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Joseph G. McCoy


Joseph G. McCoy was the founder of the livestock trade in Kansas, originator the the Abilene cattle Trail, and also cattle baron in his own right, McCoy to be born in Sangamon County, Illinois on December 21, 1837, the youngest the eleven kids to David and also Mary (Kirkpatrick) McCoy, natives the Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. He to be educated in public schools and at Knox College. In 1861 he started in the livestock business and also that same year married sarah Epler top top October 22nd.

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In 1867 the conceived the idea of establishing a shipping depot for cattle at some point in the west and also knew that the railroad service providers were interested in expanding their freight operations. He quickly selected Abilene, Kansas, and opened the Abilene follow through Indian territory from Texas.

Some world sneered at his ideas, however he demonstrated your practicability. McCoy also built a hotel referred to as the Drover’s Cottage, a stockyard, office, and bank in the tiny village along the Union Pacific rail that would serve as the shipping point.


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Driving Cattle


McCoy advertised extensively throughout Texas come encourage cattle owners to journey their cattle to sector in Abilene. Through 1868, around 75,000 livestock were shipped from Abilene. In 1870 thousands of Texas longhorn cattle, which were right for cattle trails as result of their lengthy legs and also hard hoofs, to be being thrust to the shipping center at Abilene. By 1871 the number had actually increased come 600,000 or an ext and as many as 5,000 cowboys to be being payment off during a single day. Abilene soon came to be known as a stormy town in the Old West.

McCoy stayed in Abilene, whereby he was chosen mayor in April 1871. Later on that month, McCoy recommended and also hired James B. “Wild Bill” Hickok to come to be the marshal that Abilene. It would certainly seem the this was a good choice come tame the lawless town; however, Hickok spent most of his time in the Alamo Saloon, the center of the town’s wildlife, and was not also friendly with the “upstanding” folks of Abilene. Instead, the spent much more time at the gaming tables and also with the women of the evening than he did taking treatment of his sheriff duties.

By October 1871, the citizens of Abilene had sufficient of the rowdiness and lawlessness created by the cattle drives. The city fathers said the Texans there could be no an ext cattle drives with their town and also in December, dismissed Hickok as city marshal. It was the last large year for Abilene, as much more than 40,000 head of cattle were shipped out by rail. Brand-new railheads to be by then built to Newton, Wichita, and also Ellsworth, coming to be the favored shipping points. Throughout its 4 year reign, end 3 million head of livestock were driven up the Chisholm Trail and shipped indigenous Abilene. Through the cowboys gone, the town quieted down into a peaceful, law-abiding community.


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Loading Texas cattle in Abilene, Kansas


In the meantime, McCoy’s personal fortune had been worn down by consistent promotion, a family to support, and the changing winds the the volatile breed cub market. His time together an Abilene cattle Baron had involved an end. He invested some time traveling to several of the new cowtowns yet by 1872 was living in Wichita where he ended up being a promotion agent because that American and also Texas frozen fridge Car and began to document his experiences in a publication entitled Historic Sketches the the cattle Trade of the West and Southwest, i beg your pardon was published in 1874. In 1880 the was commissioned as a breed boy dealer in Kansas City, Missouri and was work by the U.S. Census bureau to report ~ above the livestock market for the eleventh census. Part years later, he to be serving together an agent because that the Cherokee nation and life in Oklahoma. By 1890, he had actually returned to Kansas and ran unsuccessfully as a candidate because that the U.S. Congress.

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Joseph McCoy passed away in Kansas City, Missouri on October 19, 1915. One story around the livestock baron alleges the McCoy bragged prior to leaving Chicago the he would bring 200,000 head in 10 years and actually brought two million head in 4 years, which resulted in the expression “It’s the real McCoy.” However, the origin of the phrase is more than likely from a Scottish poem released in 1856 that provided “The real MacKay“. Various other associations the the expression are through inventor Elijah McCoy’s oil-drip cup, i m sorry was wanted by plenty of railroad designers over various other “inferior” products.