This is not my line but thought it might be of interest to some of you. This is from an article entitled “Trail-driving through Oklahoma” by Leo Kelley. It was in the Sunday March 18, 2001 edition of the “Ada Evening News” here in Ada, OK. It is about establishing the western trail for driving cattle from Texas to Dodge City, KS.
A Confederate veteran named Lewis Warren Neatherlin was one of the trail drivers who accepted the challenge of blazing this new trail. Neatherlin was unique because he recorded his thoughts each day in his journal. This journal was recently discovered in an old, dusty trunk near Dunkin, NM by Neatherlin’s granddaughter, Opal Lee. She donated the journal to the “Museum of the Western Prairie”, an Oklahoma Historical Society facility located at Altus, OK.
Lewis Neatherlin was born in Hinds County, MS in 1833. His parents Soloman and Elizabeth Neatherlin relocated their family to Frio County, Texas in 1850. It was in this locale that Neatherlin’s cousin John H. Slaughter maintained a large ranching operation. Slaughter gained fame as a Confederate soldier, Texas Ranger, cattle rancher, and sheriff of Tombstone, Arizona.
In 1876 Slaughter prepared to drive his cattle to Dodge City and beyond. The longhorns were so numerous that three different herds were formed. Neatherlin was delegated the responsibility of the entire operation. This drive is chronicled in his journal. The previous year he had “bossed” a herd to Kansas over the Chisholm Trail.