Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor Recipients

For anyone who might have missed the 1st Annual Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor ceremony and the 4th Annual Fall Gatherin’, you truly missed one of the highlights in Haley Library history.

On September 28, 2000, the Haley Library recognized eight men who became the first recipients of the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor. The award was established in memory of Foy Proctor who was said to be the embodiment of a rancher’s dream. He started in the ranching industry with “little except his cattle savvy,” and through hard work, honest dealings and good cow sense, built a ranching empire that stretched through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nebraska.

Since that first ceremony, this award has been given to other deserving individuals, but in the first year, eight men were chosen to represent and outline the character and range for those to follow. The recipients were honored for their example of talent, spirit and character at their work. Frank Cowden, Jr. of Midland, Bill Craft of Clarendon, Ted Gray, Sr. of Alpine, James Kenney of Carlsbad, New Mexico, Tom Linebery of Kermit, Alf Means of Valentine, John Pearson of Eunice, New Mexico, and Buster Welch of Rotan, Texas.

Byron Price said, “These guys are so typical of the type of person this award was meant for. They are a reminder of a long and distinct heritage which is increasingly under stress by a variety of modern forces. They are all cut from the same cloth, or the same hide maybe.

Noted author, Elmer Kelton of San Angelo, noted that, “Foy Proctor was such an example. He influenced a lot of people he didn’t even know. He was a real, bonafide, self-made cattleman. The kind of man other people watch and model themselves after.


Bobby McKnight

Bobby has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the agricultural community, perhaps influenced by genetics. The McKnight family’s involvement in the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association dates back to his great uncle Sam McKnight’s service on the executive committee in 1913.


Tim Morrow

Seven generations of the Morrow family from northeastern New Mexico have resided near Capulin Mountain. Tim Morrow represents the fifth generation of Morrows who have continued the tradition of utilizing these ancestral grazing grounds. 

Mike Stephens


Mike Stephens

Thirty miles west of Snyder, Texas was the childhood home of Mike Stephens. Mike took his first breath of dry West Texas dusty air in Snyder on June 9, 1945. He lived with his parents Allen and Opal Stephens on the Rocker Ranch owned by the Clayton Family of Borden County. 

Johnny Ferguson


Johnny Ferguson

Horses have always played a big part in Johnny’s appreciation for the work of ranching. He said the job just would not be as enjoyable. His grandkids claim he is “old school”, which he freely admits, but the truth also is that one of the reasons he continues ranching is because of working cattle horseback with good cowboys. He has done it that way all his life and knows no other way.


James Monahan

James says that this cow culture will stay grounded in an ever changing world.  This culture will always appreciate what hard work will accomplish. His worst fears are winter storms and a poor cattle market.  His greatest pleasure is enjoying good health and his ability to be involved daily at age 90.


Craig Haythorn

Craig says his greatest pleasures come from cowboying and family.  His biggest worries after weather include the current direction of our country and the questionable direction of American agriculture and the loss of the old cowboy ways.  His concerns include high taxes, with Nebraska having the third highest in the country. His hope is in his family and seeing them fulfill their dreams.


Joe Magee

Joe believes the rancher was the first environmentalist.  If land is not taken care of it won’t take care of you.  His goal is to leave his land in better shape than he found it, and to teach is descendants to do the same.  With fewer and fewer people in the ranching business multi-generational ranches are more important now than they ever have been.  This history and heritage has to be recognized and understood by future generations.


Warren Davis

Warren Davis hopes that he honors those who have gone before him in making the CS Ranch a success. The future of our way of life is tough and you have to love it.


Shannon Hall

Shannon believes his greatest pleasures in life come from being able to saddle his horse, see the sun rise, enjoying God’s creations and simply being a cowboy.


John Anderson

John Anderson, has spent his whole life on and now operates the Muleshoe ranch with wife Kevva. 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.


Candi Cowden

The spirit of her forbearers resides in Candi as demonstrated in her reluctance to allow her heritage to be forgotten. She strives to increase her knowledge, to leave her land better than she found it, and hopes to inspire upcoming generations to develop similar philosophies.


Pete Bonds

Pete says his greatest pleasure of working his ranches comes from “handling a set of ouchy cattle on a real good horse”.  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.


Jim Nicholson

Jim Nicholson’s 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.


Jimmie Powell

Jimmie 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. 


S. A. Baxter

S. A. Baxter is a sixth generation rancher born in 1931 on the family ranch in San Saba and Lampasas Counties, Texas. He says, There is no better feeling than to ride a good, young horse that you raised and started, on a good spring day.


Royce Fort

We were taught to work, take responsibility for our actions, and to entertain ourselves. Looking back, Royce said, If you apply yourself, work hard, have patience, and maintain the Christian values we were taught, things will work out OK.  Technology changes, right and wrong stays the same.


Bob Kelton

Bob Kelton was born in 1948 to a 4th generation West Texan father Jim Tom Kelton & mother Doris Calley Kelton. His greatest pleasure is working cattle on horseback.


Joe Bill Nunn

Joe Bill says his fondest memories of that time of his life were the summers spent gathering cows, flanking calves, helping the neighbors, getting to rodeo a little and roping in the branding pens. Those years were where he learned the lessons of the range. “Treat everyone how you want to be treated and work as hard as it takes to get the job done.”


Ken Welch

The West Texas ranching landscape has been home to now seven generations of a family named Welch.  Those generations of Welches have endured many hardships and heartaches and as well have enjoyed many triumphs and achievements. 


Chris Lacy

Chris set out on a path of improvement, not making changes just to be flexing the muscles of a new manager on the place but making changes that were for the right reasons. These changes demonstrated his ability to adapt to the changing economic environment of the day.


Billy Green

Billy has maintained a cow-calf operation of crossbred Hereford – Angus cattle. Billy says “we never know what we’re going to get. That’s kind of the tough thing about this business,” Green concludes. “Mother nature doesn’t ‘entitle’ you, and you must live with what she gives you.”


James ‘Jimmy’ Donnell*

Jim says he has seen many changes in the cattle and ranching business over the last 60 years. When he was a kid they worked cattle horseback from the 5th of July until Labor Day when he had to go back to school. They saddled their horses before daylight and worked until noon, rested during the heat of the day, then worked until dark — seven days a week.


Chris Scharbauer

Chris is the fourth generation of a family that began ranching sheep in 1883 and brought some of the first registered Hereford cattle to West Texas in the late 1880’s. He is president and owner of Scharbauer Cattle Company and owner of the Five S Ranch in the Texas Panhandle.


John Welch

John Welch was born in Midland, Texas to parents Charles and Eileen Welch. John continues to ranch on 23,000 acres in Southern Colorado. He currently serves on the boards of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Assoc., the Texas Livestock Marketing Assoc. and the Spade Ranches.


Jon Means

Everyone always thinks about what all the pioneer men did. I’m telling you, the women are the people who held the West together. He describes his grandmother as a wise, self-educated woman with a lot of grit. She understood the business.

johnnie burson


Johnnie Burson of Silverton modestly said “I’m real glad to have this honor of being inducted into this organization. I don’t think I deserve it. There’s a lot more people that are better cowboys than I am.”


Edward Vincent*

Edward Vincent has spent his entire 80 years on the Vincent Ranch south of Lefors in Gray County. Vincent’s great, great grandfather came to Texas from Alabama in the 1840s – just after Texas received her statehood – and the family has been involved in ranching ever since.


Helen Kleberg Groves*

Helen Kleberg Groves, the second female Cowman award recipient, spent her life on ranches. Ms. Groves grew up on the most famous of all Texas ranches – the King Ranch – and she’s seen many ranching-related changes take place since she was little.


Bob Eidson*

Bob Eidson might have been around ranching people all his life, but he didn’t enter the business until after serving as an infantryman in World War II. The late start didn’t seem to dilute his ranching sense any. He learned about ranching from the ground up and was evidently as much a natural on the land as he had been on the football field.


James Dyer*

James Dyer still actively works his family ranch, Rancho Escuella, and runs a successful cattle operating business, 3-D Cattle Company. But, like Anderson, operations have changed over the almost 40 years he and his wife, Jan, have carved a successful business out of the mesquite and rock around Ft. Davis.


John R. “Rich” Anderson*

What it takes to put beef on a plate is becoming, more and more an ordeal fewer are willing to endure. But those who are willing, like John R. “Rich” Anderson, work the challenge, ever searching for the next idea that will allow them to hold on to the business they love.


Jim Tom Kelton*

Kelton was born a third generation horseman and cattleman. Although he lived in Pecos during his high school years, he spent weekends and summers on the Anderson and Dixieland Ranches. “He handled men the same way,” said Steagall, “as quiet as possible. He was not known to do much talking, so when he did talk, the men listened as orders were given and occasional bits of wisdom were shared.”


Giles Lee*

Giles M. Lee spent most of his life on the Swamp Angel Ranch southwest of Lovington, New Mexico. His mother’s father had been stock farming and his father’s family had been in the cattle business for several generations.


Linda Mitchell*

This is a tremendous honor, and I was thinking back how fortunate we are that Hernan Cortez landed in 1519 in Santa Cruz and brought with him 16 head of purebred horses. And then, in 1521 a fellow Spaniard arrived with a small herd of purebred Spanish cattle.


Courtney Cowden*

Courtney Holt Cowden, Sr., brother to previous Foy Proctor Award recipient Frand Cowden, Jr., spent a lot of time as a kid in Midland roping calves, working on neighbors’ ranches and honing his horse training skills.


Tom Moorhouse

It’s been said Texas cowboy, Tom Moorhouse, isn’t just good at his work, he’s the best.


J. J. Gibson*

“I’m deeply honored and grateful for this award,” said recipient J. J. Gibson. “Although I didn’t know Foy Proctor personally, I knew him by reputation and he was truly a legend within our time.”


Billy Cogdell*

Billy Cogdell was born and raised on his family’s ranch of Snyder, Texas. He grew up on horseback, showed his first cutting horse when he was 12 and won the first class he ever entered.


John R. Scott*

The growth and success of the S Ranch wasn’t merely some stroke of good luck. The hired help and the Scott family worked hard, and always out in front was John.


Jim White*

A typical West Texas cowman, his greatest fear is drought. “Everyday that goes by puts us one day closer to rain,” he said.


Jiggs Mann*

Jiggs Mann, born in 1929, took up cowboying during the lean years of World War II when the JA Ranch was short-handed. Barely 15, he learned at the feet of a few old-timers who knew the business from the ground up.

ted gray


Ted Gray*

It is a privilege that we are honored to celebrate a gentleman of Foy Proctor’s character.

bill craft


Bill Craft*

This award honors self-made cowmen. Ranching is a good life.


John Pearson*

John Pearson of Eunice, New Mexico manages the San Simon Ranch that was established by his maternal great grandfather, Clabe Merchant in 1897.

buster welch


Buster Welch*

It’s an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence with Foy Proctor. He was my hero. I credit him with teaching me more in a short time and setting an example and instilling a lot of confidence that I’ve carried with me all my life.

tom linebery


Tom Linebery*

This award means a lot to me. In my opinion, Foy Proctor was the best judge of a cow, horse and man of anyone I ever knew. He was the best cowman in America. I feel honored to be in his circle.

alf means


Alf Means*

I am accepting this award not just for myself, but for my family who taught me and brought me up in the cow business. All the discipline, taking good care of the cattle and the land.

frank cowden jr


Frank Cowden, Jr.*

I remember how good a man Foy Proctor was. I sold a lot of calves to Foy. We sold 420 pair of cows and calves one time in a drought.


James Kenney*

I went to work for Foy Proctor when I was 12 years old. He was the first man I ever got a paycheck from. Foy Proctor was the ideal of a good man and a good cowman.

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

Year 2015

S. A. Baxter – Bend, TX
Royce Fort – Midland, TX
Bob Kelton – Pecos, TX

Year 2016

Jimmie Powell – San Angelo, TX
Jim Nicholson – Lefors, TX
Pete Bonds – Fort Worth, TX

Year 2017

John Anderson – Gail, TX
Candi Cowden – Midland, TX

Year 2018

Shannon Hall – Amarillo, TX
Warren Davis – Raton, NM

*  Deceased

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