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Although the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association was officially chartered on March 6, 1950, by a small group of cattlemen in Seminole, a deeper history exists and here is the rest of the story…
Perhaps one of the largest and oldest of county organizations was the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association, organized in 1934. Holding an annual meeting and ranch tour, as well as sponsoring numerous other activities, this group, although narrowly focused on membership, was quite prominent in the state. Other regional associations were formed near the end of World War II, including the Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Inc., which was formed in June 1945 to promote cattle theft prevention and new cattle sanitation plans, and become an influence in the state legislature, the Bluestem Cattlemen’s Association, formed in December of 1945, and the Wichita Livestock Anti-Theft Association, organized on October 23, 1946.
In 1946, a few members of the Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association issued a call to members from Bluestem, Wichita Livestock (Southwest Oklahoma), and the Osage County Cattlemen’s associations to meet in Oklahoma City to try to join forces in a statewide organization. These groups met on March 5, 1947, and created the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Inc. J.O. Selman, member of the Northwest Cattlemen’s Association, was elected president and Wayne Rowe, Sr., from Lawton was named vice president. Other prominent cattlemen and supporters of area cattlemen’s organizations in attendance included Fredrick A. Drummond, Fred C. Craddock, Dr. H.H. Mundy, Jim K. Haley, Lucius W. Long, Jr., Judge Otto Barby, Arley Hudson, W.E. Bland, Charles W. Labade, S. Monsieur Moore and W. J. Dancer. The group created by-laws with plans to hold another meeting, but the association did not immediately attract enough members to sustain operations.
By June 1947, 36 cattlemen’s organizations existed around the state. They did not realize the value of a unified state organization until discussions grew about cattle theft, legislation affecting the industry, animal disease, declining prices, drought and the need for a strong statewide organization to help with these matters. On March 6, 1950, Lyle Boren from Seminole collected $5 from fellow Seminole cattlemen and wrote the charter of incorporation for the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association to become registered.
Support grew for the organization, and on March 29, 1952, local cattlemen’s associations, while maintaining their identities, merged to become active members of the statewide association. Members agreed to annual dues of five dollars per rancher in addition to ten cents a head for his adult breeding cattle. The association became more involved in botanizing information from the state that cattlemen needed and took a larger part in cattle theft protection.
In March 1953, another meeting was held to elect permanent officers and to make the OCA a truly statewide association. Wayne Rowe, Sr., was formally elected as the first OCA President; J.B. Smith was named first vice president; Roy J. Turner, Claude Wallace, Roy Craig, and Leon Daube were named second vice presidents. E.O. Derrick became temporary executive secretary until a fulltime person could be hired. Other committee members included Ralph Barby, Don Tyler, H.H. Mundy, Bob Collier, B.S. “Cheebie” Graham, Jack Hall, J.O. Dickey, Sr., Howard Blaine, Ralph O. Wright, Frederick A. Drummond and Gene Mullendore.
Thus, by March 1953, the OCA was officially organized.