Details for Historic Cattle Dipping Vat (Atlas Number 5273000763)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5273000763


Marker Number 763
Atlas Number 5273000763
Marker Title Historic Cattle Dipping Vat
Index Entry Cattle Dipping Vat
City Kingsville
County Kleberg
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 614826
UTM Northing 3048280
Subject Codes scientific topics; medical topics and health professionals; cattle, cattle industry topics
Marker Year 1967
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location from Kingsville, take US 77 (business route) 3 miles north. Marker damaged 2.10.14.
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text In 1894 this vat-- believed to be the first in the world-- was built to stop the spread of tick fever, which was destroying thousands of U.S. beef cattle. By the 1880s, the disease had become widespread, and official and "shotgun" quarantines prevented cattle from moving across the affected area, bounded by a line from the Rio Grande to the Atlantic. Although the mortality rate from tick fever (also called "Texas" and "Splenetic" fever) sometimes reached 90 percent, longhorns and other native southwestern cattle were immune. They did, however, carry the insect, which could infect other animals. Efforts to eradicate the tick (Margaropus annulatus) centered here, headed by officials from Texas A & M College and the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry. Manager of the King Ranch, R. J. Kleberg, allowed the vat to be built, and 25,000 tick-infested cattle from the ranch were dipped. An effective formula of oil and sulphur was found here. In October, 1898, the U.S. quarantine was lifted for cattle treated in the dip. This eradication program not only introduced a new weapon for controlling cattle diseases, but also freed the industry from restrictive quarantines, thus increasing the value of cattle throughout the U.S. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967.