HISTORY
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cattle feeding

Cattle being fed in the pens. Note: near the top of the mountain in the background is where precious fire opal veins are found.

      The Woodward Ranch is a land heritage ranch which still raises cattle, and has done so for over 120 years. The majority of this land has been in our family since it was first established and lived on in 1884.

land certificate

Copy of Family Land Heritage Certificate of Honor presented to the ranch in 1989.

      J. Frank and Mary Frances Woodward bought the property in 1939 and the ranch was initially planned to be a simple working ranch for breeding and growing cattle; however, upon soon discovering that agates existed on the place, and that people would actually come from all over the United States just to hunt and/or buy them, it was decided in the mid-1940's that they should get into the rock business. They quickly realized that they needed to cut the rocks in order to identify and price the rocks, so they bought a rock saw..... and the rest is history. Watch for more on the "Heritage Room" displays depicting the background of the Woodward Ranch.

elephant mountain

View of Elephant Mountain with ranch headquarters in foreground.

      J. Frank Woodward II subsequently owned and operated the ranch for many years until retiring in the early 1990's. It is currently owned and managed by a third generation within the Woodward family: his son, J. Frank III(Trey) and wife Jayson.

Trey driving cattle

Ranch owner Trey Woodward "working cattle."

      Dad used to tell people, "Selling rocks became an enjoyable year-round source of side-income for us. And best of all, we don't have to feed these rocks in the winter like we do these cattle. In some of the drouth years the rocks have supported the cows while in other years the cows have supported the rocks".

-------- Tommy

red and grey bolo

A reddish-gray agate bolo tie.

      An integral and interesting highlight of Frances and J. Frank Woodward, Sr., during their rock selling days was when they founded the Rollin’ Rock Club. To be a member of the State Mineral Society of Texas, later called the Texas Federation of Mineral Societies, one needed to also be a member of a local rock club. A member-at-large membership had been created because many people lived too far away from a local society to be a member, which in turn disqualified them from joining the state society. Frank had been a member-at-large director since 1945. In 1955 it was voted to abolish this type of membership; meaning, many members would again be ineligible for state membership.

J. Frank Woodward, Sr

Memory lane for those of you who may have known J. Frank Woodward, Sr (ca 1971).

      After the meeting several people were bemoaning this fact suddenly thrust among them when it was suggested by J. Frank Woodward II that they should simply create their own member-at-large type of club. Thus was born the Rollin’ Rock Club of Texas - And Any Other State Or Country Of The World (O.T.A.A.O.S.O. C.O.T.W.). Frank, Frances, and Frank, Jr., were three of the original six charter members. Frank, Sr., was elected the Club’s first President and Frances was the first secretary. Frank, Jr., was the first Treasurer.

      Within a few short years there were literally thousands of members worldwide. Several years later Frances and J. Frank Woodward, Sr., were the first to be awarded Life Membership in the Rollin' Rock Club.


          Click here for a more detailed story about the origin of the Rollin' Rock Club of Texas as related by J. Frank Woodward II (now deceased), the last living charter member.

red, yellow and black plumes mixed

Unusual red, yellow and black plumes found in one slab.


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