Wild, Wild South: The History of Florida’s Cattle Industry
Presenter: Theresa Schober
Date: February 19, 2020 Time: 7:00pm
Location: IMAG, Ft. Myers, FL
SUBJECT: In 1521, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon attempted to settle Florida at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. While the settlement failed, some of the expedition’s cattle remained. By the 1600s, 20,000 head of cattle supported early Spanish settlements and missions. Open range, unclaimed herds, and the lawless frontier ultimately created Cattle Barons, wide-open cow towns, rustlers, and a new breed of tough cow-hunters. The story of cattle ranching in Florida reads like a “wild west” novel but is still part of the fabric of everyday life in our state.
Theresa Schober is currently manager of the Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch for Collier County Museums. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Theresa specializes in collaborative planning and development of archaeological and historic sites into interactive museum and park facilities. Ms. Schober serves as an advisory board member to Florida’s chapter of the National Council for History Education.