|Along the Chisholm Trail near Deanville, Texas|
In 1867, Joseph G. McCoy, an Illinois farmer, recognized the problem. Beef markets in the eastern U.S. were under-supplied. Realizing the tremendous potential, McCoy bought an entire township along the Kansas Pacific Railroad and named the site Abilene. He then hired a team of promoters to travel through Texas with the news about a railhead in south-central Kansas, ready to load up Longhorns and ship them to Kansas City and beyond.
Several factors conspired to bring the great cattle drives out of Texas to an end. First, railroad construction in Texas eliminated some of the need to drive cattle to Kansas. Second, ranching operations in the northern Great Plains expanded, creating new competition for Texas ranches. Finally, in 1884 Kansas legislators imposed a quarantine on cattle entering the state. As historian John R. Lovett noted, by 1890, the day of the cattle drives across Oklahoma was over.
 Steven D. Dortch, "Chisholm Trail," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed February 15, 2018). See also T. R. Fehrenbach, Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans. Updated ed. (New York: Tess Press, 2000), 557-58.
 John R. Lovett, "Major Cattle Trails, 1866-1889," in Historical Atlas of Oklahoma, 4th ed., Charles Robert Goins and Danney Goble, eds. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006), 116.