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 in full.

In 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.

Somewhere 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.

Others were driving cattle to the east and those areas of relative safety at the time, but it was Oliver Loving who pioneered the more dangerous plan of driving herds through hundreds of miles of Indian