|From 2017 09 18 Waco|
[The artwork] pays tribute to Waco’s 19th-century days as a stop on the Chisholm Trail cattle drives from South Texas to Kansas. It features three cowboys — one white, one Hispanic and one black — driving 25 head of longhorn cattle to the western approach to the Waco Suspension Bridge.
Source: Waco Tribune-Herald.
The bridge itself was built to support the major industry in Texas at the time, the cattle business.
The twin double-towers that anchored the span were considered to be a marvel of engineering at the time, containing nearly 3 million bricks, which were produced locally. The bridge collected its first toll on January 1, 1870. Its 475-foot (145 m) span made it the first major suspension bridge in Texas. The bridge was wide enough for stagecoaches to pass each other, or for cattle to cross one side of the bridge, and humans to cross the other side. Being the only bridge to cross the Brazos at the time, the cost of building the bridge, which was estimated to be $141,000 was quickly paid back. Tolls were 5 cents per head of cattle that crossed, along with a charge for pedestrian traffic.