History of The Ritchey Ranch
Roughly 750 acres of land
… That was the total size of The Ritchey Ranch’s operation at its zenith. Over 100 commercial cows, more than 300 stocker calves, a “farrow to finish” hog enterprise, white tailed deer herd, brood mares as well as a training ground for the winner of the million-dollar California Faberge Futurity all were managed right here on The Ranch.
Its early history brought a young Army Captain and his new bride to Bryan. In March, 1953, Dr. William Howard Ritchey along with his wife, Mary, and the Texas Veterans Land Board made a deal. For $10,000, William and Mary moved from San Antonio to a tract of land in the M.A. Foster League in Brazos County, Texas. Dr. Ritchey bought five head of Angus cattle. Eventually, he added more cattle and bought a bull. As soon as their youngest son, George D. Ritchey, was of age, his dad put George pretty much in charge of the ranching operations.
In 1960, Dr. Ritchey (lovingly known as “Papa Ritchey”) moved The Farmhouse from South Main Street in the Original Townsite of Bryan to its present location here at The Ranch. The current six-acre lake was originally a series of gullies and washouts. With the help of the Texas Soil Conservation Service, the lake was created. Many a trophy bass have been hooked in this body of water.
In 1979, George married Marilyn “Kay” Ottea. Their daughter, Mary Kathryn, was born on August 12, 1988. Kathryn is now married and lives in Dallas. George and Kay still live on The Ranch where they built their current home.
Shortly after Mary Kathryn’s birth, Mama Ritchey passed away. George kept working on The Ranch until Papa Ritchey departed from this life in 1996. Since that time, over 500 acres was sold for development except for the current 100 acres. Family gatherings continued until Papa Ritchey’s passing away.
Today, The Ritchey Ranch’s traditions of family, hospitality and pleasure are still carried on at this country paradise now known as The Ritchey Ranch Bed & Breakfast.