A typical cattle drive had 8-12 cowboys to care for 2,000-3,000 cattle.Cowboys usually represented many ranchers and supervised many herds on each cattle drive.Some drove their own cattle, but most hired a drover, or a cattle drive operator Cattle-herding outfits also included a trail boss, or drive leader.On a good day, the herd would move 15-18 miles.After hours in saddle( about 5:00 P.M. or later) the crew stopped for the night.The dinner menu was usually beef or pork, but sometimes included “son-of-a-gun” stew.Trail drives were difficult and often dangerous.The sunshine was hot, and water was sometimes moving fast enough to overtake a cowboy on a galloping horse.Cowboys encountered bad weather, and rustlers tried to seal the livestock.In his diary, one cowboys describe an unpleasant cattle drive.
While the oil boom boosted the state’s economic growth, it also affected Texas in many other ways. Many wildcatters who became wealthy gave generous gifts to public institutions that still influence life in Texas. The state government began to collect taxes on oil production in 1905, taking in more than $101,000 in taxes that year. By 1919 the amount of money collected from taxes on oil production rose to more than $1,000,000 ($1 million). The money that was collected was used to help fund the state government and education programs for Texas children.
Moving people and goods was time-consuming and expensive. Railroads promised cheap, fast, and reliable transportation. A 35-mile trip on horseback would take a day and a half, while a trip on a train would take less than 2 hours. It was also cheaper to ship goods by rail than by wagon. In the 1870's wagon freight rates averaged $1 for every 100 pounds shipped 100 miles, while railroad rates were less than 50 cents for the same amount over the same distance.