Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
Historic ranch formed by partnership of legendary pioneers
June 18th, 1876
On this day in 1876, Charles Goodnight and John G. Adair drew up the contract that brought the JA Ranch into being. The JA is the oldest privately owned cattle ranch in the Panhandle. Goodnight had met Adair, an English aristocrat interested in going into the cattle business, in Denver. Adair agreed to furnish the capital Goodnight needed to build up his "Home Ranch" in Armstrong County. The five-year contract provided for two-thirds of the property and profit to go to Adair and one-third to Goodnight. At Goodnight's suggestion the ranch was named for Adair's initials. The arrangement was profitable, and when the contract expired, it was extended for another five years. When Adair died in 1885 his wife continued the partnership. At the end of the twentieth century the ranch had seen many changes and was substantially fenced and cross-fenced. It was still noted for its purebred Herefords and Angus bulls.