Stonewall Valley Ranch
Raising Longhorn Cattle In the Texas Hill Country
History of the Stonewall Valley Ranch
Gate at the entrance of Stonewall Valley Ranch
The Front Pasture at Stonewall Valley Ranch
Stonewall Valley Ranch is a part of a “department store” style of Texas Longhorn
production and marketing.
This unique Longhorn cattle operation was organized and developed by Don and
Velna Jackson. Don was reared on a small family ranch near the Austin. Don met Velna
at the University of Texas. She was from the San Antonio area and always wanted to
marry a rancher.
Even as a young boy, Don always had some calves. As he grew up, he had
various livestock, horses and commercial cattle. In 1963 Don organized Jackson Cattle
Company and had about 200 commercial cows at Elroy.
Later Don purchased 361 acres north of Austin and started raising registered
Angus. That lasted about three years. Then the cattle and land were sold and Stonewall
Valley Ranch was purchased.
There he followed the same pattern as his new neighbors and ran Herefords. One
of his neighbors was the late President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Twelve years later, Don and Velna declared their independence. They lived in
Austin at the time and the ranch was in Stonewall, about 65 miles west. They were
weekend ranchers. That meant not always being around when cattle got out of the pastures
or when it was calving time. They nearly had to live with the heifers and some of the
mature cows. There were all types of calving problems and they often felt that there had
to be a better way to raise heifers.
Don heard about the merits of Longhorn cattle and bought a bull, Mr. Texas, and
two heifers, Old Yellow and Miss Bevo, and put them in the pasture with the Herefords.
The next calf crop was a breeze with no calving problems. That experience convinced
them that an “easier way” was to put a Texas Longhorn bull with Hereford cows. These
crossbred heifers sold for more money that straight Hereford heifers.
The Jacksons then asked themselves, “why don’t we sell the Herefords and go
100% into the Texas Longhorn business”? Once they had made up their minds, they
completed the job in two days. At that point, their entire herd consisted of three head of cattle,
one Longhorn bull, and two cows.
In 1974, Don founded Stonewall Valley Ranch and, in 1981, purchased some
heifers and cows from the YO Ranch, Dave Evans, and Red McCombs. Over the past
30 years, they have jumped into the Texas Longhorn industry with both feet and have
built one of the largest herds in the state.
The boss of the operation on this ranch was the Grand Champion Handsome
Stranger (78) 27/0. He was 1/4 Butler, 1/4 Yates, 5/16 Marks, 1/6 Peeler, and 1/88 Wright
line of breeding. His weight was over 2,000 pounds. (Semen from Handsome Stranger
can be obtained from Elgin Breeding Service.)
Throughout the years, the Jacksons have owned several other Texas Hill County
Ranches and added to their Longhorn herds with sires such as:
Semen of all of these bulls is available from Elgin Breeding Service. Pedigrees, photos,
and other details of each are also available upon request. All are registered with the
Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America (TLBAA).
Don and Velna Jackson with daughter Donna on Riding Steer Captain
Santa (Don Jackson) with Texas Rainsteers, Gee and Haw
(Don Jackson) riding “Captain Twiggs”
World Champion Bull “Flash” shown by Velna Jackson
Don and Velna Jackson on Cross Mountain at Stonewall Valley Ranch
Longhorn Steer, “Captain” with the Jackson Family, Don, Velna, Donna, and Donny
Don Jackson with big catfish from pond at Stonewall Valley Ranch