of the union in 1845.
Loving was the force behind many of the earlier cattle drives, long before the
Glory Days of the Cowboy. Because his death came so far before the heyday of the
cattle kings and the big drives that came later, his story has never been told
the 1850 Collin County Census we find him at age 38 with his wife Susan and 7
children. Here he was a farmer and,
to feed his growing family, hauled freight. He didnít start the interest in
cattle until 1857 when he moved to the panhandle.
By 1855 the Lovings had
moved to the future Palo Pinto county, where they ran a country store near
Keechi Creek and ranched. The first
assessment roll of Palo Pinto County, taken in 1857, listed Loving with 1,000
acres of land.
along about that time, Loving took notice of the vast herds of wild Spanish
cattle roaming the whole of Texas. He
capitalized on this resource early, and he began moving herds to the east. In
1857 he entrusted his nineteen-year-old son, William, to drive his and his
neighbors' cattle to Illinois up the Shawnee Trail. The drive made a profit of thirty-six dollars a head and
encouraged Loving to repeat the trek successfully the next year with John Durkee.
He successfully moved herds to Shreveport and New Orleans, at that time
the only safe markets for Texas cattle. Fierce tribes of Indians controlled all
the areas west and north of the Texas settlements.