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  • Vail & Gates, 1888-1909

    …s more we reached Yuma and camped on the Colorado River, about three miles southwest of the town. The river was rather high owing to an unusual amount of water flowing into it from the Gila which joins it on the north side of the town. The next day we let all of our cowboys go to town to buy some clothing, which some of them needed badly and we gave them free rein to enjoy themselves as they pleased. Of course they did not go all at one time as so…

  • Boice Family Ranching History, 1859-1928

    …777 was a steer operation. Henry would contract for steers throughout the Southwest, as many as 25,000 of them a year! On one occasion, early in their business association, Henry Boice bought a big bunch of Texas cattle and trail herded them to North Dakota. Berry-Boice operated on this scale for 12 years…” [Richard Schaus, Hereford Tradition of Arizona’s Boices, 1959].     A Legendary Cattle Buyer Will C. Barnes shared the following story about…

  • History Overview

    …ranchers known for their promotion of the Hereford breed of cattle in the Southwest. Frank Boice and his wife, Mary Grantham Boice, moved to the Empire Ranch in 1929. Frank and Mary’s sons, Pancho and Bob, grew up on the Empire Ranch and as adults assisted with ranching operations. The Boices added many modern conveniences to the Ranch House. Propane, and eventually natural gas, was piped into the house; a large electric walk-in refrigeration uni…

  • Media

    …Click on the links to view media coverage of activities at the Empire Ranch. Just South of Southwest by Ann Euston; Highroads, May/June, 2014 Empire Ranch Road by Kathy Ritchie; Arizona Highways, November, 2013 The Empire Ranch – Preserving a Southern Arizona Way of Life; Border Eco, Oct. 7, 2013 Additional publications about the history of the Empire Ranch can be found in the Articles & Links section of this website….

  • 2021 Cowboy Festival Sponsors

    …escue Intents Structures Jem’s Feed and Farm Co Old Pueblo Theatrical Solutions Santa Cruz County Fair & Rodeo Association Southwest Solutions…

  • Chiricahua Ranches Company Ownership, 1928-1951

    …y insect-pest outbreak—favor the rapid development of the screwworm in the southwest, as well as its spread to the north and northeast. The only practical way to protect livestock from screwworms, Dr. Pistor points out is to examine animals frequently so that wounds may be treated before becoming infested, or to doctor infested animals before the maggots have had time to cause serious injury.” [Casa Grande Dispatch, 7/15/1938] The “soot medicine”…

  • Frank & Mary Boice Family Ownership, 1951-1969

    …958 “Look what’s been happening down on the old Empire Ranch some 50 miles southwest of Tucson, where Hal Wallis Productions is filming ‘Showdown at Gun Hill.’ The hero of this particular piece of Hollywood legerdemain is tall (6 ft.) but neither lean nor limpy, Kirk Douglas. Anything but a typical saddle bum, New York born Douglas rose through Broadway to tough dramatic roles, now heads his own movie company. His co-star is Oscar-winning Anthony…

  • 2021 Cowboy Festival Program

    …nty Cowbelles Save the Scenic Santa Ritas Southern Arizona Animal Foodbank Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers Spanish Barb Horse Association Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) Tucson Amateur Astronomy Asssociation Tucson Rodeo–La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee, Inc. University of Arizona Poetry Center SILENT AUCTION/RAFFLE Stop by the Silent Auction/Raffle Tent and bid on the special items donated by ERF supporters. G…

  • Anamax Ownership, 1975-1988

    …in Tucson scattering forever some of the finest Hereford bloodlines in the Southwest Brought to Arizona in 1912 from the sprawling XIT Ranch in Texas the herd has been the pride of the Boice family in Sonoita for generations. The herd belonged to the family of Robert G. Boice of Globe and to the estate of his late brother Frank. In a matter of a few hours the 890 animals — including 70 bulls — that had taken nearly three weeks to round up had been…