Isaacs Brothers

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

ISAACS BROTHERS William C., Sam, and John Childress Isaacs, Panhandle settlers and ranchers, were the sons of Joseph C. and Mary (Jack) Isaacs, who moved to Bosque County, Texas, from their Alabama in 1857. Will, the oldest, was born on December 4, 1853, in Alabama and moved to Bosque County with his parents at the age of four. There Sam was born on January 26, 1864, and John in 1866.

Throughout the 1880s, the Isaac brothers worked on ranches in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma), Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Kansas. In January 1892 Will Isaacs married Mary K. Brainard, Canadian's first schoolteacher and the sister of rancher Ed Brainard. The next year Will and Sam purchased a 30,000-acre ranch and 4,000 cattle, which bore their Circle and a Half brand. In 1906 the brothers helped establish the Canadian State Bank, with Ed Brainard as president, Will as vice president, and Sam as cashier; Will subsequently was president for several years. Their partnership lasted until 1912, when they divided the property among themselves and operated independently. Will continued ranching until 1928, when he sold 8,085 acres to Lewis Webb of Gray County. He died on May 18, 1934. Mary Isaacs remained active in and social affairs in Canadian until her death on October 12, 1950. The Mary B. Isaacs School in Canadian was named for her.

Sam, whose ranch consisted of 13,371 well-stocked acres, served as a director of the Canadian Building and Loan Association and helped establish Canadian's Masonic lodge. He married May Louisa Stevens of Kansas City on August 6, 1907, and for years they provided high-school boys with room and board at their two-story brick home on Main Street, in exchange for the chores they did around the house. Sam was a charter member of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society and was one of the founders of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum at Canyon; he liberally supported both institutions. He retired after leasing his ranch in September 1942, and died on September 28, 1943.

John C. Isaacs returned to the Panhandle from Arizona in 1890 and worked two years for the T Anchor Ranch, earning the nickname "T Anchor Kid." After working briefly for the Frying Pan Ranch he established his own ranch in 1893 on Needmore Creek, east of Canadian. He married Viola Bloom of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, on June 1, 1898, and they had four children.

Along with his brothers, John helped organize the Canadian State Bank and the Canadian Building and Loan Association, both of which he served for years as a director. He also was a past president of the T Anchor Reunion Association and the Panhandle Old Settlers' Association. He died on October 22, 1937, and the ranch on Needmore Creek is still being operated by his heirs.