Squaw Creek Ranches
John Chapman’s Squaw Creek Ranches of Aledo, located on Bear Creek Road between Cresson and Fort Worth, Texas have some of the finest Blue Stem prairie grass in the nation. In places, the Little Blue Stem, Big Blue Stem and Indian grasses are taller than a cow. Grazing cows cannot be seen in some of the tall grass pastures, and just the neck and head of a horse can be seen.
These fine pastures are the result of never over grazing, black land and the ample rainfall that has recently been falling in that part of Texas. These pastures do not require winter haying as the Blue Stem grass cures and remains standing as “standing” hay all winter along. It makes ranching a lot easier and, for sure, more profitable than those areas where haying is a must to survive the cold months.
Watering at these ranches is done with the old stand by, the Aeromotor wind mill with the wells into the Trinity sands. If you want to see a photo of one of these wind mills, go to the Branding section of this web site, and you will find the photo of at least one of them next to a barn that was old when John and Barney Chapman were children on this ranch.
The Chapman Family started ranching in this area before World War II. They had a house on Bear Creek Road, now gone, and spent lots of fun summer hours in this area of Texas. This house had a big porch that wrapped around two sides of it. They had what was called an ice box in the house that really used ice as since there was no electricity. Showers were taken under the wooden water tank behind the house. John and Barney swam in the Bear Creek and cut trees along the creek to get the wild honey from them.
One summer a knot hole in the floor fell out and a Diamond Back rattlesnake decided it was a great place to come inside. Edythe Ann “Mamma D” Lacy Chapman, mother of John and Barney promptly cut the tops from cans and nailed them over ever knot hole in the entire house. There were no more snakes in the house. In those days, people used lots of “make shift” things to “make do” to get things done. Grandmother, Laura Hedges Chapman would put the legs of the kitchen furniture in cans half filled with water. These cans with water kept pesky things such as ants off of the table and furniture and out of the food. It worked really great!
The ice box allowed the family to always have lots of cold ice tea and on special occasions home made ice cream using the ice straight from the ice box since the ice was always available.
This area of Texas is noted for the size and number of Diamond Back rattle snakes. So, when in the area, keep a “sharp eye out” for the critters.