Lou Turner Hays

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

The Springer Ranch Company hired Mose Wesley Hays, an experienced cowman who, with his brother-in-law Joseph Morgan had driven cattle to Hemphill County from Padre Island in 1878. His wife, Lou Turner Hays, became legendary among area cowboys for her hospitality. Mrs. Hays mothered the whole countryside, besides serving as postmistress.

She sewed and cooked for the lonesome cowboys, nursing them in illness and brining them laughter. To show their appreciation of Mrs. Hays, the cowboys registered a brand in her name and slapped in on every maverick they ran into. Mose already had a little bunch and the miss's turned in 250 head. Around 1889 the Springer Ranch Company sold out all its holdings piecemeal. The former roadhouse was abandoned, and the ranch gradually ceased to exist. The Hays family settled on Commission Creek in Lipscomb County south of Higgins, where Lou Hays died in 1910. Bonnie Hays Lake, near their home site, bears the name of their daughter. Mose Hays, who at one time ran a general merchandise store in Canadian, later remarried and moved to San Antonio, where he died in 1938.