Welcome back. Pawhuska, Oklahoma is the home of the Osage tribe and of course Ree Drummond’s Mercantile. I had the opportunity to visit Ree’s place on Friday and friends there is still a long line to get in. Yes, a year and a half after opening there were hundreds of people waiting to get in and they were also shopping at the many new stores that have opened in town. Pawhuska has two new hotels that just opened right downtown as well. Ree opened The Boardinghouse in a building she renovated next to the Mercantile and the landmark Triangle Building has been converted into a hotel. I was told that the Triangle will be run by the same people who operated the famous Mayo Hotel in Tulsa. In addition, Ree has opened a pizza restaurant with a full bar which is a first for Pawhuska and I understand she and her husband Ladd are planning a steak house too.
In Bartlesville the Drummonds have bought several pieces of property including the old Page milk plant that sits across the street from the Schlumberger complex on Frank Phillips Boulevard. The building was abandoned for years but now my sources tell me it’s going to be a bakery. Whatever it is, everyone in Bartlesville should be happy.
The original purpose of my trip to Pawhuska was not to give a report on the Drummond business empire, but rather to visit with the folks who feed us. On June 14th-17th the Osage County Cattlemen were holding their 84th annual convention at the Osage County Fairgrounds. The three day event included a trade show, a dinner and dancing and a tour of area ranches all of which sounded like fun to me. You throw in the 65th Annual Ben Johnson Steer Roping on Sunday and Pawhuska needed a dozen new hotels.
As a fellow who travels year round to a lot of big events though, the main factor drawing me to Pawhuska wasn’t all this but the possible opportunity to say hi to a big time cattleman I thought might be there. When you read his biography I’ve put together, many of you will guess who he is before I’m finished.
Born in Enid in 1931, his grandfather for whom he was named, had settled in Hominy in 1905 where he established the town’s first mercantile. After graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1953, the man I’d come to see went on to get an M.B.A. from Stanford in 1957. A U.S. Army Veteran, after his service he came back to Oklahoma where he made a name for himself running the family ranch. The civic organizations and boards he’s served on over the years are too numerous to count. He is a past President of the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association and a Director of the National Cattleman’s Association. He is also a founding member of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Nature Conversancy and was instrumental in establishing the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
If you haven’t figured out who I’m talking about yet, I’ll end with a quote from him:
“At the Drummond Ranch I am the spare cowboy, bookkeeper, trash hauler and bill payer.”
Yes it,s always great to say hi to Frederick Drummond.
Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…..