Demand for beef in the Northeastern area of Texas outpaced supply. The region’s cattle supply had been greatly reduced by the Civil War, but in Texas the cattle supply was greater than the demand for beef. So, cattle that normally sold for $3 or $6 a head in Texas sold for $38 in Kansas or $80 in New York.
Thousands of Texans arrived looking for work in the oil industry, and among them were many young farm workers seeking a new type of work. Few women and children lived in boomtowns. Most boomtowns were dirty, crowded, and rough places to live because people were more concerned about drilling oil than city planning.
With new railroad lines, transportation was much cheaper, faster, and more reliable. For example, a 35-mile trip that would take a day and a half by horse would now take less than 2 hours by train. It was a lot cheaper to ship goods by railroad than by a wagon. The wagon freight rates averaged $1 for every 100 lbs. shipped 100 miles, while railroads rates were less than 50 cents for the same distance in the 1870’s.