Article Image Alt Text

Courtesy photo
This extremely rare Texas Cattle Trail “Stone Corral” is located north of Imperial in rural Chase County on property now owned by John Maddux. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Chase County’s Stone Corral played big part in Texas Cattle Trail history

This story in the colorful historic past of Chase County takes us back to the mid 1870s.
The Stone Corral, built around 1874, is located 5.5 miles north of Imperial along Highway 61 on land now owned by John Maddux who operates a cow-calf cattle ranching business.
The Stone Corral was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places on Dec. 9, 2002.
During the following decade in history, thousands of Longhorn cattle were herded through southwest Nebraska to a shipping site in Ogallala and points beyond along a group of routes known as the Texas Cattle Trail.
There are only two surviving walls of this rare relic of cattle drives on the Texas Cattle Trail.
The essence of the corral’s existence bespeaks of its connection to Chase County and its importance for almost two decades of the American West.
Historical events shape local history
After the Civil War ended in 1865, a demand grew for beef in the northern states. This led to a shortage of cattle.
Texas ranchers began moving their cattle north.
The major cattle drives took place between 1874-1886, said Ted Tietjen of Grant.
Thousands of men drove millions of Longhorn cattle to shipping points as far north as Chicago.
There were a number of cattle trails that were followed to different destinations.
One of those trails entered Nebraska in Hitchcock County, angling northwest through Hayes, Chase and Perkins counties.
Beginning in 1875, the Union Pacific Railroad selected Ogallala as its main shipping point.
In Nebraska, there were seven routes of the Texas Trail.
The route through southwest Nebraska was established in 1876 when the Union Pacific Railroad moved its cattle-loading pens west to Ogallala, which then shipped the cattle to packing plants in Chicago, Maddux said.

To read more, go to:


The Imperial Republican

308-882-4453 (Phone)

308-882-5167 (Fax)

622 Broadway St

PO Box 727

Imperial, NE 69033