Marker [066]
Joseph G. McCoy
(300 Block E. Johnson St., Denison)


Livestock broker from Illinois, whose pioneering in cattle markets helped Texans rebuild the economy which had been wrecked in 1861-1865 by Civil War Cattle had increased greatly in wartime. Texas had no market; long drives were necessary, so that until Texas could get better railroads, her $5 longhorns could be sold in the North at $25 to $30 or more.

McCoy founded first adequate market for Texans, by securing cattle cars and building loading pens at the railroad in Abilene, Kansas. This was near upper end of trail started by Indian scout and trader Jesse Chisholm, and used by Texans on drives through Oklahoma and Kansas. He had part of Chisholm Trail surveyed and marked to aid cattlemen.

This was the best-known of several cattle trails from Texas over which some 10,000,000beeves were driven from the state during the years 1866-1884. The M-K-T Railroad reached Denison in Dec. 1872, giving Texas its own northbound cattle-shipping outlet. McCoy moved here 1873 and helped establish on this site the Atlantic and Texas Refrigerating Co., to benefit ranchers by shipping dressed beef.

The State of Texas owes much to the initiative, vision, courage and leadership of Joseph G. McCoy.