By Jim and Cathy Hoy
We were intrigued when we first learned about the Brand Legacy program of the Ranchland Trust of Kansas (RTK). Having placed our ranch at Cassoday in a conservation easement with RTK, we knew how committed RTK was to conserving grassland for future generations. By establishing the Brand Legacy program, RTK had found a means of doing the same thing for history.
Deciding to explore the possibility of participating in the program caused us to begin thinking systematically about the heritage established back in the 1870s by my great-grandparents, William and Mary Ann Hoy, when they first arrived from Ohio and bought the eighty acres that b
ecame their Kansas home and the foundation of what would become the Flying H Ranch. My grandfather as a boy earned money by loose-herding cattle in northern Butler and southern Chase Counties. A few decades later, around the time of World War I, he registered our Flying H brand. He had seen some New Mexico steers bearing that brand unloaded at the Santa Fe stockyards at Cassoday, and thought it would be a good brand for his own cattle.
The encouragement and assistance from the Brand Legacy staff has made our experience both productive and rewarding. Pulling together the family stories and old photographs was a gratifying task, and having them permanently archived by RTK is a real bonus.