Photo by Mark Inman Seitz
Cattle drive and Ellsworth history aficionados long will remember the September 2007 cattle drive and associated festivities commemorating the 140th year since the founding of Ellsworth in 1867. The streets of Ellsworth were filled with reenactments of our days of yore.
The 140 trophy Texas Longhorns of 2007 parade fame will be replaced by 400 thundering head of cattle, much to the delight of local and area residents, ex-pats and friends who like to experience a touch of the old West. The Longhorns will be 200 miles weary by the time they reach Douglas Avenue in downtown Ellsworth.
The long-abandoned Ellsworth Cox Cattle Trail will be used to move the cattle from Caldwell Oklahoma to Ellsworth. Four hundred head of Texas Longhorn cattle will be gathered just south of Caldwell, in Oklahoma over the weekend of September 3rd & 4th in preparation for the long drive. The drive will pass through Kingman and Ellinwood. This is as it once was when the cattle were driven along this trail to reach the shipping town of Ellsworth where cattle were moved back east on the Kansas Pacific Railroad.
As was the case during those trail drivin’ days, the trail boss will be in charge of two chuck wagons, four “cookies,” seven drovers, seven “guest” drovers, a string of horses, and, a wild herd of Longhorn cattle. There will be an opportunity this year for guest drovers to sign on with the outfit for one week or the entire three weeks.
From Sumner County Economic Development:
The route follows the old Cox Cattle Trail to the Kansas Pacific Railhead at Ellsworth. The trail was originally blazed in 1873. Modern cowboys will trail cattle on the very same route used by original drovers, bed down the cattle on historic bed grounds and camp at the very same cow camps that made the cowboy famous. The herd will cross rolling prairie and ascend a “ladder of rivers.” Each rung of the drive is marked by Fall Creek, Bluff Creek, and Sand Creek before crossing the Chikaskia River.
Each week will offer new adventures. At the South Fork of the Ninnescah River the cattle will arrive at Kingman, Kansas, on Saturday September 9th. Kingman is planning a 150th Anniversary Blow Out September 9th-11th. September 12th the herd leaves Kingman crossing the North Fork of the Ninnescah River. Antelope, Indian Run, Rattlesnake, and Salt Creeks guide the trail drivers ever northward for another five days on the trail before reaching the Arkansas River and Ellinwood, Kansas. Saturday morning, September 17th, the Kansas 150th Anniversary Cattle Drive will trail down Ellinwood’s Main Street. Ellinwood’s 150th Kansas Anniversary Celebration will be held September 17-18. The final leg of the Kansas 150th Anniversary Cattle Drive will leave Ellinwood September 19th trailing five days crossing Cow Creek, Plum Creek, and the Ox Hide, leading drovers and cattle to the Smoky Hill River and the end of the trail cattle town of Ellsworth, Kansas.
We’ll be keeping those “dogies” rollin’ for Ellsworth and the end of our drive. The old cattle town will be waiting anxiously for the cattle to arrive. Come celebrate the 150th Kansas Anniversary in true cowboy style, at the End of the Trail!
The Kansas 150th Anniversary Cattle Drive has been named one of American Cowboy Magazine’s Best of the West Top 101 Western Events. For more information contact the Trail Boss, Mike Clover, 718 Cedar Street, Kingman, Kansas, 67068. Phone 620-532-3455.
Mark your calendars, save the weekend and plan to be in Ellsworth at the “End of the Trail”.
Thanks for tuning in…