Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


HASTINGS, FRANK S. (1860–1922). Frank S. Hastings, cattleman, was horn at Leavenworth, Kansas, on June 19, 1860. He attended the University of Notre Dame (1876) and the University of Michigan (1877–78). In 1889 he accepted a position with Armour Packing Company of Kansas City, Missouri. Soon placed in charge of their western brokers, Hastings traveled over the territory and came to know the northwestern ranches and their owners and to love the cattle business.

When S. B. Armour started the famous Armour herd with Herefords bought from Charles W. Culbertson, Hastings's interest in the cattle business and cattle pedigrees prompted the Armours to place him in charge of sales and breeding. Hastings soon became an authority and one of the best informed-men in the industry on blood lines. Subsequently, the Swenson brothers of New York, owners of the famous SMS ranches in Texas, sought an outstanding manager for their far-flung holdings and turned to Hastings, who assumed charge of their ranch operations in 1902. For the next twenty years, with headquarters at Stamford, he devoted himself to the improvement of the already excellent SMS cattle and to the advancement of the cattle interests of Texas. He originated the successful "mail-order" calf business. His well-known personal integrity and that of the Swensons was a full guarantee to purchasers who were willing, for the first time in history, to buy cattle sight unseen in defiance of long-established custom.

Hastings was a director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and was a frequent contributor to newspapers and other publications on the cattle business, particularly the Breeders' Gazette,which in 1921 published a compilation of some of his writings under the title A Ranchman's Recollections. He was married to Laura Clark, and they had two children. Hastings died at Stamford, Texas, on June 12, 1922, and was buried at Leavenworth, Kansas.


Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Clifford B. Jones


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

Clifford B. Jones, "HASTINGS, FRANK S.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.