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Donna's Journal
Big "V" Ranch


        The Big V Ranch was owned by William Henry Vnaselous.  W. H. Vanselous was a mule dealer and stockman.  From 1905 to 1912 he handled more mules than any other farmer in the United States.  His brand "V" on each jaw became the best known in the country.  He bought land from the Ponca Indians and his ranch finally reached 10,000 acres.        


      The Big V never suffered from the drought as other ranches.  The years from 1919 to 1937 had been pretty severe, due to shortage of rain and dust storms.  Bill Vanselous began experimenting with drought resisting types of corn when he commenced farming in the Strip.  He found that white corn was particularly adapted to the growing conditions fund in Western Oklahoma.  He later became noted for the most extensive corn grower in Oklahoma with yields of 100,000 bushels or better.  In 1906 he produced 130,000 bushels of corn.


        William H. Vanselous died April 7, 1930.


        He was a member of the Cherokee Strip Cow Punchers' Association.  For more about the Vancelous's read "The Last Run" stories assembled by the Ponca City Chapter DAR.




March 31, 1931—Daily Oklahoman--Tonkawa‑‑The purchase of 30,000 bushel of corn by the Pool Elevator Corporation from the Big V Ranch near Ponca City was announced Wednesday evening by J. R. Dorsett, Manager of the Tonkawa and other surrounding pool elevators. 


            This purchase Dorsett says, is the largest that he has seen transacted in corn during the 10 years that he has been in the elevator business.


            The corn is No. 2 white milling and is to, be distributed to, various mills in the south and the southwest. It to being loaded at the Kelly Switch elevator and will be sent to the elevator Corporation headquarters at Enid for distribution to other points.


            This year 2,500 acres of corn were grown on the Big V Ranch, which is owned by the Vanselous estate, Dorsett said.  The 30,000 bushel purchase represents only part of the corn produced on the ranch.


            The Pool Elevator Corporation has elevators located at Kelly Switch, Bois D'Arc, Three Sands and at Tonkawa.


My comments:

    Look to the barn in the back and see the Big V on the roof.  This old home was lost to the Vanselous family until just recently,  when heirs have purchased the house and lands around it.  The house has been carefully restored to save the identical way it looked when the family was living here.

There are three stories and a basement. The bathrooms are now equiped with the latest and lovliest plumbing in order to accommodate visitors who will stay in this bed and breakfast inn.  The barn at the back has been rebuilt and is a wonderful saving of a restoration of the typical old hay loft at the top and stalls for the  mules at the first floor.  Interesting enough Jane, one of the owners, told how the barn was restored to keep its original look but had to have original beams replaced because the roof was actually swaying.  The barn is approximately 100 feet long so this is understandable how a building would drop in the center.  Jane showed us the old seed bin like we had at the ranch.  We had two barns with those and as a child I remember "skating"  on the cement floors where the Kaffer seeds were left.  I loved to watch the machines fill the rooms with seed.  The Vanselous barn was about the same size as the barn at our ranch home and it gave me strange feelings as I stood in a place like that when I was a child.

    I'll try to get back out to get pictures of the interior.  I think you will be really excited about the restoration as I was.  Folks like to gossip that the third floor is where the "ghost"  dwells.

    The family has many plans for tours and educational opportunities for school children, who have never seen a working farm like this in the area.  The day we took this picture there were tractors in the field harvesting corn.


My happy artwork in agreement with the day for the Grand Opening of the
newly restored Big V (Vanselous ranch).

  Mr. Mule got some attention and so did the sunflowers.  This is
Sunflower #4.  The first three were donated to President
Jimmy Carter and  his Habitat for Humanity project

Back Porch entry way.  What a thrill to see this area so
much like our ranch house summer table off the kitchen.

Rhonda sits outside of what was the commissary, now restored,
where the local citizens came to buy staples, flour, molasses, salt pork,
hats, boots and whatever the store stocked.

The Edwards men hooking up the harnesses for these ponies
getting ready to have wagon rides for visitors.  This picture more
than any other tells about the vibrancy and strength of this occasion.
What a thrill to see a large family all working hand in hand to bring
about the restoration of the Big V Ranch, truly a historical occasion.
June 7, 2008.  For me, this effort brought a new hope in my soul to
see these dedicated, strong people pulling together with the same character
of their ancestors who built this place originally.

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