Wright Ranch

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

The present day Wright Ranch was started by Wiley W. Wright in 1927. Wiley’s interests, like his father’s, John R Wright, were in ranching. John Robert Wright was born on November 16, 1854. He came to New York City from London, England before moving west and settling in the Texas Panhandle near Mobeetie.

Cecelia Augusta Jones was born in January 1865. Cecelia’s family came from Monmouthshire, Wales after the death of her father and settled in Kansas. She and her two brothers moved from Topeka, Kansas and settled near Mobeetie after their mother died. John and Cecelia married on August 31, 1885 and moved to Canadian in 1896. John and Cecelia had 7 children; Jim, Johnny, Wiley, David, Cecelia, Annie, and LaBena.

After John’s death on November 17, 1898, Cecelia sold John’s business investments in Canadian and began raising cattle. Cecelia filed on a section of land NW of Canadian later named Wright Canyon. After battling a 6 month long illness, Cecelia died on May 22, 1928.

Their son Wiley, born March 21, 1890, worked on the Bar C Ranch during the summer for his uncle John Jones, Cecelia’s brother. At age 16, Wiley and his brothers bought several sections of land on Gibson Creek and leased about 10 sections of neighboring land getting into the cattle business fulltime. After the death of his uncle John in 1912, Wiley ran the Bar C Ranch for his Aunt Jones until their only daughter, Nellie Jones, married Frank McMordie. During this time, Wiley and his brothers resolved their partnership and bought their own land. Wiley bought a few sections several miles to the west of the resolved Gibson Creek Ranch partnership on Wolf Creek.

When the war broke out, Wiley was offered immunity from the government because he was a valued food producer. Wiley met Lucile McFadden and married June 24, 1921. They had one son, Charles Haynie on January 19, 1923. In December of 1927 Wiley sold his ranch located on Wolf Creek and purchased the present day Wright Ranch from the C.H. Shaller heirs. Wiley leased land from several other ranches and was running about 2,000 head of cattle. He built a top notch set of corrals complete with one of the first set of cattle scales. Cattlemen from all around drove their cattle to Wright Ranch to sort, weigh, and sell their cattle before driving them to town to be loaded on box cars and shipped by rail. Wiley died suddenly on October 14, 1938, leaving his only child Charles to carry on the ranching tradition at age 15. Charles leased out the ranch when he left for Iowa State University at Ames to further his education.

When news broke out about Pearl Harbor, Charles’ education was interrupted and he joined the Army Air Force and served as a navigator. Upon returning from the War, Charles resumed running the ranch. Charles married Grace Mae Hines of Pampa on December 12, 1953. Their son, John Thurmon born March 10, 1947, worked on the ranch and after graduating high school attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. John married Vicki Clements in January 1968 and their son, Sean Thurmon, was born on September 16, 1968. After graduating from OSU in 1969, they moved back to Canadian where John and Charles became partners, forming Wright Ranch, Inc. Their second child, Sharon Lynn, was born September 29, 1970.

Today, John operates the ranch with the help of Sean. Sean attended both Oklahoma State University and Texas Tech but graduated from OSU in May 1994. While at Tech, Sean met Jaye Lynn Boyce of Utopia, Texas and they married in May 1994. They moved to Canadian and Sean began working on the ranch. They have two girls, Holly Lucile born January 15, 1998 and Ashley Ruth born May 1, 2000.

After graduating from OSU in December 1995, Sharon moved back to Canadian in May of 1996 where she worked part-time as the secretary of the First Presbyterian Church and the River Valley Pioneer Museum until she accepted the director’s position at the Museum in July 2000.