SPADE RANCH . The Spade Ranch actually was two separate ranches in West Texas, each under different ownership, but whose histories are linked by barbed wire and a distinctive brand. The first ranch was begun in the Panhandle by John F. (Spade) Evans qv , who formed a corporation with Judson P. Warner, an agent who sold Joseph F. Glidden's barbed wire. On August 25, 1880, J. F. Evans and Company purchased twenty-three sections of land in Donley County near Clarendon from J. A. Reynolds. Although it is not known who originally designed the unique brand, which resembles a shovel or spade, it was first used on a herd that Evans and Warner gathered in Lamar County. The partners trailed these cattle to the abundant Panhandle grasses and turned them loose on open range near Saddler Creek. Their first camp was established on nearby Glenwood Creek, but later they erected a log house on Barton Creek, which they designated as permanent headquarters. Since neither Evans nor Warner had much time from other business interests to spend in Donley County, they turned active management of the Spade over to such capable men as Baldy Oliver and Dave Nall. Alfred Rowe worked briefly with the Spade outfit when he was starting his own operation, the RO Ranch , in 188081. Warner supervised the fencing of the Spade pastures. During roundup time the Spade men worked in cooperation with the neighboring RO.

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