|About the Book|
Those who were alive during the last half of the 19th century witnessed the largest migration of hoofed mammals in recorded history, and it all began in Texas.The first major cattle drive in Texas history took place in 1846, when Edward Piper droveMoreThose who were alive during the last half of the 19th century witnessed the largest migration of hoofed mammals in recorded history, and it all began in Texas.The first major cattle drive in Texas history took place in 1846, when Edward Piper drove 1,000 head of cattle north to Ohio. The last major cattle drive occurred in 1893, when John Rufus Blocker and his brothers pushed 9,000 head of longhorns up the Western Trail to Deadwood, South Dakota. Historians and authors have chronicled the lives of dozens of cattle kings of the era, including Richard King, Charles Goodnight, Oliver Loving, C.C. Slaughter, Dennis O’Connor, John Chisum and Mifflin Kenedy. Unfortunately, the stories of other equally intrepid stockmen and pioneers like Robert Kelsey Wylie have gone unrecorded.Wylie cut his teeth as a cowman, at a time when cattle raising in Texas was a fresh new enterprise. When free grazers moved their range to central Texas, Wylie carved out a niche for himself along the Colorado River in what would later become Runnels County. He was a pioneer trail driver, captaining the first herds west to New Mexico. When rustlers threatened his livelihood along the Pecos River he stood side by side with John Chisum and fought the outlaws. As new rangeland was opening up in the Panhandle and the Trans-Pecos regions, Wylie was once again among the first to risk life and fortune taming new lands. Unlike his compatriots, when sheep ranching took hold in Texas in thelate 1800s Wylie embraced the enterprise, and pioneered a large scale ranch near Van Horn in Cluberson County.Wylie’s story is one of bravery, determination, vision and generosity. It is a story that needs to be told.