Tweedy, Joseph (1849–1928)

By: Mrs. A. Mellick Tweedy

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 1, 1995

Joseph Tweedy, pioneer sheep ranchman of Tom Green County, son of Oliver Burr and Maria (Lord) Tweedy, was born in New York City on March 17, 1849. The Tweedys had been hatters at Danbury, Connecticut, for several generations. Oliver Tweedy's clothing manufacturing firm, Schepflin, Baldwin, and Tweedy, had prospered during the Civil War making military uniforms. With Morgan and Lawrence Grinnell and J. Barlow Reynolds, Tweedy sailed from New York to Galveston in April 1876. Grinnell, Tweedy, and Reynolds bought Mexican ewes and Merino rams and herded sheep between Fort Clark and Fort Duncan. The men then explored the country around the confluence of the Concho rivers near Fort Concho and Ben Ficklin, an area later to become an international center of the wool industry. Tweedy and his partners drove the first sheep into this area in the spring of 1877. (John Arden brought sheep from California later that same year.) The headquarters of Knickerbocker Ranch on Dove Creek, still operated by the Tweedy family in 1984, became the post office (1881) and town of Knickerbocker. Tweedy, an organizer and first president of the Wool Growers' Association, formed at San Angelo in 1881, supported scab inspection laws and herd laws and the raising of Rambouillet sheep. When wool prices fell in 1884, some ranch holdings were sold and other partners withdrew. Tweedy served as longtime county commissioner and as bank director and civic leader in San Angelo. His San Jose Irrigation Company, chartered on Dove Creek in 1885, was one of the earliest ventures in irrigation in Texas. Tweedy also pioneered in pecan budding and grafting. He was an Episcopalian and a Republican. He married Lillie Mellick of New York. Tweedy died in San Angelo on January 27, 1928.

San Angelo Standard, January 28, 1928. Joseph Tweedy, Letters, Porter Henderson Library, Angelo State University. Joe A. Gibson, Old Angelo (San Angelo: Educator, 1971).
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Sheep and Goat Ranchers

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

Mrs. A. Mellick Tweedy, “Tweedy, Joseph,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995