A beautiful mural graces the façade of a downtown Fort Worth, Texas building built in 1908, in popular Sundance Square. Richard Haas painted the commemorative work in 1988 in honor of the historic Chisholm Trail.
My great-great grandfather, Thornton Chisholm, led the first herd of Texas Longhorn cattle overland to northern railroad connections in St. Joseph, Missouri. From St. Joseph, the cattle would be taken to slaughterhouses in Chicago and other northern cities where fine restaurants served the prime cuts of beef to their discerning customers. Under Thornton’s guidance, along with his hand-picked crew, the 1,800 longhorns departed from near Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas on April 1, 1866. The cattle had been gathered from all over the state for this drive. They were chosen for their breed, strength and stamina, in order to endure the 728 mile walk. This first drive took seven months, ten days, round trip.
Less than two years later, in March 1868, Thornton lost his life in an accident. While traveling with a freight caravan from Austin, a loaded wagon broke loose from its team on a slope. The wagon plunged forward and ran over Thornton. He was buried at the site of the accident, near Burnet, Texas. Thornton left a young wife, Jane (Jennie), and four small children, including my four year-old great grandmother, Annie Elizabeth Chisholm. Annie married John Joseph Filleman of D’Hanis, Texas. They moved to eastern Arizona around 1890 and continued in the cattle raising business there. They had nine children and a prosperous ranch, supplying beef for wherever the railroad destinations took it throughout the country.
Let the expert researchers at Heritage Consulting discover your family’s historical legacy. We can build a pedigree for you. We can find occupations, community involvement, trials and triumphs. We look forward to helping you make new family history discoveries!
Raquel Lindaas, Accredited Genealogist®
Heritage Consulting, LLC