History of the Clayton Stewart Ranch

Jay Creighton

April 13, 1961

 

 

The Clayton Stewart Ranch, starting at the north and west edge of Forsan, has an interesting history. The ranch is now in an estate, but it hasnít been in Stewart hands for many years.

          W.A. Shuttles was a man who owned a good size ranch around Forsan. He cut out about eight sections in about 1914 and gave them to a Baptist preacher. The ranch was supposedly just a gift. Clayton Stewart traded a ranch in New Mexico to the preacher for his ranch in Howard County in 1916!

          In 1917, the ranch was leased to Bill Conger I. Joe Conger, Mr. Congerís son did the ramrodding of the outfit as Mr. Conger had other interests, too. The Congers had the ranch leased for only two years.

          A man by the name of Duncan leased the ranch after the Congers let it go. It is not known if he had any stock besides cattle, but he did own a dairy while he had the ranch.

          Alfred Thiemes leased the ranch after Duncan. Meanwhile Mr. T.M. Bailey and his son, Walker, had fenced the Stewart ranch with sheep netting. This was reportedly the first sheep netting in this area. Before this, all the country had four barbed wire fences. Mr. Thiemes ran cattle and tried to run sheep on the country, but dogs killed what he had to sell them.

          A Curtis Stevens leased the ranch next, but no one seems to know much about him other then that he did have it leased for a short while. He probably didnít stay around Forsan long because no one knew about him.

          Mr. Cleve West leased the ranch after Stevens. He ran sheep and goats. The goats were not Angora goats, but Spanish goats. They were used for eating purposes. Mr. West hired no steady workers, but just day workers when he needed extra help.

          Mr. Stewart got the ranch back and leased it to no one after Mr. West until his death in 1958. He ran cattle, sheep, goats, and even had hogs running loose. He worked boys at various times, but none of them lasted very long.

          J.T. Creighton leased the ranch after Mr. Stewartís death. He has had it leased for two years. He runs cattle, sheep, horses, and a few Spanish goats. He leased all of the Stewart Ranch, but a section which Bill Conger II leased.

          Some of the interesting facts about the ranch are there was at one time a 200 acre field in the Horse Pasture. There was a one room school house in the very early 19 hundreds. School was discontinued and feed was stacked in the school house. The rock corrals on the ranch were used until very recently. Names of the pastures are Stewarts Pasture, Middle Pasture, North Pasture, West Pasture, Buck Trap, Horse Pasture, and the House Trap, and the Mr. Stewart was killed with a high powered rifle by a man he was to help.

          Some developments are the good, steel towers, windmills, cleared land and the big chicken house. The ranch has changed hand many times and each man left something to be remembered for. I have only lived here two years, but I will remember those two years the rest of my life.