About Joseph McCoy and Jesse Chisholm
By 1867, there were millions of herd of cattle roaming the Texas range and no economical way to get them to the eastern markets. Entrepreneur Joseph G. McCoy came up with the idea of building stockyards along the Kansas Pacific Railroad somewhere in Kansas. After being turned down in three other towns, he convinced the business leaders in the small town of Abilene, Kansas that his idea had merit. The rest is history, history you can relive as you visit the many sites along the Chisholm Trail.
Jesse Chisholm was the very embodiment of the collision of two great societies. Born in 1805, the son of a Scottish father and a Cherokee Indian mother, he established a trading post near present –day downtown Wichita, His ancestry enabled Chisholm to blaze the trail south to Mexico through Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). While Chisholm used the trail as a trade route, the existence of the “Chisholm Trail” opened the way to the railheads in Kansas, and in turn the eastern markets, for the great herds of Texas longhorns. Chisholm died in 1868 without ever knowing of the great cattle trail or his association with the route. He is buried in Oklahoma on a small knoll, a few miles north of Geary. A stone marker on his grave reads, “No one left cold or hungry.”