Summer Celebration: Taking a look at the history of Hereford

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 10:42 AM CDT
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HEREFORD, Texas (KFDA) - For part of our Summer Celebration, we want to share the history of Hereford with you.

Before it was the Beef Capital of the World, Hereford actually started with vegetable production.

“As the vegetables went away because of water and labor concerns, we had been shipping cattle out. We were doing calf farming here and shipping them out somewhere to feed them and we went, ‘You know, we got corn, we got cattle, we got water, let’s do it here,’” said Joe D. Rogers, a longtime Hereford resident.

Rogers says Hereford feeds more than one million head of cattle annually withing its nearby feed yards. That equates to over one billion pounds of beef produced and over $1 billion in cattle sales every year.

Another huge part of the town’s history lies within the railroad, as the railroad shaped Hereford as we know it.

“When the railroad comes in, they said, ‘We will put it here if certain conditions.’ That’s how you lay the streets out, and for one there where they put the station, Main Street had to leave the railroad perpendicular at a 90 degree angle, and that’s why Hereford is crooked,” said Rogers.

The XIT Ranch also played a large part in where Hereford ended up.

“They gave them like six million acres of land at like a dollar and a half an acre to build a state capital, but they ran over to about six million dollars. So they don’t get in the business to just break even, so they needed to do something. So they said, ‘Well, some other people out there where we gave them this land,’ which is the western half of the Texas Panhandle, and they said, ‘Let’s make it a ranch.’ And that became the XIT Ranch,” said Rogers.