July 20, 2010

Fort Worth Stockyards

            It’s hard to imagine a western book or movie without a colorful description of the long cattle drives. Rugged cowboys fought the weather, potential thieves, and hostile Indians to reach beef markets and to line their own pockets with a few dollars. The cattle drives followed the Chisholm Trail that led into Fort Worth, Texas where an estimated four million head of cattle walked those dusty roads from 1866 to 1890.
            Fort Worth’s “Cowtown” arose as an entertainment hot spot for the cowboys. Hell’s Half Acre, the area south of the courthouse, quickly gained notoriety for its ability to take care of the cowboy’s thirsty needs and other cravings. In my opinion, those cowboys would have been better off tending longhorns than nursing a bottle of whiskey and courting soiled doves. However, beyond Fort Worth was the Red River and dangerous Indian country, so perhaps those cowboys considered Hell’s Half Acre as possibly their last fling with life.
             In 1876 the railroad arrived in Fort Worth, and this began the shipping of cattle by train to eastern packing houses. With the growing cattle industry, the Union Stockyards were constructed and set in operation in 1889. The new investors had a broader vision for potential money to be earned, and in 1893, the name was changed to the Fort Worth Stockyards Company.
            Entrepreneurs saw the need to bring packing companies to the Fort Worth area, and shortly after the turn of the twentieth century Armour & Co. and Swift & Co. were persuaded to begin construction there. 
            Expansion of the city grew rapidly after the packing plants were built, adding jobs and helping the city to prosper. In 1907, the Coliseum was erected and later became the site for the first indoor rodeo.
            I can only imagine the sights, smells, and sounds of thousands of cattle and travel-worn cowboys. But to cattlemen, railroad men, and packing company owners, it all meant money. Oh, and those involved in local entertainment definitely saw a rise in their income.

            DiAnn's latest releases:

A Woman Called Sage

They took away everything she loved ... now, she's out for revenge.

Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way. Until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever.

Now Sage is a bounty hunter bent on retribution. Accompanied only by her majestic hawk, she travels throughout the Rocky Mountains in search of injustice, determined to stamp it out wherever it's found. The stakes are raised when two young boys are kidnapped and Sage is forced to work with Marshall Parker Timmons to rescue them. But Sage may ultimately get more than she bargained for.

In this exciting historical romance set in the late 1800s, murder, intrigue, kidnapping, and questions of faith will keep you in suspense until the final pages.

Sworn to Protect

Border Patrol Agent Danika Morales has sworn to protect the southern borders of our nation, but that oath has cost her. Two years ago, her husband, Toby, was killed trying to help the very immigrants Danika was responsible for sending back to Mexico. His murder was never solved.

But now, a recent string of attacks and arrests leads her to believe that someone in McAllen is profiting from sneaking undocumented immigrants into the country . . . and it may somehow be tied to Toby’s death.  


Kameko said...

I enjoyed your post about the Fort Worth Stockyards very much. I imagine that Oklahoma City's own stockyards were built on the same needs, although they didn't reach the size as Fort Worth's.
I've been reading a lot of good reviews about "A Woman Called Sage" and it's on my to be read list, I just haven't bought it yet. "Sworn to Protect" sounds very good also, and I'll be adding it to me list.

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, DiAnn. I am researching cattle drives right now, and this is helpful.

Vickie McDonough said...

I love the seen from the movie Australia where Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman's characters are racing their cattle against the bad guy's cattle to the stock yards.

Must have stank to high heaven.

Interesting post, DiAnn!