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PITCHFORK RANCH. The Pitchfork Ranch, in King and Dickens counties, is owned by the Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company of St. Louis. The headquarters of the 168,000-acre ranch is thirteen miles west of Guthrie on U.S. Highway 82. D. B. Gardner and J. S. Godwin bought the brand (three-pronged like a pitchfork) and range in 1881; in 1882 Godwin sold his interest to Eugene F. Williams of St. Louis. The Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company was organized in 1883 with Gardner as general manager. After Gardner's death in 1928, O. A. Lambert managed the ranch until 1930. Virgil V. Parr managed it from 1930 to 1940. Rudolph Swenson supervised it briefly from 1940 to 1942 when D. Burnet took over the job. In the 1990s the manager was Bob Moorhouse. Fencing of the ranch was begun in 1887, and oil drilling began in the early 1900s. In the 1990s the ranch raised commercial cross-breed cattle and championship quarter horses, nominated in 1993 to the American Quarterhorse Remuda. The Williams family still owned controlling interest in the Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Mamie Sypert Burns, This I Can Leave You: A Woman's Day on the Pitchfork Ranch (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986). James Cox, Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry (2 vols., St. Louis: Woodward and Tiernan Printing, 1894, 1895; rpt., with an introduction by J. Frank Dobie, New York: Antiquarian, 1959). Margaret A. Elliott, "History of D. B. Gardner's Pitchfork," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 18 (1945). John M. Hendrix, "The Forks," Cattleman, March 1939.
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