It’s no secret that the Civil War had a major impact on the cattle industry in the U.S and especially Texas. A lot of the fighting was done in the South which left the land and the economy derelict. Cattle were left unattended during the war and became almost wild by the time it was over. In this time while left to their own devices, the cattle multiplied. In addition, the damage caused to the economy meant that people could barely afford to eat beef and demand was low.
The difference in the price of beef North and South was considerable, for example, a cow worth 40 USD in a Northern city such as Chicago, was worth just 5 USD in Texas. Cattle ranchers wanted to sell their herds up North for profit but laws at the time prohibited them from doing so. It was a quarantine law which meant that if ranchers tried to drive their herds up North they’d often be turned around. It was enforced to prevent the spread of disease, in particular Texas fever which could be passed to other animals.
Joseph Mc Coy was the man to find a way around this problem, he teamed up with the railroad companies who were keen to carry more freight. Mc Coy invested money in a town called Abilene, building a hotel, stockyard and bank and thus one of the first ‘cow towns’ came to be. Between 1867 and 1881 McCoy sent more than 2 million cattle from this ‘cow town’ to Chicago. This period became known as the ‘beef bonanza’.
The expression ‘the real McCoy’ came from Joseph McCoy and his reputation for being so reliable.
If you have any questions or queries about ranch real estate in Northern California or any of our ranch property listings, do not hesitate to contact us here or by phone, on 530-949-4241.