​​​Clay County 1890 Jail Museum 


W.S. Ikard

Museum Memories article compiled by J.D. Evans and printed in The Clay County Leader 2013

Pioneer rancher Mr. William Susan Ikard, (He did not like his given middle name of Susan and usually went by Sude when asked), born in 1847 in Somerville, Mississippi, is credited with being the first to bring Herefords to Texas (identified in the picture above by the arrow). When he first arrived he established the V Bar Ranch, 20,000 acres near Charlie, (then called Big Wichita Valley), and 11,000 acres near Wichita Falls. This 11,000 acres was later sold to A.B. Edwards, and is now part of the 2R Ranch. Mr. Ikard, in partnership with his brother E.F. also established the Circle Ranch, 70,000 acres in Clay and Archer Counties. This partnership lasted until the ranch went bankrupt during the drought of 1885 - 1887. The Ikards were one of the first to fence off large portions of their ranch, but avoided the "Fence Cutter War" by leaving large gaps and not closing off water holes. He avoided Indian trouble by paying Quanah Parker $200.00 and six cows a month for protection. The original Herefords were purchased at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Most of the originals died from the Texas (tick) fever, but after several years an immune species was developed. An interesting side note was, the Herefords with their short legs and heavy weight did not trail well and had to be shipped in. This species became the basis for the Hereford industry in Texas.

W.S. had a part in laying out the city of Henrietta, and was one of the founders of the Cattle Raisers Association of Texas, now the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, in 1896, and was a founder and first president of the Texas Hereford Association.

He married Kate Lewis on September 18, 1877 and fathered eight children. He died on September 13, 1934, and is buried in Hope Cemetary in Henrietta.