Huselby, Mark (1854–1937)

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

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Mark Huselby, rancher and businessman, was born on February 16, 1854, in Overhampton, Shropshire, England. At the age of sixteen he immigrated to the United States with his parents, two brothers, and four sisters. Sometime afterward he enlisted in the United States Army and in 1874 traveled to the Panhandle with the troops that established Fort Elliott. As the post's mess sergeant he planted a four-acre vegetable garden near Sweetwater Creek, dug a five-foot ditch around the plot, and diverted water from the creek into the moat, thus building the Panhandle's first irrigation system.

After his enlistment expired, Huselby stayed in the Panhandle. He began ranging cattle southwest of Mobeetie on a small tributary of the North Fork of the Red River now known as Huselby Creek. Eventually his ranch came to include fourteen sections, and from it Huselby furnished wood for the fort. When Wheeler County was organized in 1879, Huselby was elected its first tax assessor and also served as a juror. By 1880 he had been joined by his brother J. William. Another brother, Thomas, came later.

Huselby's business in downtown Mobeetie centered on his hotel, an eight-room rock house originally built by Frank Clampitt, with a two-story frame addition of ten rooms at the front. The frame part, which had a wide porch, was constructed of lumber freighted in from Dodge City. As proprietor Huselby served Charles Goodnight, Temple Houston, and other prominent personalities. During court week, holidays, and other festive occasions, the Huselby House was usually filled to capacity; many guests brought their own blankets and slept on the dining room floor. One unique feature was the buffalo robes on the beds. The Huselby House was also the scene of the first meetings of the Panhandle Stock Association.

By 1886 Huselby had taken out his citizenship papers and helped buy bonds for construction of the new Wheeler County Courthouse. He married Mary L. Seese, who came from Illinois, on May 5, 1888. To them were born two daughters, one of whom, Mabel, married John A. Arrington, son of the colorful George W. Arrington. On May 1, 1898, the Huselby House was destroyed by the cyclone that devastated Mobeetie, but none of the family was hurt. Through their ranching enterprise, the Huselbys quickly recovered from the disaster. Huselby helped organize the Mobeetie Bank and became one of its major stockholders. He was among the first to breed high-grade Hereford cattle and in his later years was among the big cattlemen of the Panhandle. At the time of his death on January 16, 1937, his ranch included large landholdings and oil and gas wells. His widow and daughter Isobel continued to operate the ranch. Huselby and other family members are buried in the Mobeetie Cemetery near the grave of G. W. Arrington.

Ernest R. Archambeau, "The First Federal Census in the Panhandle, 1880," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 23 (1950). Margaret Moody Gerlach, "Robert Moody, 1838–1915," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 4 (1931). Sallie B. Harris, comp., Hide Town in the Texas Panhandle: 100 Years in Wheeler County and Panhandle of Texas (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1968). Millie Jones Porter, Memory Cups of Panhandle Pioneers (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1945). Glenn Shirley, Temple Houston (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980).


  • Peoples
  • English
  • Business
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

H. Allen Anderson, “Huselby, Mark,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 20, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995