The J.D. Patterson Ranch in Stonewall County, Texas was founded in 1891 by Jefferson Davis Patterson. Butch Nuding, Patterson’s great-grandson, shares with us the origin story of the Patterson Ranch. It was a different time then and it is captivating to hear about today over a 125 years later.
The Patterson family originated in Missouri. They decided to move to Texas settling in San Marcos, where they began farming the land. However, Jefferson Davis didn’t want to farm. He wanted to be a rancher.
As a young man, Jefferson Davis drove a 100 head of longhorn heifers from San Marcos to Abilene with two horses and two saddles to start his life as a rancher. He traded a horse and a saddle for a place in what would one day be Stonewall County, but it didn’t actually exist. At the time it was all state-owned land.
Stonewall County was established in 1887, and Jefferson Davis homesteaded where the Patterson Ranch remains today. Jefferson Davis began opening up banks while ranching, and started a family of his own.
His son J.D. Patterson was born August 1, 1900 on the ranch. Over J.D.’s lifetime, he built the legacy of the Patterson Ranch and passed it on to his grandson, Butch Nuding. J.D. left the ranch twice in his life, and died in the same house he was born in on the ranch.