Ranches in Osage County, Oklahoma

Welcome back. This weekend Tulsa will host the world’s largest gun show and of course I will be there. The following weekend I’ll be in Oklahoma City for the annual Western Heritage Award ceremonies at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. If deep down inside you’re a cowboy this event is one you won’t want to miss. I’ve covered the awards for the past six years and every year they get better. If you want to meet some real cowboys this is the place. How about movie cowboys like Keven Costner who is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year? He’ll be there along with Buck Taylor from Gun Smoke and a dozen others. If you like cowboy music Michael Martin Murphy and Red Stegall are just two of the musicians who will be attending. You can’t have a good party without great food and I’m told this year’s menu will be the best yet. Ranching and the cowboy way of life have always been important in this part of the county and many famous ranches have been established in the Osage. Reading up on ranches in the area from the 1940s to the present day one name that sticks out is Adcock. The Adcock family raise cattle on thousands of acres relying on love and hard work to make their ranch a success. The Osage was well known for both grass and oil from the early days of settlement and many other families got their start here as well. It was 1864 when Henry Foster brought 5600 head of Texas cattle to the Osage for grazing and then in 1898 he received the lease for the drilling rights in all of Osage County. When Foster began to auction off parts of that lease many new oil companies were formed and fortunes made. One man who took advantage of this opportunity was John R. Kane who was already in the oil business. Kane had moved his family from Pennsylvania to Kansas where he had started a successful ranch in the Osage. The Kane and Foster families became related through marriage and the couple had a son, John H. Kane. John H. put together several large ranches in Washington County and he had two sons, Richard and John M. John M. also had two sons John F. and Henry F. who kept the family legacy going and as most people in Osage and Washington counties know their descendants play a large role in these communities today. Another family from the Osage that has played an important part in the development of the area has a name that is now known for revitalizing the town of Pawhuska and that of course is Drummond. Fred Drummond emigrated from Scotland in 1882 and soon afterwards he opened the Hominy Trading Company. The business was a success and over time the Drummond family grew to be one of the largest and most respected landowners in the region. Osage County has another landowner you may know of, radio and T.V. personality Bill Curtis. Although Bill’s ranch is mostly in Kansas just outside of Sedan, it sits on the famous Osage prairie. The Red Buffalo as he calls it is approximately ten thousand acres and he runs a cow calf operation there. Other Osage County ranches that long time locals may be aware of include the Strom family’s Valley View Ranch near Hulah Lake, the Hughes family ranch and the Osage Land and Cattle Company which was founded by past Phillips CEO Boots Adams. Of course there are many others, some old and some new but there‘s only one that grew to encompass over 375,000 acre. Elder Care’s big fundraiser will be held there on May 11th and next week I will be bringing you the history of this ranch from a personal perspective. Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…. #