GEORGE JACKSON SQUIRES
George was born in Watertown, New York December 5, 1828. He moved to Illinois in 1853. The following year he, his wife and her brother, John J. Bent, traveled to Texas. They went by rail to Cairo and then by boat to New Orleans. Ending their journey near Houston, George amassed a herd of about 500 Longhorns.
These cattle were driven north through today's Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, crossing the Mississippi River at Hannibal. Mrs. Squires drove some type of wagon along with the drive and may have been the first woman to have done so. The drive ended near Aurora, but the exact spot is in dispute. One source said it was at the Squires farm near present day Riverside, but that seems too far from Aurora which they claimed as home. Another possibility is a thousand acre piece of grassland near Montgomery that the Burlington Railroad kept for the specific purpose of pasturing stock prior to sale. Wherever they were kept, the cattle were rested and fattened before being driven to Chicago and sold.
That apparently was George's only foray into the cattle driving business. He kept a farm near Aurora and that is where he died January 6, 1900.
In a newspaper article George's daughter claimed his was the first Texas herd brought into Illinois. Among the first for sure, but others were earlier.
The Chisholm Trail – Don Worcester – 1980
The Texas Longhorn – Don Worcester – 1987
Southwestern Historical Quarterly #42 – January, 1939
Aurora Beacon-News – various editions
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