First Western Cattle Trail Book Published

Once it was decided that the many years of research on the Western Cattle Trail really needed to be put in a book, Gary and Margaret committed to working on the project every possible moment. Each was still working full time and blocks of time was not easily attainable. Margaret likes to tell this story: Gary, at the onset of the project, commented, “Oh, this shouldn’t take long. All the research is done. We should be able to do this in a few months.” Seven years later, after eight drafts, the manuscript was finally presented to Mennonite Press of Newton for printing. The couple equate the planning of a book to that of building a house from the ground up. Every word, picture, and map had to be scrutinized. After the initial printing, three proofs were required—where the authors read the copy word by word. (And still there are typo errors in the final copy.)

Gary and Margaret hold first printed page of book at press.

Margaret and Gary Kraisinger stand in front of the large printer at Mennonite Press in Newton, Kansas.
After years of research, writing, and creating maps, the couple hold the first sheet of their book to come off the printer.
April, 2004

After the book was printed, it was sent off to the bindery. An embossed hardcover was created; the pages were folded, cut, and stitched; and a dustcover was added. A total of 5,000 books were ordered. Because of the size of the book (9″ by 12″), each book weighing four and one half pounds, the delivery of books in July came in on eleven pallets. Gary and Margaret were so excited to see the end product. Margaret also said, “We are never going to do that again!”

Gary And Margaret on Palettes of Books

Gary and Margaret sit on top of the pallets that hold their new book, The Western, the Greatest Texas Cattle Trail, 1874-1886.
A ladder had to be used to reach the top of the stack. July, 2004 Mennonite Press, Inc., Newton, Kansas

Author of The Western: The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail 1874-1886
Member of the Great Western Cattle Assoc. & Fort Dodge/Cimarron Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Assoc.
Owner of The Old Hardware Store in Halstead, KS