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Fort Worth Flashback: Native Americans used virtually every portion of the bison

Posted May 7, 2012

buffalo

Bison played a part in practically every aspect of the lives of Native Americans who lived in Texas.

Native Americans invented numerous ways to prepare bison meat for consumption. Some parts were eaten raw, some were cooked and other portions were dried as pemican, or jerky, a dried meat and fat concentrate.

Bull hides were too heavy for teepees — cow hides served this purpose — but were used for floors and sleeping mats. Sinew was used for sewing and binding. Bones were used as tools.

Early explorers and pioneers found bison trails to be level and safe passageways, preferring them because they were well packed down and did not lead to swamps or quicksand. In fact, many of our modern roads and interstate highways were once bison trails.

This 1885 photo shows a herd of bison on the Texas Plains.

By 1885, fewer than 1,000 animals remained on the Plains. But thanks to some early pioneer ranchers, like Charles Goodnight in West Texas, who caught and began to replenish herds through closely guarded breeding programs, bison are now once again prolific and have reached more than 450,000 head in North America alone.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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Canceled Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City COuncil COnference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled Central City Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled AllianceAirport Authority, Inc.: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled Lone Star Local Government Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Fort Worth Public Improvement District No. 1 Advisory Board Meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Suite 100, 777 Taylor St.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority D/B/A MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Directors Meeting: 10 a.m. Jan. 22, 2020; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Jan. 22, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.
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City of Fort Worth Art Commission Special Called Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Fort Worth Botanic Garden Center, Iris Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Family Game Night at Southwest Community Center: 6 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Sendera Ranch Intersection Improvements Project Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Sendera Ranch Elementary School, 1216 Diamondback Lane.

Emergency Physicians Advisory Board : 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Lake Arlington Lift Station Force Main Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; Tarrant County College Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020; Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 Southwest Loop 820.
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Federal Contracting and Certification Workshop: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Presentations and Pitches Bootcamp: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Opening Doors to Homeownership: 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Sweet Home Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Fire Station Community Center: 11 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb.

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