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  • Empire Ranch is Purchased and the Hard Work Begins (August-December 1876)

    …he Military Plaza, ca. 1890. Photo taken by Edward Vail, ERF archives: A530-61a September 1-9, 1876—Empire Ranch Expansion Begins Hislop writes (9/23/1876): “We have got another ranch now and 620 sheep on it, we bought the man that owned them out. He was ill with fever and got disgusted so let us have them cheap. We gave him 4/-a head, that is cheap enough and they come in very handy to us as meat and when we can get 50 lbs. of meat for 4/-it is n…

  • Vail & Gates, 1888-1909

    …work in Arizona ranching at: https://www.azfb.org/Article/Arizona-Ranching-In-the-Beginning 300 tons of alfalfa hay grown in the agricultural fields at the Empire Ranch in the South Barn, at the Empire Ranch, 1924. ERF archives A301-001   Carroll W. Gates (1860-1920) Carroll W. Gates, 1909. ERF archives: A540-009 Carroll Gates was born in New York in 1860 and moved at an early age with his family to California. Educated in the San Jose area he fi…

  • Chiricahua Ranches Company Ownership, 1928-1951

    …cation. At the show the 10 best pens of 10 head of steers were selected to complete a 120-day feeding period at the University of Arizona experimental farm in Phoenix. “The results of the competition, a practical test in economy of grains, was the. magnet that drew the cattlemen from all over the state. The awards, announced by Dr. E. L. Scott, head of the beef cattle department of the university, were as follows: 1st Frank Boice, of the CCC ranch…

  • The Search for the Right Ranch (July 14-August 22, 1876)

    …Horses holding a roped bull, 1880s. This image was used to create the Vail Company letterhead. Source: ERF archives A410-01 July 20, 1876—An Aborted Trip to the Rincon Ranch Hislop writes (8/7/1876): Started for the Rincon Ranch at 2 p.m. and lost our way so had to turn back to Tucson, as we could not find any water. If we had camped out we thought our horses would perish and ourselves too, so thought ”Discretion was the better part of valor.” Vai…

  • Boice Family Ranching History, 1859-1928

    …ivate Memorial Room at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, CA. Courtesy of Find-A-Grave On December 7, 1919 Henry S. Boice died in Pasadena, CA. He had been ill for several months. He was survived by his wife, LuBelle and their five children. Will Barnes wrote in his obituary of Henry S.: “In his home life he was singularly happy, his relations with his children being more that of a big brother than a father.” [The Breeder’s Gazette, 2/12/1920] Henry…

  • Online Gift Shop

    …You can now shop online for ERF Gift Shop items. Your purchase helps preserve and protect the Empire Ranch! Items for sale include Empire Ranch Foundation denim shirts, t-shirts and books, souvenir coffee cups, Western jewelry and an ever changing offering of gifts for youngsters and seniors – and everyone else in between! Click here to start shopping. Posted 7/11/2021…

  • Newsletter Articles – Topic Index

    …ng, Dec 2019, p. 2 Chris Schrager Wins Governor’s Award, Sep 2019, p. 2 Welcome René, Sep 2019, p. 2 Welcome Colleen, June 2019, p. 2 Farewell Lahsha, June 2019, p. 2 Special Thanks to David, Bunker, and Harry. March 2019, p. 2 Gila District Welcomes Two Managers, Mar 2018, p. 2 Karen Simms Retires, Dec 2017, p. 2 Introducing Robert Walter, Sep 2017. p. 3 Departed Friend: Emil Franzi, Sep 2017, p. 2 Walter Vail Recognized, Sep 2017, p. 1 Welcome L…

  • Gulf American Corporation Ownership, 1970-1975

    …president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association and operator of the 800-cow, 60-section Empire Ranch near Sonoita, said he was feeding his cattle a protein supplement. ‘The conditions are real dry and the grazing conditions are poor,’ he said. He said some shallow wells are pumping air part of the time. ‘I don’t know of anyone in our area who is hauling water yet,’ he said. ‘Most of the people depend on windmills. There’s talk among some of th…

  • Vail, Hislop, and Harvey 1877-1878

    …cy says he will do for you he will and I hope it will all turn out for the best in the end. I wish as long as you leave home that you were coming out here with me as it would be much nicer for both of us to be together and I think as far as your first pay is concerned here you might do better in Arizona but you would not be amongst friends and then things are in a very unsettled condition as regards the business prospects of the country here we ar…

  • Frank & Mary Boice Family Ownership, 1951-1969

    …p was 50% Pancho Boice and 50% Bob and Miriam Boice. Pancho managed the day-to-day operations of the Empire Ranch and Bob did the same for the Slash S. Grant Boice recalls: “…we would ship the calves from the Empire up to the Slash S. Instead of selling them at the Empire, we’d pasture them on the Slash S from the fall through the spring. We would sell them from the Slash S in the spring. Everything they did, they did together.” [Grant Boice oral…