Caldwell & the Chisholm Trail


          A mile southeast of this marker the Chisholm Trail entered Kansas. It took its name from Jesse Chisholm, Indian trader, whose route lay between the North Canadian river and present Wichita. In 1867 it was extended from the Red river to Abilene when the building of the Union Pacific gave Texas cattle an Eastern market. Over this long trail more than a million head were driven before the Santa Fe built south and brought the drives to Newton, 1871, and the next year to Wichita. Incoming setters in Kansas soon fenced off the land and by 1876, drovers had abandoned the trail. In 1880, however, the railroad built to Caldwell, one mile north, and drives were resumed. It is estimated that two million longhorns were driven across the prairie here on a road that in many places was a quarter of a mile wide and as bare as a modern highway.

Erected by the Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission
Historical marker on US-81, south of Caldwell,

Sumner County

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August 29, 2000 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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