Tag: Linda Hubalek

Longhorn Leader by Linda Hubalek

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I’ve been researching for my next book, Tina Tracks a Trail Boss, book eight in my Brides with Grit series, and needed more information about the cattle breed which traveled from Texas to Kansas
along the Chisholm Trail.The Longhorns by J Frank Dobie (1)

A friend loaned me his 1941 copy of The Longhorns by J. Frank Dobie, and I found it to be a fascina
ting read.

Besides details of the actual animal and the trails they took back in the 1800s, there are stories, which made the book really enjoyable to me. One of my favorite chapters is about a lead steer named “Old Blue”. Born in Texas in 1870, he walked his first trail at three years of age to New Mexico.

The next year Charlie Goodnight bought Old Blue, who was in a group of five thousand head driven to Pueblo, Colorado. Goodnight realized the steer’s potential and the longhorn wasn’t sold, but stayed with the home herd on the Goodnight Ranch.

In 1876, Goodnight decided to move back to Texas and Old Blue lead the herd. Over the next eight years, Old Blue kept leading herds, sometimes twice a year, to Dodge City. When the drive was over, he’d travel back to Texas with the horse remuda and drivers.

Old Blue was always be the pointer animal, and the herd learned to follow the sound of his bell. Attached to the bell was a little strap to tie up the clapper so it would stay quiet at night. Old Blue would let a cowboy tie up the clapper at night, and release it in the morning when the herd was ready to move.

The longhorn became a pet, walking right up to the camp to eat bread, apples, or whatever the cook would give him. He preferred to bed down with the horses instead of the herd. The steer faced storms, Indian raids and buffalo stampedes, and lived to be twenty years old.

This is the kind of research which makes interesting background for the writer’s imagination, and for the reader. So, be sure to look for the lead longhorn steer in my next book, because he’ll be leading the herd to Ellsworth, Kansas in 1873.

Here’s the Brides with Grit series so far.

Brides with Grit 8

Please note: Rania Ropes a Rancher is free right now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and iTunes, so be sure to add it to your e-reader.

Today I’ll give a Kindle ebook copy of the seventh book, Darcie Desires a Drover to a lucky winner.

Here’s the story line for Darcie Desires a Drover, book seven.

A historical romance set in 1873. Darcie Robbins fled St. Louis to protect her two children from their bad father. Now divorced, she’s temporarily working on the Bar E Ranch in central Kansas. She needs a permanent job—or a trustworthy husband—to help provide for her family.

Reuben Shepard went home to his family in New York after the Civil War, to find his wife had declared him dead—so she could wed another. In shock, Reuben didn’t contest her claim and wandered south, spending years as a cattle drover on western trails until settling down to work on the Bar E Ranch.

Spending time with Darcie’s toddler, Tate, makes Reuben miss his own son, Gabe. Reuben travels to New York, hoping to visit his son, and ends up bringing Gabe back to the Kansas because the boy’s step-father had just died.

When Reuben proposes marriage to Darcie for their children’s sake, the couple falls in love as they learn to trust and support each other while planning for their future. But their wedding is stalled when Reuben’s former wife arrives, stating she and Reuben are still married.

What’s the truth and what’s best for the children is their concern now instead of a wedding date. How can they clear the past so they can have a future together?

To get the chance to win Darcie Desires a Drover, please comment on…If you could travel with a cattle drive back in 1873, what would be your favorite, and least favorite thing about the trip?

longhorn herd

About the Author

Linda writes historical fiction and sweet western romance books aboutLindaHubalek_TheBridalCrown_800 pioneer women who homesteaded in Kansas between 1854 to the early 1900s, often using her Swedish immigrant ancestors in the storyline.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.LindaHubalek.com.to hear about the release of future books, contests and more. In return, you’ll get her free Brides with Grit short story, The Bridal Crown. Linda loves to connect with her readers, so please contact her through one of these social media sites.

Author website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page

Welcome Guest – Linda Hubalek!!

Linda_HubalekLilly: Bride of Illinois,

What does the Union Stockyards in Chicago, have to do with a mail-order bride story set in 1890?

I needed a place in Illinois, where a woman from Massachusetts, could meet a man from Kansas. While doing research, I found out the American Horse Show was held in The Yards on Nov. 1-8, 1890 (125 years ago!). The setting and dates were perfect for my contribution, Lilly: Bride of Illinois, book twenty-one, in the American Mail-Order Bride Series, which debuted Dec. 9th. This book is a spin-off of my Brides with Grit Series featuring one of Pastor and Kaitlyn Reagan’s boys, Seth, as an adult.

The Union Stockyards was established in 1865 and became the point where livestock raised in the west, were shipped and processed. Then the meat was shipped on to the Eastern States. (This is where the Texas cattle were shipped to after arriving in the Kansas cow towns.)

Union_stock_yards_chicago_1870s_locThis color lithograph was made by Charles Rascher, and published by Walsh & Co., c1878.

Caption below title on lithograph: Packing houses in the distance. Covered pens for hogs and sheep; open pens for cattle. Area of yards, 75 acres; 50 miles railroad tracks. Daily capacity: 25,000 head cattle, 160,000 hogs, 10,000 sheep, and 1,000 horses.

A tidbit from Wikipedia: Processing two million animals yearly by 1870, in two decades the number rose to nine million by 1890. Between 1865 and 1900, approximately 400 million livestock were butchered within the confines of the Yards. By the start of the 20th century, the stockyards employed 25,000 people and produced 82 percent of the domestic meat consumed nationally.

Eventually, the expanded 375-acre site had 2300 separate livestock pens, but closed in 1971.

 

Lilly-Bride-of-IllinoisHere’s the story line for Lilly: Bride of Illinois.

Lilly Lind was forced to emigrate from Sweden two years ago, due to circumstances beyond her control. She finds a job as a garment maker in the Brown Textile Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, finally feeling as though she is settling in her new country. Then a suspicious fire burns the mill, making Lilly seek another way to survive. She answers a mail–order bride ad in the Grooms’ Gazette and sets off for Chicago, believing she will be a business owner’s wife.

Kansas rancher Seth Reagan travels to the Union Stockyards in Chicago to attend the 1890 American Fat Stock Show, the American Horse Show, and to purchase horseflesh to augment his herd. When arriving at the train station, he overhears a conversation between a young woman and a shady–looking man. Seth becomes concerned for the mail–order bride who is whisked away to a saloon, not to her new husband’s home.

When Seth goes to the saloon to check on the young woman, he finds her in trouble and offers to help her escape. While buying horses and arranging their return travel to Kansas, Seth realizes he would like to bring Lilly home with him, too, but she is still being hunted by the saloon owner’s thugs.

Lilly’s good fortune in meeting Seth makes her want to start a life with this man, but he came to Illinois for horses, not a bride. Would he want her after he learns of her secrets?

 

I’m giving away a Kindle version of Lilly to someone who comments on…If you could visit Chicago, what would you like to do and see there?

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The American Mail-Order Brides Series is a joint venture with 45 total authors representing all 50 states. On fifty consecutive days beginning November 19, 2015, a romance will be published featuring a mail order bride, one set in each of the fifty states and released in the order the states were admitted to the union. The stories all take place in 1890, when a factory fire in the East burns to the ground, leaving these women unemployed. These women answer mail-order bride ads in the Grooms’ Gazette, and then head out to find their groom.

To see the other books in this series, head over to the American Mail-Order Brides Website.

About the Author

Linda writes historical fiction and sweet western romance books about pioneer women who homesteaded in Kansas between 1854 to the early 1900s, often using her Swedish immigrant ancestors in the storyline.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.LindaHubalek.com.to hear about the release of future books, contests and more. Linda loves to connect with her readers, so please contact her through one of these social media sites.

Author website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page

Linda Hubalek Introduces Brides With Grit

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Linda_HubalekHello from the Kansas prairie! I’m honored to be a guest blogger on Petticoats and Pistols today, because this site features a group of authors I’ve admired for a long time.

 

Today I’m blogging about my new historical romance series, Brides with Grit. Set in the Ellsworth, Kansas area during 1873, the town’s top cattle drive year, these sweet western romances combine sweet clean love stories with cowtown history.

 

I also live close, so it was handy for me to explore the area, and envision the vast herds of cattle that dotted the hills almost a century and a half ago.
Ellsworth-1873One can find a vast amount of information on the internet about the cattle drives which went through Kansas in the 1870’s. Here’s some interesting tidbits, written by F. B Streeter in 1935, for an article in the Kansas Historical Quarterly.
As a means of advertising the new trail and the shipping points on the line, the Kansas Pacific issued a pamphlet and map entitled, Guide Map of the Great Texas Cattle Trail from Red River Crossing to the Old Reliable Kansas Pacific Railway. The writer has located only two editions of this pamphlet: one issued in 1872, the other in 1875. To quote from the 1875 edition:


Drovers are recommended to make Ellis, Russell, Wilson’s, Ellsworth and Brookville the principal points for their cattle for the following reasons: Freedom from petty annoyances of settlers, arising from the cattle trespassing upon cultivated fields, because there is wider range, an abundance of grass and water, increased shipping facilities and extensive yard accommodations. Large and commodious hotels may be found in all these places, and at Ellsworth, especially, the old “Drovers’ cottage,” so popular with the trade for years, will be found renovated and enlarged.

Drovers Cottage-1872

 

Ellsworth became the principal shipping point for Texas cattle on the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1872. The first three droves of longhorns that season arrived in Ellsworth early in June. These droves numbered 1,000 head each. Two weeks later a total of twenty-eight herds, numbering from 1,000 to 6,000 head each, had arrived and many more were on the way. The fresh arrivals contained a total of 58,850 head of longhorns. These, together with over 40,000 head which had wintered in the county, made a total of more than 100,000 head of Texas cattle in Ellsworth county. 


That season 40,161 head were transported from Ellsworth, or one fourth of the total number marketed over the Kansas Pacific…Besides those shipped by rail from Ellsworth, about 50,000 head were driven to California and the territories from that place. In the months of June and July more than 100,000 head of beef and stock cattle changed hands at Ellsworth. Drovers found buyers on their arrival, enabling them to close out at a good price and return to their homes.

 

The prices paid for cattle that season were as follows: $19 to $22 for beeves; $15 to $18 for three-year-olds; $9 to $10 for two-year olds; $12 for cows; and $6 for yearlings.
My first thought on reading this? Wow! That’s a lot of cattle to surround the little town.
My second? Dust, manure and flies…and a good setting for a western romance…
cattle drive

The first three books in the eight book series are available now on Amazon, and more titles will be released during the year. Here’s the titles and taglines for the first five books.

brides wit grit-wood frame

Rania Ropes a Rancher – Book 1

She can ride, rope, handle livestock and children—and he wants her as his ranch wife. But will danger rip them apart, or rope them together?

Millie Marries a Marshal – Book 2

This mail-order bride arrives to find out her groom has died! So, she moves into the town marshal’s house—and into his heart.

Hilda Hogties a Horseman – Book 3

She bought his homestead out from under him with her horse race winnings…and now he wants it back.

Cora Captures a Cowboy – Book 4

She has just days to convince the cowboy into marrying her, or its back to Boston as another man’s bride.”

Sarah Snares a Soldier – Book 5

She leaves her groom at the altar, because there’s a soldier who has snared her heart. But can she catch him as he marches away?

* * *

Sound interesting? I’ve had fun writing these stories, so I hope you’ll enjoy reading them too—without having to worry about the dust, manure and flies…
What’s your first thought when you hear the words “cattle drive?”

Please leave a comment for a chance to win one of two Kindle copies of Rania Ropes a Rancher.
Many thanks from the Kansas prairie…
where I’m writing love stories for you to enjoy

Linda Hubalek

Website | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

Linda_HubalekLinda K. Hubalek lives in Kansas and writes endearing historical fiction and romance stories about the strong pioneer women who homesteaded on the Kansas prairie during the 1800’s.

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015