Charles Goodnight

Charles Goodnight was born in 1836 in Illinois and when he was 10 years of age his family moved to the newly formed State of Texas. Here Goodnight learned about cattle herding and began his life-long love affair with Texas Longhorns. He and Oliver Loving began trailing Longhorns north to Colorado and Wyoming in the 1860s. Goodnight invented the chuck wagon in order to more easily feed the drovers on the trail.

In 1868, Goodnight put down roots just west of the newly created town of Pueblo, Colorado. He built his Rock Canyon Ranch below the bluffs of the area just west of what is named Goodnight Street. He ran his cattle all over the Gervacio Nolan Grant and had line camps over the area, including Babcock’s Hole Ranch in Wetmore, Colorado. The ranch remains today as a testament to Goodnight’s western heritage.

 In 1869-70 Goodnight and his ranch hands built the beautiful and architecturally significant stone barn that alone remains from his ranch.


If you have ever read the book Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, or seen the TV movie of the same name then you will be familiar with the main characters Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae. They are based on real men -- Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving.

 For more information or to request a presentation of our PowerPoint Presentation on Goodnight and the Rock Canyon Ranch, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.