Manager of the Prairie Cattle Company, owner of Maple Hill ranch and director of the American Royal.
1852-1928 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
W. J. Tod, born in Haddington, Scotland, was brought to the United States by a Scottish syndicate in the 1880s, to manage the Prairie Cattle Company. He and fellow Scot, Murdo Mackenzie, helped to operate ranches with nearly 100,000 head of cattle, located throughout the Western states and headquartered in Trinidad, Colorado.
At the end of the decade, he entered into partnership with George Fowler, breeding cattle in Maple Hill, Kansas. Tod brought several Scottish families to Maple Hill, to help operate the ranch, and they formed a Scottish settlement in the community. Eventually, Tod became sole owner of the Maple Hill ranch and added the 56,000-acre Cross L Ranch to his holdings.
W. J. Tod helped organize the Kansas livestock association in 1894 and served as its president. He was also president of the state board of agriculture and a director of the American Royal.
Did You Know?
The Prairie Cattle Company exerted great influence over the development of early SE Colorado and Baca County. They were sometimes called the “mother of British cattle companies” since it was the first foreign syndicate to take advantage of the southwestern “Beef Bonanza” of the early 1880s.
Clipping courtesy of the Texas & Southwest Cattle Association