Conaster Ranch

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

Conatser Ranch, founded by William Jasper Conatser (1863-1940), known as W. J. or “Cobb,” who came to Hemphill County from Tennessee in 1885. He initially worked for the Laurel Leaf Ranch and subsequently was a partner in the cattle business with J. H. Hopkins on Spring Creek, now known as the Big Bull Ranch.

He met Mary Ann Fawcett (1873-1957), of Osage City, Kansas, while visiting friends in Grand, Oklahoma, where she was teaching school. They married in 1896, began their family on the Big Bull Ranch, and, in 1905, moved to the present ranch on Boggy Creek. Here W. J. built a sod-roofed home from timbers he pulled from the river, registered the “C” cattle brand, and began the Conatser Ranch.

His son Tom (1899–1988) returned in the 1920s from a sojourn in California to help run the ranch. In 1932, Tom married Margaret Parsell (1903-1968), whose family had a ranch up the river in Roberts County. Tom and Margaret raised four children on the ranch.

About 1942, W. J.'s widow, Mary Ann Conatser, purchased 924 acres next to Lake Marvin that adjoined their ranch. This land, purchased from Tom Harlan, was the “Old Springer Ranch”, which was a well known stop for the soldiers going from Ft. Elliott in Mobeetie to Fort Supply in Oklahoma. The house on this property became the main dwelling of the Conatser Ranch.

Robert Allen “Bob” Conatser, older son of Tom and Margaret, ran the ranch from 1970 until 1996, when it was purchased by Ed and Ruth Shannon.