Monday, September 28, 2015

NM Rancher - Bulls & Boldness

One can't speak of ranching in eastern New Mexico, especially the Guadalupe Mountains, without mentioning Willard Campbell Bates. He was the first to introduce Hereford cattle to the area. Bates owned more than 225 sections of ranch land. The Panama Ranch, located in the Lincoln National Forest, had 125 sections and the Cawley Ranch, later known as the Bates – McWilliams Ranch, with upwards of 80 sections located some 32 miles west of Carlsbad. He also owned the large Blue Water Ranch near Sacramento and Weed for a number of years. He was born in Mexico, Missouri, to John William and Dora Hayes Bates on April 10, 1876. At 17 he headed toward Texas and worked on ranches in the area around Abilene, where he met his future wife, Bessie Lee Bell. He wouldn't marry until he was sure he could support a family. In 1893 he went to work for M.B. Huling at the 9K Ranch south of Eddy, now Carlsbad. He convinced Huling to let him work for cattle, not wages. It took Bates six years to accumulate a herd that he then sold. With money in his pocket, he went to marry Bell. They purchased a general store in Mayhill. By 1904, after selling the store, they moved to Otis and bought a farm. Bates walked his own path and never settled for the norm when it came to ranching or life in general...more

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