Bixby Family History, Part 2/2
Part OfBixby Family History Oral HistoryInterviewee Dorothy BixbySteve BixbyInterviewerJoyce McBrideBrowse TopicBusiness and IndustryCommunity GroupsLand, Environment, and Natural ResourcesSociety and CultureSubjectOral historiesArizona HistoryArizona History 19th centuryArizona History 20th CenturyGila County (Ariz.)BiographyCattle--West (U.S.)--HistoryRanching History of Gila CountyRanch managers--ArizonaU.S. Forest ServiceSalt River Watershed (Ariz.)DescriptionIn Part 2, Steve Bixby Jr. talks about his life, his childhood and of partnering with his dad, Steve Sr. on the ranch. Steve was the last of the family tradition of being born in California. He grew up the only boy with 6 sisters. He remembers his first day of school at Noftsger Hill with his neighbor Roy Hicks, and the harrowing experiences of attending that notorious grade school. When his parents divorced, Steve moved to Phoenix where he finished out his schooling, but always spent his summers on his dad's ranch. During WWII, Steve Bixby Sr. served in the State Senate on what would be called the Cow Country Senate. After Steve Jr. graduated he returned to the ranch, but fearing he'd be drafted into the Korean War, he enlisted and worked in a helicopter rescue unit on aircraft carriers for 4 years. When he got out, Steve and his buddy enrolled at the U of A where he could take classes on ranching. He met his friend's sister and they married mid-semester. After that year in college, they returned to the ranch in 1956. The Bixbys started the Gila County Cattle sales in the late '50s. They built pens on Company grounds about a mile above Radium and had sales of both purebred Herefords and regular cattle there for 30 years. Steve Jr. was the president of the Gila County Cattle Growers Association. The Bixby Ranch specialized in purebred White-faced Herefords, and each year would have a barbeque, a bull sale and then a cocktail party at the barn. He and his dad would also travel around the western states and as far as Oklahoma checking out other similar ranchers/breeders. He had a good relationship with the Forest Service, and met the challenges of droughts because the ranch was well watered and they could also supplement the grass with feed. When there were predators, such as black bear, coyotes or mountain lions, he would hire Alvin Clary or other lion hunters to trap or hunt them down. Steve Sr. eventually retired and moved to Washington State. After about 10 years, he told his son he wanted to get his affairs in order by selling out their ranch partnership. Steve couldn't buy out his share, so they sold the ranch just before Steve Sr. died. Steve Jr. had only wanted to be a rancher, and had invested his whole life into the cattle business. After Steve and his wife had raised 3 girls, they divorced. He married Dorothy Fritz, the daughter of a fireman, and fire chief in Globe. She had 2 daughters when they married, and then they had one more daughter, so 6 daughters in all. After they sold the ranch Steve and Dorothy moved to Pinetop, AZ for 18 years, then RV'd around the country for 5 years, and now are settled in Punkin Center.Audio Length00:27:43Date Original2010-04-21Date Range1930s (1930-1939)1940s (1940-1949)1950s (1950-1959)1960s (1960-1969)1970s (1970-1979)1980s (1980-1989)1990s (1990-1999)2000s (2000-2009)TypeSound- NonmusicalOriginal FormatOral historiesLanguageEnglishContributing InstitutionArizona Heritage Research FoundationCollectionOral Histories of Gila County RanchersRights StatementThe opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee only. They do no represent the views of the Arizona Heritage Research Foundation, the Gila Co. Historical Museum or the Arizona State Library. Please contact the Arizona Heritage Research Foundation with questions about the use and reproduction of this resource.
Oral HistoryBixby Family
IdentifierBixby Family History, Part 2.mp3Date Digitized2010-04-21Digital FormatMP3
Bixby Family History, Part 2/2, [Bixby Family History, Part 2.mp3]. Arizona Memory Project, accessed 28/11/2023, https://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/nodes/view/132009