County War," in which Billy the Kid and various cattle factions figured, ultimately led to Chisum's financial ruin.

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