ELLINWOOD — The old Ellsworth Cox Cattle Trail from Caldwell to Ellsworth, long abandoned and disused, will once again come alive from Sept. 3 to Sept. 19 as 400 thronging head of long horn cattle will be driven 200 miles to Ellsworth for the 150th Anniversary of Kansas’ birthday. After many years of only having people and cars, the Main Street of Ellinwood on Sept. 17 will echo with the sounds of hoofs and lowing cattle.
Beginning Sept. 3, the cattle will be rounded up and then head north in an authentic drive, beginning in Caldwell and passing through Kingman and Ellinwood.
The route follows the old Cox Cattle Trail blazed in 1873 to the Kansas Pacific Railroad and will be as authentic as possible with two chuckwagons, a trail boss, seven drovers, seven"guest drovers," and horses. The group will head cross-country as much as is possible.
"I think its exciting," said Ellinwood volunteer Lloyd Kurtz. "It something we ought to take advantage of. It’s an opportunity to have lots of things going on. Most kids have never seen a cattle drive"
Committees of thrilled residents have begun plans for the re-enactment.
"Whatever we want to make of it, we can," said Jacque Isern, volunteer. Ideas and plans are being brainstormed for the event, and the community met on Monday night to make plans. Those with ideas can contact the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce.
Three Ellinwood volunteer cattle drovers are needed for each week-long leg of the drive, according to Kurtz. In addition,15 inexperienced greenhorns can ride along for $2500.
The event is expected to benefit the community in many ways. All of the supplies for the drive will be purchased locally from each community.
The city will provide 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water each day for the cattle when they near Ellinwood, and the community will provide brome hay for the horses. Brome hay is a Kansas grass that is harvested in full leaf. Firewood will also need to be provided.
For the cowboys, the life on the drive will be authentic. They will sleep on the ground an pull shifts to watch the herd, like it was really done.
In addition, Flying W Productions in Colorado will provide western artists for each of the four communities using Kansas singers. Each event will be ticketed. Ellinwood is considering holding the concert in Ellinwood High School.
The animals will be well take care of. Sick or lame animals are transported out daily by truck daily to first aid.
The event is expected to benefit the community in many ways. All of the supplies for the drive will be purchased locally from each community.;Lloyd explaned that cattle are just like humans, leaders will begin to develop and the other cattle will follow them. The cattle will all be yearlings.
The city will provide 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water each day for the cattle. The community will have to provide brome hay for the horses. Brome hay is a Kansas grass that is harvested in full leaf.
For the cowboy’s the life on the drive will be authentic. They will sleep on the ground an pull shifts to watch the herd, like it was really done.