John Anderson’s Story – 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.