“My years on the trail were the happiest I have lived. There were many hardships and dangers that called on all a man had of endurance and bravery. But when all went well, there was no other life so pleasant. Most of the time we were solitary adventurers in a great land as fresh and new as a spring morning.”
Charles Foxwing Goodnight
Goodnight was the founder of numerous ranches, the Goodnight-Loving trail, the Goodnight trail and preserver of the great Bison. He founded Goodnight, TX & the Goodnight College there. He was a Texas Ranger and a Confederate soldier (served in Texas guarding against Indian attack throughout the Civil War). He was the inspiration for Woodrow F. Call in Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” novels. His partner, Oliver Loving, was the inspiration for Augustus McRae. When Loving died in New Mexico from an infected arrow wound Goodnight brought him back to Weatherford, TX for burial.
At the time of his death Goodnight had “lost it all”. He believed himself to have been a failure. He actually epitomized the national conception of frontiersman, cattleman, explorer and businessman. His long life (91) of adventures are the stuff of legend. He represented the best American concepts of honor, bravery and freedom.