Two-Buckle Ranch

By: Mary L. Cox

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: January 23, 2019

The Two-Buckle Ranch was started and owned by the Kentucky Cattle Company, organized in 1882 at Louisville, Kentucky. Maj. Willa Viley Johnson was the first general manager and a major stockholder. The company bought 200 sections of land in Crosby County, Texas, in 1884 and started the ranch the same year. The entire range was fenced in two pastures of equal size, the division fence running east and west a few miles south of the site of present Crosbyton. The headquarters ranch house, built in the canyon south of Silver Falls, was of native stone. The north pasture extended to the Henry Clay (Uncle Hank) Smith ranch. The ranch was stocked with 13,500 cattle and 130 saddle horses. Johnson resigned in 1884, after losing an argument over using the open range or purchasing permanent range. He opposed using and depending on open range. Claude M. Tilford became general manager after Johnson left. The stock increased until 1890, when a slump in the price of beef forced a reduction in number. By 1893 the Kentucky Cattle Company was forced to go out of business and sold the entire herd. The ranch remained idle until 1898, when it was leased to the Carolitos Ranch of Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1900 the Kentucky Cattle Company sold the south pasture to Hudson and Schultz. In 1909 A. W. Hudson bought out his partner and began selling the land to farmers; later the remainder was leased to Frank Corn and thereafter was known as Half Circle S. In 1902 the north pasture, 100 sections, was sold to Coonsley Brothers or the C. B. Livestock Company, who named it Bar-N-Bar Ranch.

Crosbyton Review, March 20, 1936. Dorothy Austin Dennis, "Major Willa Viley Johnson and the Kentucky and Magnolia Cattle Companies," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 48 (1972).

  • 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.

Mary L. Cox, “Two-Buckle Ranch,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 23, 2019