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Marysville presentation explores early days of ranching

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The Pony Express Barn & Museum in Marysville, Kansas, will host “Head ‘Em Up and Move ‘Em Out,” a presentation and discussion by Jim Gray at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.

The museum is located at 106 S. Eighth St.

Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact the Pony Express Barn & Museum at 785-562-3825 for more information. The program is made possible by Humanities Kansas.

Free admission to the museum will begin at 1 p.m., and the museum is open from 1-4 p.m. that day.

The early days of ranching and trail driving required stamina and determination. The drover of yesteryear had little choice but to face the elements placed before him if he was to get his wild cattle to market. This presentation will explore how today’s massive beef industry owes its beginnings to the men and women who were bold enough to “head ‘em up and move ‘em out.”

Jim Gray is a sixth-generation Kansan who co-founded the COWBOY (Cockeyed Old West Band Of Yahoos) Society to promote and preserve Kansas’s cowboy heritage through the bi-monthly newspaper, Kansas Cowboy. The executive director of the National Drovers Hall of Fame, he is the author of Desperate Seed: Ellsworth Kansas on the Violent Frontier and writes the newspaper column “The Way West.”

“In our modern world, we forget that the food on the shelf and in the cooler comes from our farms and ranches,” said Gray. “Beefsteak was once a steer on the hoof, and so it was 150 years ago when cowboys pointed their herds across the open plains to the railroad corrals of the Kansas cattle towns. The method of delivery has changed but the spirit of the cowboy will never change as long as cattle graze and beef is on the menu.”

“Head ‘Em Up and Move ‘Em Out” is part of Humanities Kansas's Movement of Ideas Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

The Pony Express Barn itself was built in 1859-60 and in the 20th century had a role in the food supply chain with butchering services and refrigerated food lockers.

For more information about “Head ‘Em Up and Move ‘Em Out” in Marysville contact the Pony Express Barn & Museum at 785-562-3825.


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