Pitchfork Land & Cattle Co.
Boyhood friends from Mississippi, Eugene Williams, a sales manager for the St. Louis based Hamilton Brown Shoe Co. and D.B. Gardner, a Texas surveyor, established the Pitchfork Ranch in 1870. D.B. Gardner purchased cattle from South Texas to begin the ranch. The herd already wore the Pitchfork brand so he simply named the ranch after the brand.
In 1883, the ranch was incorporated, with the principal stockholders being the Williams family in St. Louis. Gardner managed the ranch until his death in 1928. Although it has grown larger and more prosperous, the Pitchfork has not lost the spirit of friendship and trust that Gardner and Williams brought to it. Only six managers have managed the Pitchfork Ranch since Mr. Gardner, the present being Ron Lane.
The home ranch stretching across 165,000 acres of central west Texas is located80 miles east of Lubbock along a 14-mile stretch of Highway 82. The ranch is located in Dickens and King counties, in addition to 3,000 acres in Benjamin, Texas, and 3,300 in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The Williams family descendants continue to operate the 122-year old ranch in the same conservative manner as their founders with an emphasis on friendship and hospitality.