Probably the best known rancher in Texas, Colonel Charles Goodnight established the first large Panhandle ranch in 1876. At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the Confederate States Army. After the war he became involved in the herding of feral Texas Longhorn cattle northward from West Texas to the railroads. In 1866, he and Oliver Loving drove their first herd of cattle northward along what would become known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail. After Loving’s death, Goodnight and Chisum extended the trail from New Mexico to Colorado, and eventually to Wyoming. In addition to raising cattle in 1876, the Goodnights preserved a herd of native plains bison that year, which is said to survive to this day in Caprock Canyons State Park. Bison of this herd were introduced into the Yellowstone National Park in 1902 and into the larger zoos and ranches throughout the nation.
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