Railroads & Farming
The longhorns were well suited to life in Texas, thriving on its native grass. These lean strong animals could endure hot weather as well as cold. They even ate prickly pear cacti during droughts and could survive on little water. In addition, longhorns were resistant to the cattle disease commonly called Texas Fever.
By 1902 oil prices had hit an all time low of three cents a barrel. The boom and bust at Spindletop was the first such cycle the Texas oil industry would experience.
Railroads provided a cheap way to ship cotton to national markets. This contributed to the boom in commercial cotton farming. Railroads also opened up new areas to commercial farming. Spur lines were extended off main lines into regions where cotton could be grown. Railroad companies offered lower rates for shipping cotton and built large cotton loading platforms at each railroad stop.
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