Gary Kraisinger, who enjoys studying antique maps and creating his own maps, drew over eighty maps for the Kraisingers’ first book, The Western, the Greatest Texas Cattle Trail.
Those maps consisted mostly of township maps, showing the section, range, and township and location of the Western Cattle Trail across western Kansas and southwestern Nebraska. Also published at the time of the book, were two poster-size maps showing the entire routes of the Western Cattle Trail—across western Kansas and across southwestern Nebraska.
After the publication of the 2004 book, friends asked Gary about a map of their state of Texas. “Surely, Gary, you can create a map for us?” It took one year, but in 2006, the “Map of Central Texas Showing the Location of the Western Cattle Trail,” was created by Gary and printed by the Mennonite Press. It shows feeder routes going into the trunk line of the Western Trail at San Antonio and Bandera. That trunk line continues on north to the Red River at Doan’s Crossing. At the same time, the couple published the “Map of North of Ogallala Showing the Location of the Western Cattle Trail.” This map shows the trunk line of the Western Trail going north out of Ogallala, Nebraska, and continuing north into Wyoming and Montana territories. A branch of the trail is also mapped through the Dakotas, going past the Black Hills and as far north as Fort Buford. Both of these 24 inch by 36 inch maps are available in our shop.
While researching for their second volume on the Western Cattle Trail, Gary and Margaret decided it was time to design a map for each of the four cattle trail systems that came north out of Texas. To see and understand the full picture about the cattle-trailing industry from its beginning to end, one needs to see the movement of the trails, from the earliest to the last. In other words, to understand the Western Trail, one needs to know about its predecessors. Most of the time, these different trail systems are put on one map, showing the trunk lines and branches side by side, causing a very congested map, not to mention a confusing display. (This was done on page 23 of the couple’s first book.) Each system deserves a map to show the entire trunk line and its branches. Therefore, in 2010, a four-map series was published:
#1 – The Shawnee Trail System (1846-1875);
#2 – The Goodnight Trail System (1866-1885);
#3 – The Eastern/Chisholm Trail System (1867-1889);
#4 – The Western Trail System (1874-1897).
These maps are 24 inches by 36 inches and are ready for framing. The four system maps will also appear in the forefront and back-end pages of the new book.