Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Goodnight, Loving!

September 25th, 1867

https://www.tshaonline.org/images/handbook/entries/Oliver Loving
Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Loving, Oliver

On this day in 1867, legendary cattleman Oliver Loving died of gangrene at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Loving was born in Kentucky in 1812 and came to Texas in 1843. By 1855 he had moved to the future Palo Pinto County, where he ran a country store and ranched. In 1866, having heard about the probable need for cattle at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where some 8,000 Indians had been settled on a reservation, Loving gathered a herd, combined it with that of Charles Goodnight, and began a long drive to the fort. Their route later became known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail, although it had been used by other cattlemen. In the spring of 1867 the partners began a new drive, on which Loving received his fatal wound in an Indian attack. Before Loving died Goodnight assured him that his wish to be buried in Texas would be carried out. After a temporary burial at Fort Sumner, while Goodnight drove the herd on to Colorado, Goodnight had Loving's body exhumed and carried home. Stories differ as to who accompanied the body back to Weatherford, but he was reburied there in Greenwood Cemetery on March 4, 1868.

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