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!
2016 Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor Recipients
James. L “Jimmie” Powell was born February 22, 1930 to Virgil James Powell and Johnnie Dell White Powell. He was a brother to twin sisters Marilyn Powell Dean and Madolyn Powell Mertz. These third generation Texans were the descendants of Leonidus Polk “L.P.” Powell and Essie Dora Vaughn. L. P. Powell came to Texas from Tennessee in 1894 and married his Central Texas bride. They began running steers on a six section homestead, later sold out after “proving up” the homestead and moved into the foothills of New Mexico with a herd of sheep to find sever winters requiring large bonfires to keep his flock warm. The sheep got so close to the fires that their wool was singed and turned black.
He returned to Texas the next spring and purchased a ranch in northern Crockett County on the Reagan County line that extended up to the now Big Lake, TX city limits. L. P. and son Virgil went on to work a 47,000 acre ranch near Ft. McKavett founded in 1876 b Colonel William L. Black. L.P. Powell had purchased the ranch in 1932 from the family of Harold H. Bevans. In 1937 the Powell family moved into San Angelo where Jimmie and sisters would complete their education.
Jimmie went on to graduate from Rice University in 1951 and gained another degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He served in the U. S. Navy on the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany off the coast of Korea from 1952-1955. Upon completion of his military service Jimmie returned to begin his ranching career in Schleicher County near the Menard County Line at the Six Mile Ranch.
He soon married Nancy Bryan Hunt in 1960 and began their family at the Six Mile Ranch resulting in two daughters, Laurie Powell Uhl, and Victoria Powell Johnson. Nancy passed away in 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Jimmie developed banking and other business enterprises and offered service to higher education as a past Chariman of the Texas State University System Board of Regents and service on the University of Texas System. His served as Past President of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association, the National Wool Growers Association and the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association. His family has been breeding purebred Hereford cattle since 1954. The 20th Annual Powell Ranch Production Sale will be in October of 2017. Jimmie was a strong believer in diversification of assets and has been in oil and gas production and banking over his working lifetime.
Jimmie now enjoys his home in San Angelo and his time at the ranch. His family “partners” of daughters, sons in laws, and six grandchildren are all available at his call.
Jim Nicholson was born in Elk City, Oklahoma in June of 1950 of parents Lester and Ida Bell Nicholson, neighbors and childhood friends who were raised in Sayre, Oklahoma. Jim has one brother and one sister. Jim is a first generation cowman who was motivated to get into the business by/from
Jim met his charming wife Judy when buying vaccine and medicine from Walco Animal Health. They have been married for 36 years this month. He has one step-daughter, and one son, Spencer who works on the ranch and is putting together his own cow herd while helping Jim. They now have a grand-daughter to enjoy watching grow up.
Jim is like most ranchers who fear drought, fires, loss of good water, and government interference in their decision making. In today’s world even the thought of disease introduced into the herds from terroristic activity has to be considered.
His greatest pleasures in his work come from doing what he truly enjoys, being on good horses, well bred cattle, and being around and meeting good people in the industry. He says it really should not be called work. They buy young horses both broke and unbroke that are old enough to start. The use them to prowl, gather, sort, and move on the ranch. His favorite horse is Streak who is simply a pleasure to ride.
Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome Jim Nicholson into the 2016 class of Foy Proctor Cowman’s Award of Honor recipients.
Pete Bonds was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1952 to parents P. R. “Bob” and Betty Hollaway Bonds. Bob Bonds had been born in Nocona, Texas in 1891 and was raised on his family’s farm. Betty Bonds was born in Mannsville, Oklahoma Territory in 1907. Pete’s grandfather on his dad’s side was born on the Georgia/Alabama border. He had moved to Texas after living in Arizona as a surveyor and chasing Geronimo. His grandparents on his mother’s side are believed to have come to Oklahoma Territory in the late 1880’s, early 1900’s. Parents Bob and Betty lived most of their adult lives based in Fort Worth, Texas beginning in the late 1920’s.
Pete and his one brother grew up on Bonds Ranch in Tarrant County, Texas. Pete was only two years old when his dad Bob died in 1954. Pete looks back fondly on afternoons spent with Owen (Big Pete) Burnett, the Bonds Ranch foreman. The cousin of Burk Burnett would tell Pete stories on the porch of the foreman’s house while watching the sun set after a long day’s work. Young Pete says one of his worst memories of growing up was Big Pete not having air conditioning in his house. His best lessons learned as a youngster came from learning how to handle horses, cattle, and men.
Pete met his wife Jo on a blind date on Valentine’s Day while at TCU. They married in July of 1976. Jo comes from a family farm in Georgia. She and her sister currently manage that farm. The union was blessed with three children, all girls, Missy Bonds, Bonny Bonds Anderson, and April Bonds. All three girls are active ranchers in partners with dad, and in their own right. Missy and April work full time on Bonds Ranches and Bonnie and husband Clint Anderson have their own operations in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado while raising their four Bonds grandchildren.
Pete graduated from the TCU Ranch Management program in 1973 and completed his business degree in 1975 and became general manager of the Bonds Ranch in 1976 at the age of 24, after being in the cow business since the age of 16 by buying a pen of cattle with a loan co-signed by his mother. He never wanted to be anything but a cowman, both cowboy and businessman. He has never been afraid of changes to the cow business and has adapted his operations to the vagaries of fluctuating markets, emerging technology, emerging international markets. The ranch is now qualified to export cattle to the European Union and Japan. A portion of the ranch herds are age and source verified and qualify for the USDA’s Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Program.
Pete has served the industry as a director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association since 1992 serving on many committees and recently finished a two year term as President of the organization. Pete was named the 2006 TCU Ranch Management Program Outstanding Alumnus and has served as the President of the program’s Alumni Association. Bonds Ranch was acknowledged in 1988 for their “Excellence in Grazing Management by the Society of Rangeland Management – Texas Section. Pete also rode the 1991 American Quarter Horse Association’s World Champion Team Penning horse, Concho Juan Vito. In honor of Bonds Ranch management practices, the ranch was honored with the Beef Stocker of the Year Award in 2011 from BEEF Magazine at the 2012 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention.
Besides his sizeable cow/calf operation their main business is turning out sale barn cattle on wheat or grass. The health of those types of cattle has gotten worse over the last 10 years, so they have to be horseback, prowling through them every day, doctoring the sicks, whether they rope and tie them down to doctor or pen and doctor. As he says, “we want a horse with a lot of cow, a good bit of speed, and the bottom to take a lot of riding”. His favorite cow horse, Charlie, was retired publicly at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Best of the West Ranch Rodeo in 2009 at the age of 30. He lived to age 32.
Pete says his greatest pleasure of working his ranches comes from “handling a set of ouchy cattle on a real good horse”. He wants his grandchildren to live their lives happy in their careers, whichever business or field they may choose. He believes the future of the cattle business is extremely bright because there is a lack of people staying in or going into the business which reduces the amount of competition.
The Haley Memorial Library is honored to have Pete Bonds join the ranks of the previous 72 men and women to receive the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor. His dedication to the range cattle industry is much appreciated by his peers.
Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman's Award of Honor Recipients
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
Billy Cogdell* - Tulia, TX
J. J. Gibson* - Paducah, TX
Jiggs Mann* - Clarendon, TX
John R. Scott* - Miles, TX
Jim White* - Marfa, TX
Courtney Cowden* - Midland, TX
Linda Mitchell Davis - Cimarron, NM
Jim Tom Kelton* - Pecos, TX
Giles Lee - Lovington, NM
Tom Moorhouse - Benjamin, TX
John R. “Rich” Anderson - Gail, TX
James Dyer - Fort Davis, TX
Bob Eidson* - Lovington, NM
Helen Kleberg Groves - Baird, TX
Edward Vincent* - Lefors, TX
Sam Britt - Grenville, NM
John D. Holleyman* - Corona, NM
Ralph Miller - Fluvanna, TX
Clayton Williams, Jr. - Midland, TX
Johnnie Burson* - Silverton, TX
J.P. Miller, Jr.* - Coleman, TX
Dogie Jones - Watrous, NM
Elliott “Chope” Phillips* - Amarillo, TX
Arlan Youngblood* - Lamesa, TX
Hence Barrow* - Odessa, TX
Bob Green* - Albany, TX
Bob Jones* - Dell City, TX
Buddy Major* - Las Lunas, NM
Dick Snyder* - Clayton, NM
Frank Beaver* - Snyder, TX
Edward “Smokey” Nunn* - Deming, NM
Gretchen Sammis* - Cimarron, NM
Melvin Cotten* - Andrews, TX
Doug Fernandes - Pecos, TX
Larry Fernandes - Kermit, TX
Byron Fort* - Tatum, NM
Kenny Smith* - Hobbs, NM
Ray Snead* - Dalhart, TX
Don Hofman - Tucumcari, NM
Carl Lane Johnson - Tatum, NM
Myrle Kelton - May, TX
Tee Knox - Tarzan, TX
Vernon Miller* - Big Spring, TX
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
Cole Armstrong* - Pecos, TX
H. G. Bedford* - Midland, TX
John Dublin, Jr. - San Angelo, TX
Bill L. Lee - Buckeye, NM
Jon Means - Van Horn, TX
Chris Scharbauer - Amarillo, TX
John Welch - Wolfforth, TX
James Donnell - Fowlerton, TX
Billy Green - Albany, TX
Chris Lacy - Ft. Davis, TX
Joe Bill Nunn - Deming, NM
Ken Welch - Baird, TX