Early Days of Tanque Verde Ranch

March 3, 2010

By Bob Cote

In 1868, when Emilio Carrillo settled at the Tanque Verde, the Arizona Cattle Industry was just beginning to re-establish itself. The start of the Civil War in 1861 forced the withdrawal of all federal troops from the Arizona Territory and the Apache soon resumed their raids against the outlying ranches that were established shortly after the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. With the end of the war, federal troops returned to Arizona and began taking control of the ranching communities. By 1869 there were more than 2000 troops stationed in 14 military posts throughout Arizona. And, by the end of the Apache uprising in the mid-1880’s, nearly one half of all federal line troops were stationed in Arizona.

Carrillo’s timing for the settlement of the Tanque Verde could not have been better. The Gold Rush in California created an active market for beef and the coming of the railroad to Tucson opened a huge market. In addition, the vagaries of drought and weather in Texas and California spurred a burgeoning industry.

However, as is often the case, the Arizona ranchers grew their herds to such an extent that by 1890 there were upwards of over 1 1/2 million head of cattle in Arizona. Carrillo, however, was fortunate in that the Tanque Verde was well watered with adequate range. Nonetheless, the overstocking of rangeland and the severe drought of 1891-1892 forced the closure of many ranches in Southern Arizona.

Those that survived learned well from the crisis the need for proper fencing to allow for herd rotation and for selective breeding for a more quality based herd. Today our cattle ranch, some 60,000 acres on the Coronado National Forest just to the east of us, maintains this dedication to productive rotation and selective stock breeding. A more scientific approach to the management of our cattle operation has produced long term benefits to the land and its use.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Early Days of Tanque Verde Ranch”

  1. Liz Kanter Groskind Says:

    Glad to see Bob blogging. Thank you for the historic context and information. Look forward to learning more.

    • TVR Staff Says:

      Hi Liz! I will pass your words on to Bob. Just this morning I was teaching him to find the blog site. I think he was proud to be “published” there. I will begin posting blogs several times a week. Look forward to your comments, suggestions, ideas. Best, Roni


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: