The majestic Texas Longhorn is an icon of Texas and the Southwest culture. It represents ranching, the American cowboy and the pioneer. Our history and the Texas Longhorn are inseparable. That’s why the TLBAA is dedicated to preserving this symbol of our heritage by protecting its pedigree, supporting and recognizing our breeders and continuing our research and education on the benefits the Texas Longhorn brings to the rancher, to the public, and to our modern way of life.
The Texas Longhorn became the foundation of the American cattle industry by claiming first rights in the untamed, newly discovered Americas more than 500 years ago. In 1690, the first herd of cattle was driven north from Mexico to land that would eventually become Texas. By the Civil War, millions of Longhorns ranged between the mesquite-dotted sandy banks of the Rio Bravo to the sand beds of the Sabine. Most of the Longhorns were unbranded, survivors of Indian raids, scattered by stampedes and weather, escaped from missions or abandoned after ranch failures.
Less than 40 years later, the Longhorn was closer to extinction than the buffalo. In 1927, the Federal government stepped in to help preserve the Texas Longhorn and a great part of our American heritage. Congress assigned forest service rangers, Will C. Barnes and John H. Hatton, to the task and these two men put the first herd together for Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Gradually, more breeders started raising private stock, recognizing the value of Texas Longhorns. The need grew for breed standards and a direct line of communication between the Longhorn breeders.
Cited from http://www.tlbaa.org/about/