Chisholm Trail

The Case:

In the decades following the Civil War, more than six million cattle were herded from Texas to the railhead in Kansas in one of the greatest known migrations of animals in the United States.

These 19th-century cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail only lasted twenty years, but had tremendous impact across the country: it lifted Texas out of post-Civil War poverty, provided much-needed affordable beef to the Northeast, and gave birth to the classic American cowboy legend.

In the small town of Donna, Texas, near the Mexican border, a historic marker declares that the famous trail ran through this area, yet many dispute the idea that the trail ever made it this far south. Is the marker another bit of famed Texas bravado or misguided history?  A local historian wants to set the record straight.

History Detectives heads deep into the heart of Texas to help solve a local mystery and shed light on this lively chapter in American history.

Discuss this story

Season 4, Episode 1

Elyse Luray Location:
Donna, Texas

Texas Land Office Maps

Related Content


This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.


blog comments powered by Disqus