The great beef-cattle industry of the American West was not born full grown beyond the Mississippi. It had its antecedents in the upper South, the Midwest, and the Ohio Valley, where many Texas cattlemen learned their trade. In this book Mr. Henlein tells the story of the cattle kingdom of the Ohio Valley—a kingdom which encompassed the Bluegrass region in Kentucky and the valleys of the Scioto, Miami, Wabash, and Sangamon in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
The book begins with the settlement of the Ohio Valley, by emigration from the South and East, in the latter part of the eighteenth century; it ends with the westward movement of the cattlemen, this time to Missouri and the plains, toward the end of the nineteenth century. Mr. Henlein describes the intricate pattern of agricultural activities which grew into a successful system of producing and marketing cattle; the energetic upbreeding and extensive importations which created the great blooded herds of the Ohio Valley; and the relations of the cattlemen with the major cattle markets.
An interesting part of this story is the chapter which tells how the cattlemen of the Ohio Valley, between 1805 and 1855, drove their fat cattle over the mountains to the eastern markets, and how these long drives, like the more famous Texas drives of a later day, disappeared with the advent of the railroads. This well-documented study is an important contribution to the history of American agriculture.