Received this in chatting with a Texas cook a few years ago, and, as we all have our own views of "chili" today, this is where it all got started (actual credit to Texas Governmor Ann Richards, who attribuited Jim Perry of the XIT Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, as being the method of cooking on a cattle drive...
While very simplistic, the longer it cooks, the better it tastes, and showcases the lack of ingredients that could be found on a cattle drive,
I argue that as the drives passed settlements its logical that fresh killed beef was traded for services (laundry?) or fresh veggies, so that the legend of tasting better as time went on would reflect veggies added at a later date.
No refrigeration just constant heat in the chuckwagon. Chili cooks should all try this once!
Meat, in its original sense, would not have been expensive cuts, or be very "aged", and would not have been finely ground, but rather "roughly chopped"...but remember to use "fatty" meat!