Scissors Ranch

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: June 1, 1995

Updated: February 19, 2019

The Scissors was the first ranch established at the Adobe Walls site and the second in Hutchinson County, after Thomas Sherman Bugbee's Quarter Circle T. The ranch was founded in 1878 by William E. Anderson and named for its cattle brand, which resembled a pair of scissors. The brand was officially registered at Mobeetie in 1880. The 1880 census reported Anderson as owning 1,600 acres of pasture valued at $800. He had 485 cattle, fifteen milk cows, fifty-four horses, nine mules, and 7,000 sheep, all valued at $25,265. In 1879 he sold forty cattle, lost fifty dead, strayed, or stolen, and had a calf increase of 100. With his sheep Anderson apparently suffered a severe setback, for in 1879 he lost 200 to disease and 1,000 more from "stress of weather." During that year he sold only 646 sheep, slaughtered 200, and had a lamb increase of 1,500. He also clipped 4,200 sheep to get a total of 20,000 pounds of wool. Evidently Anderson had at least five men in his employ, since he paid out $1,500 for an estimated 260 weeks of employee time during 1879. Orville H. Nelson noted Anderson's ranching activities at Adobe Walls in 1879 while he was traveling from Kansas to buy cattle for the first time. Anderson was a charter member of the Panhandle Cattle Raisers' Association in 1880. He was among the jurors summoned for Wheeler County's third district court in 1881. The occasion was the trial of John McCabe, accused of killing Granger Dyer, Charles Goodnight's brother-in-law. The jurors, among them Cape Willingham, Emmanuel Dubbs, and R. E. McAnulty, found the defendant not guilty. In 1882 Anderson sold his holdings to the Hansford Land and Cattle Company, which was buying up ranches in the vicinity. It subsequently became part of the Turkey Track Ranch, and the Scissors brand was no longer used.

Millie Jones Porter, Memory Cups of Panhandle Pioneers (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1945). Pauline D. and R. L. Robertson, Cowman's Country: Fifty Frontier Ranches in the Texas Panhandle, 1876–1887 (Amarillo: Paramount, 1981).

  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranches Established After 1835

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

H. Allen Anderson, “Scissors Ranch,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995
February 19, 2019