Bar B Ranch
Otto Barby got his first taste of cowboying in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1879. He worked for some of the biggest ranches in existence at the time. Ten years later, he returned to the Panhandle to make it his home.
Through some negotiation and trading, he purchased a relinquishment on the banks of the Beaver River.
Otto was an agent for a Kansas City bank, and during the Depression, there were lots of people who couldn’t pay their notes. When someone would turn everything back over to the bank, he would assume their note. Then, he formed a partnership with his three sons, and they ended up with about 150,000 acres.
Otto Barby and Sons was running a cow/calf operation back in the beginning, and with as much country as it was operating, it took a lot of horses. The first big move they made in the horse business was to make a deal with the Army and get in on the remount stallion breeding program.
In the 1940s, the Barbys paid a visit to Walter Merrick to see a Quarter Horse stallion he owned named Midnight Jr. They bought a son of Midnight Jr named Proud Johnie, brought him home and put him on the mares they had raised by the Remount stallions, and they were in the Quarter Horse business.
They still are, and just like when Otto Barby and Sons was in business, raising cow horses is the primary goal. As a matter of fact, every colt raised on the ranch gets his start as a cow horse.
There are still Barbys running cattle, riding good horses.
Photograph courtesy of The Quarter Horse Journal