Coyote Hills Ranch is located in southwest Oklahoma in Tillman County, which lies south of the Wichita Mountains, reportedly the oldest range of mountains in the United States, and is bordered on the south by the Red River--which is the Oklahoma-Texas border. It is located in the section of Oklahoma Indian Territory which was not opened until the early 1900's.
We recall our grandmother Lizzie Vardell Holloway's recollections of the early days when this area was literally a sea of grass--largely big bluestem and little bluestem. She shared her memories of riding horseback a many a day in the tall grass heavy with the morning dew that would wet you clear to the knee.
This great southwest empire known as the Big Pasture was one of the last of the Indian lands to be opened for settlement. It was for a time a pasture of long horned cattle and a refuge for outlaws--among them Frank and Jesse James. As it was one of the last Indian lands to be opened for settlement, Indians were given the right to choose their allotments. Few chose this flat, unbroken prairie land, as they preferred land near streams, woods and mountains as was the heritage of the Comanche Indians. They were satisfied to rent their land to the cattle kings of northern Texas. Two of the most notable were W.T. Wagoner and Burk Burnett. The cattle barons would pay their rent with wagons loaded with silver as the Indians would not accept paper money, being suspicious of it.
A large portion of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache strip was thrown open for settlement by lottery in 1901 with drawings for 160 acre parcels held in El Reno and Lawton. The remaining area, which had been surveyed and benchmarks set in 1884 in anticipation of opening, was not officially opened until 1907. Settlers had to live on their claim for 14 months and pay $1.25 and acre to maintain their farm.
Back in the spring of 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt attended a reunion of his Rough Riders Regiment in San Antonio, Texas. Roosevelt wanted to spend a few days hunting before returning to Washington and would have done so in Texas were it not for his desire to see Oklahoma Territory become a state during his administration--thus Oklahoma Territory was selected. Perhaps the thing that enticed him to this area was the stories of John "Jack" Abernathy, a young homesteader near Frederick who caught coyotes alive with his bare hands. The place of the hunt was west of the present day Coyote Hills Ranch. Their campsite was near the old Isadore townsite--1-1/2 miles south of Hammsville at Panther Springs--reportedly named due to the sighting of a panther during their excursion. The present day mural on the east wall of the old Chattanooga Bank building (now the elementary school) portrays the two adventurous hunters who saw the territory become the State of Oklahoma in 1907.
Interestingly enough, Limousin cattle first found their home in the Big Pasture country in 1970 across the road from Panther Springs. In partnership with Edgar Hamm, we began in the Limousin business there before moving to our present location in 1973.
The entire Holloway family is involved in the ranching operation. Our forefathers developed a heritage that we are proud of, and all of us here at Coyote Hills Ranch strive to continue to develop a heritage that our children can be proud of, not only in our community but in the Limousin breed as well. Welcome to Coyote Hills Ranch!