The Cattle Drives

The Cattle Drives (HM1B4X)

Location: San Marcos, TX 78666 Hays County
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 49.478', W 97° 57.059'

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Starting in 1866 the broad valley behind this marker was the scene of cattle drives from the south Texas brush country to Kansas railheads, where livestock was then shipped to eastern markets. These old routes where always imprecise because, as one writer observed: "the trails originated wherever a herd was shaped up and ended wherever a market was found." This San Antonio to Austin segment, which approximates today's I-35, was a trunk line with may feeders.

From March through August, the great herds that wound through Hays county found ample grazing and numerous spring-fed streams (many now dried up.) The cattle forded the San Marcos river near today's Cheatham Street bridge and were bedded along the east bank, generally between Aquarena Springs Drive and I-35. The herds proceeded to the vicinity of present Buda, then exited the county near Onion Creek.

The arrival of the International and Great Northern Railway Company in 1881 substantially ended the trail drives. And not a moment too soon for homemakers who detested the billowing swarms of houseflies they attracted.
HM NumberHM1B4X
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 1:32am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 601355 N 3299815
Decimal Degrees29.82463333, -97.95098333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 49.478', W 97° 57.059'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 49' 28.68" N, 97° 57' 3.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)512
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2511-3433 S Old Bastrop Hwy, San Marcos TX 78666, US
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