A History Of Wyoming Cattle Ranching


Ranching in Wyoming started way back in the 1850s and coincided with the introduction of the railway. Ranchers were able to sell cattle valued at $5 per head at ten times that amount at a railhead.

At the end of the Civil War, there was urgent need to find a market for surplus cattle of Texas. It is believed that around 1957, the Texas cattle were driven to Illinois. About ten years later, more than forty thousand herds were transported to Louisiana and Illinois.

By the end of the 50’s the situation was starting to get out of hand. With the population of cattle quickly multiplying and no outlet in sight, herders in Texas were a worried lot.

During the 60s and 70s, a small market for the surplus cattle was found at Abilene, Ellsworth, and Wichita. Over time, more doors opened, especially to the northwest. In the 80s, the government also bought hundreds of herds to feed its army and Indian wards. All this time, the cattle being transported had to pass through Wyoming. Which is how cattle ranching in Wyoming first came to be.

Cattle Fatten Quickly On The Grasslands

One reason Wyoming became strategic to the cattle movement was its lush grasslands. Although the early cattle drives were directed toward railheads in Kansas, Northern Wyoming was found to be an excellent place to fatten the cows quickly due to the plentiful grasslands of the Northern plains. As a result, more cattle were driven from Texas to Wyoming. In 1883 alone, it is estimated that more than 260,000 herds were driven through Wyoming.

Today, there are no longer such large herds of cattle passing across Wyoming to the Northwest. However, the state remains a strategic location for people interested in cattle ranches and ranching.

Buying A Ranch Of Your Own

If you are interested in starting your own ranch and are looking for Wyoming cattle ranches for sale, contact The Brooks Companies. Helping people start their own ranches since 1969, The Brooks Companies is as part of the Wyoming ranching tradition as cattle ranching itself!

With a wide variety of parcels and a number of reasonable financing options, The Brooks Companies can help you find Wyoming cattle ranches for sale to fit your budget. Contact The Brooks Companies today and turn your dream of ranching into a reality!