The Rocking Chair Ranch name and brand are seen in may Texas history schoolbooks and dates back to the early 1850?s. Mr. Blair M. Boyd bought the ranch in May 1903 and lived on it until the summer of 1907 when he moved to Hillsboro, OH. The ranch was then leased to different parties for the next 52 years. The ranch under the present ownership was bought in 1958 from Mr. Boyd. From 1958 until 1966 the ranch maintained about 300 commercial cows. During these years the ranch produced several champion pens of feeder steers in San Angelo, TX. The RCR had over 10,000 acres dedicated to the improvement of Herefords. We at the ranch believe without our modern improvements that it would be impractical for us to try to raise the bulls in volume that our present operation consists of. We have spend the last 50 years making practical improvements that are now enabling us to produce bulls in volume and at an economical price to our customers.
In 1965 the first registered heifers stepped off the truck. These first thirty heifers were purchased from Walter Hill, Comanche, TX, and the breeding of these heifers was that of Walter?s famed sire, Colorado Domino 161C from the Banning-Lewis Ranches, Colorado Springs CO. Cattle from other herds were soon added from such noted herds as Hull Dobbs Ranch, Tic Tac Toe Ranch, Albert Mitchell, and Hall-Nance Ranches. The main bloodlines consisted of Battle Intense, Colorado Domino, Husker Mischief, and Mischief. These cows have proven to be productive, good milkers, with size and quality. Our cow herd now numbers about 350 mother cows, and is culled each year on calf production, milking ability, individual conformation, and weaning weights.
The Lipan Spring Division was added in 1970, from the Warings Estate. William Scherz, a German stonemason from Sequin, built a native rock spring-house in 1880 to protect the spring. The stagecoach stop house was built of cut rock by masons in 1881. Both of these structures are standing and in use today. The two story house was built in 1898, and additions were made in 1984. With the joining of the Union Pacific rails in sight in 1896, Ben Fickling and Frederick Shollinger received a contract for weekly mail services between San Antonio and Fort Smith, Arkansas, with a branch route to El Paso, Texas. The service was inaugurated in 1868, following Bryan and Bartlett?s trail as far as Lipan Springs and continuing north to the Concho Mail Station, three miles southwest of Fort Concho. At this point, the branch known as the San Antonio-El Paso Mail Line began. Kickapoo Springs, Lipan Springs, and then Pecan Station was the route traveled by the stage. FM 1223 is actually the old Fort McKavett Road. Lipan Spring has never gone dry and vaies in flow from a low of 40 gallons a minute to 1000 gallons a minute during wet years. The Concho Valley Archaeological Society has stated that this is, by far, the most extensive and significant prehistoric and historic site yet recorded in the county.
In the late 1970?s seven large lakes and an irrigation system were constructed to provide water to grow hay for the ranch. In 1973, Whitehead decided to beautify the area by using native rock to create and channel to a lake immediately off the spring. Today, after several years of work, the spring area has become the show place of the ranch.
The cows are divided into two calving groups, fall and spring. RCR runs a very strict culling program and emphasizes fertility, udder development and structural soundness. The cow herd is made up mostly of L1 Domino and Canadian-bred cows. A large part of the cows go back to CL1 Domino 0005, an L1 Domino 75901 son that sold to Gino Pedretti in the 1981 Cooper-Holden Sale for $100,000.