The Swamp--O'Brien Ranch
After getting up one morning at four to work cattle when home from college,
Swamp owner Jane told her dad on the way home, "When I get up in the morning I
ask myself why and when I am coming home, I ask myself why I would do anything
In 1985, Panhandle cattleman Jay O'Brien
and his daughters started purchasing land in Donley County
between McLean and Clarendon. The ranch was
a large part of the
RO Ranch, founded by
Alfred Rowe of England.
Mr. Rowe was one of the very few English investors who actually managed the
ranch and was successful.
Indian Blanket and Lazy Daisy color up the hills. More
The RO was
later purchased by
William Lewis after Mr. Rowe died on the
Titanic. William and his son Will were both known as astute cattlemen
and they built large land holdings in the eastern Panhandle. Both
men died in the 1950's. The Lewis Family continued operations under the
capable management of Frank Derrick and Vera
Lewis, Will's widow. Part of the original
was owned by the Lewis
family until 2014. The O'Brien family purchased the eastern part of the RO Ranch from three
different owners in several different purchases.