Date: c. 1880
Description: This brown and white, braided leather whip was once used by George G. Inman, who worked as a cattle driver during the later 19th century. Cattle drives mainly took place through the plains of Texas and the southwest, where cattle were driven across hundreds of miles to reach the railroad depots in Omaha or Kansas. Their ultimate goal was reaching the large Union Stockyards in Chicago, where cattle could then be shipped eastward. Sioux City and her stockyards were not a major part of the major cattle-driving, cowboy culture that westerns immortalize, for several reasons. One was a timing issue; drives mainly took place between 1866 and 1886, and the Sioux City stockyards did not become fully centralized until 1888. Sioux City was also too far north. The railroad hubs in Nebraska and Kansas were not only closer to the cattle farms of the South and Southwest but also serviced transcontinental lines, making shipping easier. Also, the major animals processed in the Sioux City stockyards were hogs, not cattle. But cattle drives were not unheard of in Sioux City’s earliest days. The city was still a major railroad hub, and cattle could certainly be driven into the city to the stockyards and then shipped out.
Donor: Lauree Inman-Johnson