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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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Notice of Public Hearing to consider amendments to the Trust Agreement for the Fort Worth Permanent Fund: 10 a.m. Aug. 18, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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AllianceAirport Authority: 1 p.m. Aug. 18, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Central City Local Government Corporation: 1 p.m. Aug. 18, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 1 p.m. Aug. 18, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Fort Worth Crime Control and Prevention District Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting: 2 p.m. Aug. 18, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Crime Control Prevention District Public Hearing: 2 p.m. Aug. 18, 2020; City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Commercial and Residential Boards of Adjustment Public Hearing: 9 a.m. Aug. 19, 2020; WebEx.
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Appeal of Promotional Bypass of Kenyon Willingham: 9 a.m. Aug. 19, 2020; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Classroom 1134, 505 W. Felix St.
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Financial Empowerment Workshop: 1 p.m. Aug. 19, 2020; online webinar.
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Get Your Business on Google Search & Maps: 2 p.m. Aug. 19, 2020; Online.
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Grow With Google: Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps: 2 p.m. Aug. 19, 2020; Online.
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District 5 Town Hall - 2021 Budget: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19, 2020; City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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District 8 Town Hall - 2021 Budget: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19, 2020; City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Budget Workshop: Aug. 20, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Appeal of Promotional Bypass of Kenyon Willingham: 9 a.m. Aug. 20, 2020; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Classroom 1134, 505 W Felix St.
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Crime-Free Multi-Housing Workshop: 9 a.m. Aug. 20, 2020; East Division Head-Quarters, 1100 Nashville.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Meeting: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Fort Worth Affordability, Inc.: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administravtive Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Cavile Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Gateway Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administravtive Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Chisholm V Corporation: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Sycamore Housing, Inc.: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Stallion Pointe Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Fair Park Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Fair Oaks Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; FWHS Admministrative Office, 1201 East 13th St.
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Fort Worth Public Library Advisory Board Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020; WebEx.
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