Chisum, John Simpson
Chisum, John Simpson(chĭz`əm), 1824–84, American cattleman, b. Tennessee. In 1837 he moved with his family to Texas. He had no formal education but worked as a builder and contractor, building the first courthouse in Paris, Tex. In 1854 he entered the cattle business; beginning in 1866, in partnership with Charles GoodnightGoodnight, Charles,
1836–1929, Texas cattleman, b. Macoupin co., Ill. He went to Texas in 1846, where he joined the Texas Rangers and became a noted scout and Indian fighter.
..... Click the link for more information. , he drove herds into New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming, selling them to government food contractors for Native American reservations. When, in 1883, he established his ranch near Roswell, N.Mex., he became one of the first cattlemen in that region, and his became one of the largest herds. He was a prominent figure in the Lincoln co. cattle war, and at one time Billy the KidBilly the Kid,
1859–81, American outlaw, b. New York City. His real name was probably Henry McCarty; he was known as William H. Bonney. His family moved to Kansas and then to New Mexico when he was a child.
..... Click the link for more information. was employed by him; however, Chisum cooperated with the authorities to end lawlessness in the cattle business.
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Chisum, John Simpson(1824–84) cattleman; born in Hardeman County, Tenn. He moved to Texas in 1837 and entered the cattle business in 1854. By 1866 he had begun to remove his ranching operations to New Mexico where he settled (1873) and took the lead in imposing law and order. At his peak, the "cattle king of America" owned 60,000–90,000 head of cattle. His role in the Lincoln County War (1878–79) is a subject of dispute.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.