Drift Fence

Drift Fence (HM1D2A)

Location: Stinnett, TX 79083 Hutchinson County
Country: United States of America

N 35° 57.037', W 101° 23.939'

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Famed cattleman Charles Goodnight established one ofthe first ranches in the Texas Panhandle, the JA ranch, in 1876. Later that year Thomas S. Bugbee established the first cattle ranch in Hutchinson County.

As a result of soaring beef prices cattle ranchingproliferated in this region of the U.S. in the 1880s. The Texas Panhandle, with its open range and expansive grasslands became the preferred winter grazing site for cattle migrating south from Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. This seasonal influx of cattle disrupted the practice of area ranchers who went to great lengths to respect adjacent ranch boundaries.

Members of the Panhandle Stock Association pooled theirresources and in 1882-85 erected barbed wire barriersalong a 200-mile stretch of the Panhandle includingHutchinson County to prevent cattle from drifting southinto the fertile Canadian River valley.

The "Drift Fence" worked too well in the winters of 1886 and 1887 when thousands of cattle moving south ahead of strong storms stalled at the fence line and froze or were trampled to death. The staggering losses prompted federal and state legislation which limited fencing on public lands and the "Drift Fence" was removed or incorporated into private ranch fencing.
Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995
Marker is property of the State of Texas
HM NumberHM1D2A
Marker Number1286
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 11:37pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 283630 N 3981131
Decimal Degrees35.95061667, -101.39898333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 57.037', W 101° 23.939'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 57' 2.22" N, 101° 23' 56.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)806
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 199 Co Rd H, Stinnett TX 79083, US
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