Cowboys, Trail Boss, ShCVB board and staff receive medallions
Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau (ShCVB) Executive Director Donna Price presented Great Western Cattle Drive commemorative medallions to Trail Boss Ken Klemm, cowboys Tim Barnett, Jake Anderson and Josh Dorn. Cowboys John Boyington, Austin and Colter Klemm, Casey Whitmire, Jim and Hunter House were unable to attend the Tuesday, Jan. 5, presentation. Presentation was held in ShCVB’s office.
The first Great Western Cattle Drive was held July 4, 2015, at Homestead Ranch northwest of Edson.
Dorn spoke for the cowboys. He said the cattle drive enabled visitors to see what cowboys really do. He appreciated the opportunity to show the public a little of what a cowboy’s life is like.
Klemm then presented medallions to ShCVB board and staff. He thanked ShCVB for its work to promote the cattle drive. He wanted to honor the cowboys who volunteered their time, tack and horses for the cattle drive by giving them a commemorative medallion. “Our 2015 drive was a great success with about 200 people attending.” Some came from as far as Salina and Lexington, Neb. He intends to offer more living history opportunities at the 2016 cattle drive. He said that he and the cowboys have already laid out the 2016 drive course.
“We were pleased and excited to help promote the first Great Western Cattle Drive. We were so happy to see all those outside visitors who came to Sherman County to enjoy it,” Price said. “It’s always exciting to see our local people understanding the power of outside visitors and working to bring them to Sherman County. We benefit not only from the dollars they bring in, but also from teaching them about our history, culture, and rural life.”
Price predicted that the cattle drive’s attendance would continue to grow in future years. “Everybody who helped put on the event deserves great praise for the planning and work that made the event so successful,” she said.
The cattle drive’s Facebook group page is called Great Western Cattle Trail. Follow that page for more information about the 2016 drive. Klemm plans to design a new medallion annually. Start your collection with the 2015 medallion by sending a message to Great Western Trail Facebook group. Only a few are left, so please act quickly.
Going back in time at Homestead Ranch
Homestead Ranch was the site of Bray Post Office on the Great Western Cattle Trail’s Wallace Branch. Elijah Bray’s post office northeast of present-day Goodland was the first place cowboys could send and receive mail on the trail north of Dodge City. The Wallace Branch was the final cattle trail route through Kansas and points north. Because of Kansas quarantine laws, the trails passed ever westward. The Wallace Branch was created in 1882 and used from 1882-85. In 1885, Kansas Legislature quarantined the entire state to prevent Texas fever from spreading from Texas cattle to the homesteaders’ cattle. Great Western Cattle Trail is currently under National Park Service consideration as a National Historic Trail.