Oliver Loving was one of the earliest Texas cowmen. He has been called 'The Dean of Texas Trail Drivers', a title he earned through his fearless drives of large longhorn herds through territory where no others had gone before. He came from a pioneer family and spent his whole life living dangerously, prefering to be always on the outermost edges of the advancing frontier.
In 1860, with John Dawson acting as partner and guide, he drove a thousand steers to Denver - the first herd of Texas longhorn cattle to reach Colorado. The herd was moved north out of Texas up to the old, well-traveled Santa Fe Trail, then west along the Santa Fe, most likely to Bent's Fort in southern Colorado, then north.
Oliver Loving was jailed for being a 'damned Secessionist' and it looked as though he may remain incarcerated for the duration of the Civil War. It was only through the loyalty and intercession of his friend, Kit Carson, that Loving was sprung. He immediately hit the back trail and hightailed it back to Texas.