|Glidden, Joseph F.|
|Haywood, William "Big Bill"|
lat-kekt (Chief Joseph)
|Howard, Oliver O.|
Joseph Farwell Glidden
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.