Dedication of GWT Marker at Cow Creek Ranch

Jeff and Ashlee Miller hosted dignitaries, guests and descendants of pioneers for a dedication ceremony for the Great Western Trail marker at their Cow Creek Ranch this past Wednesday.  Jim Aneff, Past Governor of Rotary International of Abilene, read a proclamation declaring the GWT marker as official. Rotarian and author Sylvia Gann Mahoney was in attendance, as she has been to each dedication ceremony of markers from Mexico to Canada.  (Mahoney will be speaking on Saturday, April 27th from 10 am-12 pm at the Tillman Room.)  Following the reading of the proclamation by Aneff, the marker was christened with water from the creek that runs through Cow Creek Ranch. Mahoney, Danyelle Hemphill, Ashlee and Jeff Miller and their daughter Braylin all took a turn in christening the marker.  

Visitors were first treated to a great meal worthy of the occasion consisting of beef, potatoes and other 'fixins.'  Homemade desserts rounded out the meal.  Following the meal, the group drove back to the ranch entrance where the Great Western Trail marker is located.  After the reading of the proclamation and christening of the marker, photos were taken of several groups.  The Coleman Today Photo Album attached contains pictures from the day. Please download, save and share! 

The 1st Annual Great Western Trail Days takes place this weekend in Coleman.  The CALENDAR page of the Coleman Today website has activities for each day listed for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 26-28th.  

Proclamation

Whereas, the Great Western Trail, 1874 to 1893, the largest, longest, and last of two post-Civil War cattle trails, delivered some seven-million head of cattle and horses more than two-thousand miles north from its origins in Mexico and South Texas; and

Whereas, the Great Western Trail provided South Texas and northern Mexico longhorns and horses to two new economically significant major markets: fulfill government contracts for the military and reservations and to stock vast new open-range ranch land in northern states and Canada, and to continue supplying beef for eastern markets; and

Whereas, these historic drives lifted Texas from the economic ruin of the Civil War, helped establish ranching and the cattle industry from Mexico to Canada bringing economic recovery and sewing the seeds of the legend and lore of the cowboy; and

Whereas, the Vernon Rotary Club accepted Oklahoma's gift of the first trail marker, a seven-foot white concrete post with Great Western Trail in red letters, and accepted their challenge to mark the trail across twenty counties in Texas; and

Whereas, the Vernon Rotary Club's Centennial Project grew to marking the Great Western Trail from its origins in Tamaulipas, Mexico, and South Texas north to Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and into Saskatchewan, Canada, with posts serving as tangible symbols of friendship and the cooperative spirit in preserving and promoting our shared cattle trail heritage across international borders of three countries, a project recognized as one of the most amazing public history research projects in America; and

Whereas, the 1965 Texas Tech University archivist and historian Jimmy M. Skaggs' thesis, accredited as the definitive academic study, was used to mark the 2,000-mile trail that has been acknowledged as one of the longest cattle trails in the world; and

Whereas, legislation has been proposed in the U.S. Congress to designate the Great Western Trail, among others, as National Historic Trails.

I, Jim Aneff, Texas Past Rotary District 5790 Governor 2005-2006, Sylvia Gann Mahoney and Jeff Bearden, co-chairs, Rotary Marking the Great Western Trail from Mexico to Canada, ask all attending the 2019 "Great Western Trail Post Dedication" at Cow Creek Ranch, Coleman, Texas, Coleman Rotary Club, Rotarians and others in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Saskatchewan, Canada and Matamoros, Mexico, to join us in expressing gratitude to Cow Creek Ranch owners, Ashlee and Jeff Miller and Tom and Vivian Miller, descendants of J.P. Morris, founder of the ranch and other ranches with GWT gold.

Signed by:

  • Jim Aneff, Abilene, TX, Texas Past Rotary District 5790 Governor
  • Sylvia Gann Mahoney, Fort Worth, TX, Co-chair, Marking the Great Western Trail from Mexico to Canada
  • Jeff Bearden, Vernon, TX, Co-chair, Marking the Great Western Trail from Mexico to Canada.