Goodnight, Charles

Goodnight, Charles,

1836–1929, Texas cattleman, b. Macoupin co., Ill. He went to Texas in 1846, where he joined the Texas RangersTexas Rangers,
mounted fighting force organized (1835) during the Texas Revolution. During the republic they became established as the guardians of the Texas frontier, particularly against Native Americans. The Texas Rangers at first consisted of three companies of 25 men each.
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 and became a noted scout and Indian fighter. He was later a pioneer in cattle ranching in New Mexico and Colorado and in 1866 laid out the Goodnight cattle trail from Texas to Wyoming, later extended (1875) to Colorado. In 1877, in partnership with John Adair, he established in the Texas Panhandle the J A Ranch of nearly 1 million acres (404,700 hectares), on which he maintained about 100,000 head of cattle. He improved his herds by crossing shorthorns and Herefords with the native longhorns. By crossing bison and Polled Angus cattle he produced the first herd of cattalo. He also bred bison and is thereby credited with preserving the remnant of the South Plains herd. In 1880 he organized the Panhandle Stockmen's Association, which suppressed lawlessness and introduced purebred cattle.


See biography by J. E. Haley (1949).

Goodnight, Charles

(1836–1929) cattleman; born in Macoupin County, Ill. He was a guide and scout in Texas, where he served with the Texas Rangers during the Civil War. He pioneered the movement of cattle ranching into New Mexico (1866) and established the Goodnight and the New Goodnight trails. With John Adair he developed the JA Ranch in Texas (100,000 head of cattle on one million acres) and crossed Angus cattle with buffalo to produce the cattalo. He remained the dominant figure in western Texas until his death.