Cattle Rustling in Texas…..

Welcome back.  I’m tracking another unsolved mystery and I need the public’s help in solving this one. There is also an elven thousand-dollar reward so all you wannabe detectives, listen up. Just last month on February 18th 262 cows, mostly mixed yearling weight between 500 and 600 pounds, were stolen from a ranch in Perryton, Texas which sits in the far northeast corner of the state, about fifty miles southeast of Guymon, Oklahoma.

It’s one of the largest thefts of cattle, or rustling as it is commonly called, in recent history and it has a tie to this area because the fellow whose cattle were stolen grew up here. Bob Adcock was raised on the 8,000-acre Cobb Ranch east of Ramona. His dad Edward ran the ranch for years and as Bob grew up, he developed a love of the cattle business.

After first working for his dad, Bob bought his first ranch near Talala, Oklahoma and began building his own cattle business but he needed more land. Texas had lots of available land and when he bought his first ranch there, he soon also expanded into feed lots, eventually operating several in both Texas and Oklahoma.

Bob knew cattle but he had them everywhere and to manage an operation of this size you need to know men as well because often on these far from civilization ranches its just a hired hand watching a large number of cattle on a big piece of land as was the case on February 18th.

Bob had just been to the ranch in Perryton, shipping out over three hundred head to a feed lot. The remaining 262 head were scheduled to go to a wheat field he owned in a week or two and that’s when he returned to find out every cow he had left on the ranch was gone.

How could this have happened? The cows were fed and counted almost daily and there was only one road in that a person could drive a huge cattle truck down and it went right by the house where the cowboy who worked for him lived. It would have taken at least three big semi-trucks and trailers along with several cowboys to haul that many cattle. In addition, every cow had the Lazy 11 brand on it which is basically the two numbers slanted.  The Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, which is an arm of the Texas Rangers, is checking the brands everywhere so taking these cows to a cattle auction wouldn’t work.

So, the big question is where could you put that many cows without drawing suspicion?  This week if you can figure it out, you’ll be eleven thousand dollars richer and you’ll also be helping a fellow from this area that I’m sure many of you know and or are at least familiar with the Adcock name.

You long time readers may remember that I covered a story about stolen cattle in central New Mexico north of Red River not long ago. It wasn’t nearly as many cows and when the cops found them mutilated, the mystery was how they had been killed.  I went out there and for days spent time at the kill sites during both the day and the night looking for clues. Nothing turned up except rumors that aliens and witchcraft followers had killed the cattle which was an interesting story but never proven.

This my friends isn’t some far-fetched idea but just downright theft so if you think you can help Bob call Special Ranger Ben Eggleston at his Texas office (806) 852-4741.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…….

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When You Have To Get O ut of the House Safely

Welcome back.  With the closing of most of the trade shows where I have been scheduled for book signings as well as many area museums, I have been thinking what better time for a road trip? But there is a problem, with so many great spots a person could go to in the area, the question is which one to choose.

I would start with Woolaroc for both the scenery and the animals. It is still open but with things changing so rapidly I suggest you call before you go at (918)-336-0307.

As of this writing area lakes are all open too and for you readers who are having a bout of cabin fever you might think about a day trip to one of them. Copan and Hulah lakes both have plenty of nice picnic tables and if you are ready for spring you will find that the grass and trees are already turning green. If you want to go a little further, up in Parsons, Kansas you’ll find the Parsons city lake which offers plenty of free spots where you can stop and enjoy mother nature.

To the east is one of my favorite local destinations, Oolagah Lake where the views are magnificent. Oolagah of course is the home of Will Rogers and I understand his birthplace the Dog Iron Ranch is still open to visitors.

Going west you come to another of my favorite spots, Osage Hills State Park which has its own lake that is perfect for fishing and kayaking. Osage Hills also has many great picnic spots and hiking trails. Down the road a ways you will find Bluestem Lake which is over by Pawhuska and well worth the drive. Friends there tell me the fishing is great and it’s not unusual to spot a bald eagle or two circling around the lake.

 The Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve sits outside of Pawhuska and it is another wonderful place to visit in the spring. Anywhere along the drive you may run into a bunch of free ranging bison and this is the time of year when they are having babies. You may also see an elusive prairie chicken or two, birds which were once plentiful and now have become quite rare. While you’re at the preserve you can tour the old Chapman Barnard Ranch headquarters and see where cowboy actor Ben Johnson grew up while his dad was the ranch foreman.

If you’re still looking for more you might also think about visiting Hominy which is just another short drive away. There is a wonderful lake close to town with great views and Hominy is where the original Drummond family home is located. A must see for any history buff, the home has many of the original furnishings and an extensive exhibit about the family’s role in settling Oklahoma.

Yes folks, gas is cheap and you’ll be able to avoid close contact with others as we have been instructed so what better time to cheer yourself up spending some time in the great outdoors.

I’ll end with a vision I had this week. Many of you long time readers know I often refer to myself in jest as a scout, tracker, translator and interpreter and so this week I am going to make two predictions. First, the Tower Center at Unity Square project that is under construction between the Price Tower and the Community Center is going to change the face of Bartlesville tremendously by attracting even more people to the downtown area. I know you may have already heard of this project but I’m predicting it will have even more of an impact than they think!

Second, by this time next year food banks around the country will start receiving their largest donations ever as the result of the stocking up on food that people are doing everywhere.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….

Coronavirus Changes Everything

 Welcome back.  Hotels were full from Owasso to Coffeyville this past weekend for a variety of events and I was in the thick of things so I hardly know where to start this week. Besides the big college basketball tournament going on in Bartlesville which many enjoyed there were other reasons it was hard to find a place to stay in the area.

Leadership Oklahoma had a meeting in Bartlesville this past weekend and they booked sixty rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown. Then there also were dozens of workers from Coffeyville where a big construction job is going on at the refinery and hotels there are full as well. In fact, lodging was so hard to come by that many of teams from the basketball tournament and their fans had to stay in Owasso hotels. As you can imagine, local restaurants report that business has been great with waiting lines at some places.

You may know that the local officials of this tournament have said that this will be the last one. The event has been going on for twelve years from its beginning as the Lone Star Tournament and every year it has attracted plenty of fans and dozens of out of town sportswriters. Hundreds of games have been played and spectators have come and gone over the years but on the last day of the last game I found one man who has attended all of the games.

Buck West is a retired plumber for the school system in Bartlesville who has gone to every game, both boys and girls, for the past twelve years.  Buck told me he just loves basketball and thinks that the Bartlesville High School gym is a great place to watch games. This super fan also said that the food is good and he hopes that the people organizing the tournament will bring it back at some point in the future. I spoke with the folks at the box office and they verified that Buck has been a season ticket holder every year. Friends, that’s dedication and with the passing this week of two well known men who were devoted to both their families and to our town, dedication is a word that should be spelled in capital letters when we’re talking about these guys.

Douglas Whistler was a Nowata boy who went on to open his own dental practice which became so popular that people came from miles away to see him. He was also a Sunday school teacher and a deacon at First Baptist Church in Bartlesville. The massive church was full of mourners for this well-loved fellow.

At 12:45 this past Saturday morning another well-known and I’ll add well loved man passed away. Ken Dunlap grew a small local construction company into a big one for sure. At one time Dunlap Construction had over one hundred men working on projects at Phillips Petroleum Company and another fifty plus building houses, churches and schools all over town. In the 1960s,70s and 80s the name Dunlap Construction meant quality. With their passing this has been a sad week for many of us.

Now on to a happier tale. There was no coronavirus scare in Coffeyville, Kansas this past weekend as hundreds of people showed up for the 4th annual Interstate Farm and Home Show. I can tell you from personal experience this was the best show yet and I look forward to seeing all my Kansas friends again next year. If you weren’t able to make it to Coffeyville, Oklahoma’s largest home and garden show is coming up this weekend at the Tulsa fairgrounds along with a big gun show. I’ll be at the gun show but if you plan to attend be prepared, parking will be hard to find with two big events going on at the same time. With that said I hope to see you there!

I’m closing this week with two quotes from Waite Phillip’s book of epigrams that he carried in his pocket until the day he died:

The most effective sermon is expressed in deeds instead of words. W.P.

Nothing in this world is permanent but change. W.P.

I think they fit Ken and Doug.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road……