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The Cattle Herds At The West

The Cattle Herds At The West image
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OCR Text

According to a recent St. Louis journal, the supply of wild Tesan cattle is rapidly dStntntsbibg, tbe ranches are lioiiijr reduced in numbcr :ind nze, and the business in Tcxa,s has cbanged to tlic culiivation of the value of stock by fmprovcd breeding. This is partly due to tbe check piven to the export trade to Europe, and to some esti 11 1 to tbe progress ut' permanent settleiiKiit by grain farmini, whit-li has roluoed the area of wild lunds open to cattle "on t hu range." Both these cnu?es have no doubt been operative in otber sections; but the vast extent of wild land in the new west open for raising eatile until occupicd by settlers must continue ibr years hunce tu linter the cattle trade on a great tcale. At i tí height the cattlo-trading bu-iness extended through Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Dakot, Southern Minnesota and parts of Iowa, Miayouri and Arkansas. All encloecd land was liable to be used for raising cattle "on the range," and great herds of stock were raised by men who did not own an acre of land. Aa a natural coDsequence, farmers Uablo to taxation or rent could not compele ith pcople engáged in sueh a business, and so the farmers went to work raising RTain, and there was an increasing conflict between the two interests in which the legislation was always on the f-ide of the grain farmers. This will account for the irregularity and shifting character of the stock breeding. The civilized tribes of tho Indian Territory have been raising cattle lor sale extensively, as an easier business tban farming. Uut the temptation to steal cattle whcro the herds are "on the range " is such as to créate a great deal of lawles.sness, and niuch of the onforecment of lynch law on the border, where the criminal classes seek rofuge from the rebtrictions of civilized life. In proportion as the embarrussmentsof the foreign trade increase, the inducements multiply toslaughter cattle at the remóte Western cities and towns for their bides, and tallow, and horns. Beef-packing, also, is on the increaae at the available points. But the cattlo district recodes stcadily further and further westward, just as the wheat farming area does. Therc is uo likelihood of any reduction of the supply, but the transit is over long lincs of' railway. With our enormous area of wild land open for stockraising, we could supply meat for all Enrope and America. Tho prospect is sufEcient to justify the alarm of the European farmers. But if the foreign markets rcmin open to us, our triumph is certain.