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Eaton, Fred
Field, Marshall
Fletcher, Alice
Gall
Gibbon, John
Gilpin, William
Glidden, Joseph F.
Goodnight, Charles
Haywood, William "Big Bill"
Hin-mah-too-yah-
lat-kekt (Chief Joseph)
Houston, Sam
Howard, Oliver O.
I-R
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Joseph Farwell Glidden

(1813-1906)

A native of New Hampshire, Joseph Glidden was an Illinois farmer when he developed a commonplace product that would transform the West: barbed wire.

Before this innovation, settlers on the treeless plains had no easy way to fence livestock away from cropland, and ranchers had no way to prevent their herds from roaming far and wide. Patented in 1874, Glidden’s barbed wire opened the plains to large-scale farming, and closed the open range, bringing the era of the cowboy and the round-up to an end. With his partner, Isaac L. Ellwood, Glidden formed the Barb Fence Company of De Kalb, Illinois, and quickly became one of the wealthiest men in the nation. He died in De Kalb in 1906.


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