• SSPF

Albert Knell Mitchell | 1949

Top notch rancher and statesman, Mitchell's leadership and persona made him an iconic figure in the Southwest.

1894-1980 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)



Impact & Accomplishments


Born in Clayton, New Mexico, and educated at Cornell University in 1917, Albert K. Mitchell formed T. E. Mitchell and Son with his father upon graduation.


Their 200,000-acre Tequesquite cattle and sheep ranch was among the first in New Mexico to run registered Herefords.


In the 1920s, Mitchell was elected to the state House of Representatives. In 1933, he took over the management of the historic Bell Ranch near Tucumcari.


Mitchell served as president of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and the American National Cattlemen’s Association and chairman of the American Hereford Association and the National Livestock and Meat Board.


He was credited with helping to save the American Quarter Horse Association in 1946, served as its president for several years, and was elected into its Hall of Fame in 1984.


Albert K. Mitchell was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners in 1977 and became the first recipient of the National Golden Spur Award, naming the nation’s top rancher, in 1978.


Did You Know?


Mitchell's first language was Spanish, and he had to be taught English to enter the first grade in New Mexico.


Besides being elected to the New Mexico state House of Representatives, his political career included being: candidate for governor, candidate for U.S. Senate, National Republican Committeeman, and national party convention chairman.


Mitchell collected western paintings by artists such as Frederick Remington and Charlie Russell.

Albert Mitchell Courtesy of American Cowboy



Lifelong rancher and National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum board member Linda (Mitchell) Davis, recounts her colorful history growing up on the famed, Bell Ranch in New Mexico. Her father, Albert Mitchell collected western paintings by artists such as Frederick Remington and Charlie Russell. These famous paintings now hang in the galleries at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Courtesy of National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

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