Charles Goodnight co-founded the JA Ranch in 1877, the first large cattle operation in the Panhandle. He worked to produce better livestock, not only purebred cattle but also a bison-cattle cross called “cattalo.”
Charles’ wife, Mary Ann, known as Molly by the ranch hands, cared for orphaned bison calves and was instrumental in conserving living herds during a period of systematic extermination.
In 1887, the Goodnights built a spacious Victorian-style two-story ranch house. The home is restored on its original site and features a 268-square-foot second-floor sleeping porch with spectacular views of the countryside and the nearby bison herd that are actual descendants of the herd raised by Charles and Mary Ann.
Plan a visit to Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site:
A snowy day in the Panhandle, January 2022