Anna Mebus Martin was born
in Stasser Hoff, Germany in 1843, and came to Texas after her
fathers business in Solingen, Germany failed in 1858. She
and husband Charles Karl Martin had two sons, Max and Charles.
With her sons, Anna began purchasing land in 1886, gradually
acquiring more than 50,000 acres, where they raised cattle.
Anna was the first female
banker in Texas, and possibly the entire United States, serving
the Commercial Bank of Mason. Anna used her financial skills
to make site loans to area farmers and ranchers as well. She
started a general store and supplied barbed wire to local farmers
and ranchers, which also was a first for the area.
Max acquired the 50,000
acres in 1922 and raised cattle and horses. He built the Brady
Lane, which was a road that ran from Blockhouse Ranch to
Brady. He also put in the first telephone lines between two
ranches located on each side of mason. Max raised some of the
areas first Hereford cattle. He and wife Mebus had three children Kurt,
Esther and Ruth.
Ruth received 13,000 acres
of the land in 1940 and built rock houses and a barn on the
land. She sold her share of the Commercial Bank of Mason in
1945 and used her strong management skills to maintain the
ranch as a state game preserve until 1960. She also was active
in the upkeep of the Martin Cemetery. She married Thad C. Ziegler
and they had two children, Ruth Tommie Lou and Thad Ziegler.
In 1983, Ruth deeded her
land to her children and Ruth Tommie Lou received 6,890 acres.
Tommie Lou married James Jimmy H. Smith and they have three
children Jamie, Shellie and Andy. She and Jimmy worked to
improve the cattle heard by introducing Brangus to the stock.
They began managing the deer and turkey populations and became
active in several organizations, including the Texas and Southwestern
Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Soil and
Water Conservation and the Chambers of Commerce in Mason, Brady
Acres in original parcel: 50,000
Original acres held up until April 2010: 6,890
More history pictures here!
|| Name of Owner
|| Anna Mebus Martin
|| Max Martin
|| Ruth Martin Ziegler
|| Ruth Tommie Lou Smith