Hodges Center to host free lecture on the history of Florida’s “Wild West” era

The Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning at Hodges University will host a free lecture on the history of Florida’s “Wild West” era. The session, “Cattle and Conflict,” will be held at the Moorings Park Learning Center, just south of Pine Ridge Road, off of Goodlette-Frank Road, in Naples, on Wednesday, April 7 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

At the end of the American Civil war, Floridians had little economic opportunity except cattle ranching. By 1880 Florida had become the second largest producer of beef cattle in the U.S. This expansion of grazing and ranching resulted in conflicts from small scale rustling to blood feuds and outright range wars. Cow towns in Florida were wilder then the “wild west” towns of Dodge City, Kansas or Abilene, Texas, with more saloons, dancehalls, and nightly shootouts. Join us for a look back to this little known chapter of history and meet some off the colorful “Cracker cow-men” of the era.

The session will be conducted by David Southall, the Curator of Education at the Collier County Museum, a position he has held for the past 10 years. Mr. Southall is a graduate of S.U.N.Y at Buffalo where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He earned his Master’s at Cornell University.

The session is free of charge and reservations are not required. For more information, please contact Christine Wheeler at (239) 598-6133.

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