The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library, Midland, Texas
J. Evetts Haley Research Center, Midland Texas
1805 W. Indiana Avenue
Midland, Texas 79701
432.682.5785

Annual Fall Gathering

Fall Gathering and Foy Proctor Cowman’s Award of Honor Event

The Fall Gathering Ranch Storytelling and Foy Proctor Cowman’s Award of Honor is the Library’s “reunion of hats” that brings people that J. Frank Dobie wrote about in his “Cow People” to the Library each October from all directions to a day-long event that recognizes the lives of people that have exhibited remarkable ability and accomplishment at their lifetimes battling the forces of nature and man to support their families and their country’s need for protein.  You will hear stories like no others in during the afternoon event that is held before the Proctor awards ceremony.  Make your reservation NOW!

2017 Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor Recipients

2017 Foy Proctor Awards Honorees John Anderson And Candi Cowden
John Anderson and Candi Cowden

John Anderson

What is now the Muleshoe Ranch was originally open grazing and was used by the Magnolia Land and Cattle Co. prior to 1894.  W. K. Johnson, Sr. started using the Muleshoe brand about 1900 on the Blackwater draw of the XIT Ranch near Texico, New Mexico on the Texas line.  The Santa Fe Railroad built a rail line that divided the ranch in half north and south.  When W. K. Johnson, Sr. sold this ranch he maintained the brand.

Around 1908 he formed a partnership with R. M. Clayton.  They leased a large body of land east, north, and west of what is now Post, Texas.  When C. W. Post started developing his lands and selling parts to farmers, the Clayton and Johnson Company partnership bought a ranch in Borden County that was previously owned by Mr. J. D. Milton from Virginia.  On August 25, 1913 the Clayton and Johnson Company became owners of the ranch.  In 1945 Mr. Jerry Clayton, one of R. M. Clayton’s sons, bought the ranch from his brother, A. M. Clayton.  In 1957, Jerry Clayton sold the ranch to his two daughters, Jere Clayton Hubbard, and Barbara Clayton Anderson.

In 1994, Rich and Barbara Anderson became sole owners of the Muleshoe Ranch.  They had been on the ranch since 1952.  John’s dad, Rich Anderson, was a 2003 Foy Proctor Honoree.  Rich was born in Midland and raised on a ranch in Southeast New Mexico.  John’s mother Barbara was born in Lubbock, and raised on the Mimbres Ranch in New Mexico.  Barbara passed away in 2014 and Rich still lives on the Muleshoe and is consistent about offering his observations on operations.

Our honoree tonight, John Anderson has spent his whole life on and now operates the ranch with his wife Kevva.  John was born in Big Spring, Texas in 1952.  Their son Clay John and wife Krista live and work on the ranch as well.  John and Kevva’s daughter, Whitney married Kye Fuston and they work on the Matador Ranch near Matador, Texas.  Their youngest child, Bailey works with ranch office duties, cow, and horse works.  Her husband Jake helps spot cattle from the air and on horseback when he can.  There are now 4th and 5th generation Claytons living on and operating the Muleshoe Ranch in Borden County.

John tells us his greatest pleasure through his years of work on the ranch has been knowing that his kids all love ranch life and have stayed close.  He said “It was a great day when I looked up in the pasture and saw all three kids in the saddle making good hands and watching them working together.”  “Seeing them going from having a pillow in the saddle in front of their mother to being on their own as cowboys and cowgirls that I would put up against some of the most savvy ranch hands in the country is a great feeling.”  “When day hands have worked with us they say it is hard to work with those kids, because they knew what I was thinking and did not have to ask most of the time.

John loves his horses and has had an active breeding program for years.  They use them for ranch work and recreation.  We’re sure he would be glad to talk to you about next year’s yearling prospects.  A favorite was a double bred Peppy San Badger named by Kevva, “Cupcake”.  He was a really good ranch horse and won several ranch horse competitions.  He has had a bunch of good horses and like all of us remembers his “kid” horses the most fondly.

John hopes for the future of our culture and country is that we keep the roots of that culture, the Bible and the Constitution in our daily lives.  With God’s help our ranching heritage will persevere.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. John Anderson, our first 2017 Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor recipient.

Foy Proctor award honoree John Anderson

Candi Cowden

Candi B. Cowden was born to William Thomas Cowden and Freda Walker Cowden in 1952 in Midland, TX.  Billy Tom Cowden, as he was known, was the son of Gilbert Hamby Cowden and was born in El Paso, TX.  Freda Walker Cowden was born in Meadow, TX where she grew up on her father Leo Overton Walker’s farm and Hereford ranch near Spur, TX where the White River Dam was built.  Freda’s mother Alleta Editha White was born in Eastland, TX and raised there before moving to Meadow in 1920.  Freda went to teaching school in Rankin, TX and then on to Crane, TX where she met Billy Tom Cowden and began their family that produced Candi and her sister Terre, (TerEEE), now deceased.

Candi’s great grandfather was William Henry Cowden, one of ten children of one of the two patriarchs of the early Cowdens in West Texas, William Hamby Cowden.  He and his brother, George Franklin Cowden arrived in West Texas in 1883 after settling earlier on the then western wilderness frontier of Palo Pinto County.  They both had seen service under General Winfield Scott in the Mexican War, fighting with Robert E. Lee at Vera Cruz.

The spirit of her forbearers resides in Candi as demonstrated in her reluctance to allow her heritage to be forgotten.  The ranch she operates today has seen its share of hardships in extended drought and fires, of both structure and grass.  Oil companies holding early leases by marginal economic production and not showing their desire to protect the environment are a constant battle for her.

Early childhood memories of working cattle in the summers with her maternal grandfather on the Salt Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River and riding the White River and gathering wild plums and exploring Indian caves along the river.  She remembers Nacho, a worker who lived in an old Indian cave, and hearing him tell of the cattle drives, fighting Indians, and making a life on the frontier.

In 1982 Candi resigned from her position as Tennis Coach, and Men’s and Women’s Badminton Coach at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Her dad’s failing health and need for some help steered her home.  She immediately immersed herself into improving the ranch that she had fond memories of.  Candi’s strong independent spirit led her to question a lot of the “old cowboy ways”.  What she found were ways of getting the jobs done by adapting the methods she used to accomplish the needs she had.  Her love for horses is immense and all of her ranch work is done horseback.  She noted “I get kind of cranky if I don’t get  horseback”.  She raises horses with proper confirmation, disposition, and athleticism that she can drag calves, carry a flag in an arena, cut in the NCHA, or compete in a ranch rodeo competition.  Her skills and successes with horses and cattle she humbly attributes to her friendship with the late Ray Hunt, who she spent a great deal of time with in Australia several years ago and her work with stockman her friend Bud Williams.  Her philosophy of life is to live, act, and work with natures truths, and have relationships with animals and people that are based on respect.  She strives to increase her knowledge to be able to leave her land better than she found it, and hopes to inspire upcoming generations to develop similar philosophies.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our 2017 Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor recipient Candi B. Cowden.

Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman's Award of Honor Recipients

Year 2000

Frank Cowden, Jr.* - Midland, TX
Bill Craft - Clarendon, TX
Ted Gray* - Alpine, TX
James Kenney* - Carlsbad, NM
Tom Linebery* - Kermit, TX
Alf Means* - Valentine, TX
John Pearson* - Eunice, NM
Buster Welch - Rotan, TX

Year 2001

Billy Cogdell* - Tulia, TX
J. J. Gibson* - Paducah, TX
Jiggs Mann* - Clarendon, TX
John R. Scott* - Miles, TX
Jim White* - Marfa, TX

Year 2002

Courtney Cowden* - Midland, TX
Linda Mitchell Davis - Cimarron, NM
Jim Tom Kelton* - Pecos, TX
Giles Lee - Lovington, NM
Tom Moorhouse - Benjamin, TX

Year 2003

John R. “Rich” Anderson - Gail, TX
James Dyer - Fort Davis, TX
Bob Eidson* - Lovington, NM
Helen Kleberg Groves - Baird, TX
Edward Vincent* - Lefors, TX

Year 2004

Sam Britt  - Grenville, NM
John D. Holleyman* - Corona, NM
Ralph Miller - Fluvanna, TX
Clayton Williams, Jr. - Midland, TX

Year 2005

Johnnie Burson* - Silverton, TX
J.P. Miller, Jr.* - Coleman, TX
Dogie Jones - Watrous, NM
Elliott “Chope” Phillips* - Amarillo, TX
Arlan Youngblood* - Lamesa, TX

Year 2006

Hence Barrow* - Odessa, TX
Bob Green* - Albany, TX
Bob Jones* - Dell City, TX
Buddy Major* - Las Lunas, NM
Dick Snyder* - Clayton, NM

Year 2007

Frank Beaver* - Snyder, TX
Edward “Smokey” Nunn* - Deming, NM
Gretchen Sammis* - Cimarron, NM

Year 2008

Melvin Cotten* - Andrews, TX
Doug Fernandes - Pecos, TX
Larry Fernandes - Kermit, TX
Byron Fort* - Tatum, NM
Kenny Smith* - Hobbs, NM
Ray Snead* - Dalhart, TX

Year 2009

Don Hofman - Tucumcari, NM
Carl Lane Johnson - Tatum, NM
Myrle Kelton - May, TX
Tee Knox - Tarzan, TX
Vernon Miller* - Big Spring, TX

Year 2010

Bob Byrd - Jayton, TX
Sunny Edwards* - Big Spring, TX
Ted Harper* - Marfa, TX
Jack Kirkpatrick - Post, TX
Bluford Thornton - Pyote, TX
Arthur Wight - Goldsmith, TX

Year 2011

Cole Armstrong* - Pecos, TX
H. G. Bedford* - Midland, TX
John Dublin, Jr. - San Angelo, TX
Bill L. Lee - Buckeye, NM

Year 2012

Jon Means - Van Horn, TX
Chris Scharbauer - Amarillo, TX
John Welch - Wolfforth, TX

Year 2013

James Donnell - Fowlerton, TX
Billy Green - Albany, TX
Chris Lacy - Ft. Davis, TX

Year 2014

Joe Bill Nunn - Deming, NM
Ken Welch - Baird, TX