9647 N.E. Cole Creek Road
Eldorado, Kansas 67042
davestackley at yahoo.com
Milbourn Working Cattle Ranch
Henry Milbourn was a farmer and miller living in the mountains of Virginia. During the Civil War their home was used as a hospital for Union Soldiers. When he realized soldiers were raiding farmsteads for food to live on and feed for their horses, he planted his oats in the middle of the night to save his seed crop from being taken for horse feed.
When Henry and his family left Virginia it took three days traveling over the mountains to reach the railroad 45 miles away. They traveled five days by railroad to reach El Dorado. On the train a gentleman was selling stock in an automobile manufacturing plant. No seemed interested in buying from him. His name was Henry Ford. They arrived in El Dorado, February 18, 1878, and lived there for two weeks before Henry found a place in the Cole Creek Territory that suited him. John Milbourn was 16 years old at the time. In 1888 3/4 of mail south of the original homestead a two story , walnut log cabin was moved on to the premises. In 1896 this cabin was moved to a location close to were a new two story house was built . This was John’s home and Homer was born there in 1899.
School district regulations necessitated John to build a home in El Dorado so Homer could attend high school there. A man owning land west of El Dorado was interested in the home and wanted to trade some grassland for the home. John inspected the land and decided the grassland was extremely rocky and did not look that productive to him. Later on this land oil was discovered . This land was a part of the big oil discovery that made some of the big oil companies of today and El Dorado a oil town.
Homer remained working on the ranch and his home was located next to the original homestead. It is still standing but unoccupied. Homer got got married in 1924 and had a daughter named Mary. Shortly after getting married, Homer got into the cow business . John, Homer’s father said if he wanted to mess with cows he should start with good ones. They purchased registered breeding stock from Mr. Hazlett, a noted Herford breeder from El Dorado. He sold registered bulls private treaty for a few years. Most of the buyers wanted bulls in the spring and that interfered with the farming operation so he cut the horns off the cows and quit maintaining the registration papers. He kept the cows straight bred, using registered bulls . This practice is still used today.
The Milbourn ranch today is a larger ranch due to a merger of two ranches. Mary Milbourn married Arlan Stackley in 1957. Arlan’s family ranch adjoined the Milbourn ranch on the south side. Mary and Arlan both attended a one room school house that was not far from their homes. It is still there but is being used as a residence . They really did not start noticing each other till they got to high school. At the time of their marriage Arlan was a senior at K-state. After graduation Arlan joined the Air Force and they spent 3 years in Okinawa, Japan. In 1961 Mary and Arlan returned to the ranch and Arlan went to work for Homer , Mary’s father. Arlan also rented from his father ranch. In 1963 Mary and Arlan had David. Mary is a registered nurse and works at the hospital in El Dorado. David went to K-State and has two degrees graduating in 1985. After college he returned to the ranch to work along side of his father. David decided to move into the two story house that his great grand father ,John had built. At the time it had been unoccupied for sometime. He lived in the house as he was remodeling it. The walnut log cabin is still 500 ft away and still in fair condition. Many years later David married his long time friend Faith . Faith also is a registered nurse and works at the hospital in El Dorado. They have been blessed with two children, Madelyn and Cade. David also raises cutting bred registered Quarter Horses . These horses were started and rode on the ranch doing the day to day cattle work.
The Milbourn ranch is located 10 miles Northeast of El Dorado, Kansas. It is considered the foot hills of the Flint Hills. In the late 1970's most of the farmland was seeded to brome grass with a small acreage planted to sudangrass and triticale. Most of the native grasslands are utilized as full season grazing with some grass being heavily stocked early and some utilized for winter grazing. Keeping all replacement heifers and growing stock. The ranch can handle 300 cows.
The cow herd is divided between spring and fall calving. All replacement heifers are selected from the cow herd. The calves are weaned, back grounded and grown to 800 pounds before being sold. A feeder in Nebraska has bought the steers and cull heifers for the last 43 years. Low birth weight Angus bulls are used on 1st calf heifers. The F1 black bald face heifers are bred, calved out and sold as pairs.
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