Last week I was driving into St. Johns from working at the Concho Public Library, and as I looked over at the Theater a thought popped into my mind: "I'm going to do a blog post on the Hinksons!" I wondered how many people in the area remembered the Hinksons or knew much about them. I realized how little I even knew about them!
I have a very vague recollection of Mr. Hinkson - just a memory of his face around town. He passed away the year I graduated from High School, and as a teenager I wasn't paying much attention to anything outside my "teenage realm". Mrs. Hinkson I remember coming into Triple S Market (a grocery store owned by the Whitings) when I worked there. She would always stop and visit with my father, who was the butcher. In the late 1980s, one Christmas I challenged myself to visit and take holiday treats to people who I didn't really know and were not on my "normal" Christmas list. One of the first people who popped into my mind was Mrs. Hinkson, a widow with no family around that I knew of. I was very nervous that I would frighten her and she wouldn't open her door or let me in because she didn't really know who I was. Well, I got there and she DID open her door....a crack...and I started explaining to her that I was Denny's daughter and just wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas. After a few minutes she invited me in, and we ended up visiting for several hours!! She was SO sweet! I have wished in the intervening years that I would have visited her more, but am so glad I at least visited her that Christmas! That is my main memory of her.
|Clovis News Journal Sun; Sunday, 11 Sept 1938|
According to a newspaper article that I found in the White Mountain Independent from 1 February 2008; "Mabel and Everett had a long courtship and always intended to get married. Soon after Everett purchased the Ojo Bonita ranch in New Mexico in 1938, he broke his leg jumping off a horse and asked his mother to call Mabel and ask if she could come to the ranch and care for him. She immediately quit her job working in a dry goods store in Clovis and boarded a train to Gallup, New Mexico. The two were married in 1938." (Credit Judy Hayes, White Mountain Independent Newspaper)
|Clovis News Journal. Friday, 9 September 1938|
|Clovis News Journal. 18 Oct. 1938|
|Mabel and Everett Hinkson, photo found on Ancestry. Used with permission.|
"The registered herd was started in order to raise registered bulls for a commercial herd of Angus based cows that was owned and operated by my father, Frank Sr. and my uncle Everett Hinkson. This ranch, purchased in the 1930's, was on the Arizona-New Mexico border and ran around 1500 cows.
From 1960-1975 all the registered bulls that were suitable went to the Arizona ranch to work. The Arizona ranch was a big, rough, dry country and these bulls needed to have a little more frame and performance than what most breeders were raising in the 60's. The bulls had to travel long distances not only to breed cows but also to water, so they had to be sound on the feet and legs as well. Records indicate in 1954. 330 heifers off of that ranch sold into Colorado for 18 cents/lb and 440 steer mates sold to the same Colorado ranch for 20 cents/lb."
In 1984 Frank Hinkson, Sr., Everett's brother sold his share of the Arizona Ranch. His descendants now run the Hinkson Ranch in Kansas.
During the 1950s while Everett was ranching, Mabel was very active in the Northern Arizona Cow Belles. A woman's club organized first in southern Arizona as a social club of ranch wives, that later grew statewide and turned their focus to promoting beef and consumer education regarding the nutritional value of beef. The Northern Arizona Cow Belles was an "auxiliary" of the Northern Arizona Cattlemen's Association.
|Arizona Republic. 14 March 1955|
From the Arizona Cowbelles website:
"The Arizona State Cowbelles is an organization rich in history. “The Cowbelles” was organized as a social club by sixteen ranch wives in Douglas, a town in the very southeastern corner of Arizona, on October 17, 1939. The group’s purpose was “to promote family and social relations between cattle people and to cooperate for the best interests of our industry, our community, and our country”. One of the ladies’ first service projects was sewing quilts to donate to those in need. Soon they realized the need to educate consumers about the benefits of beef in the diet; many programs and activities were developed to accomplish this task.
Other women in Arizona heard about the unique Douglas group and all they were doing to promote beef. Thus, the Arizona State Cowbelles were organized in January, 1947, during the annual convention of the American National Cattlemen’s Association in Phoenix. As many as fifteen local Cowbelles groups have been active at one time throughout the state. Eventually a national organization was formed, now our American National CattleWomen, in 1952.
Over the years, the Arizona State Cowbelles have turned their primary focus to beef promotion and consumer education regarding the nutritional value of beef. Cowbelles work hand in hand with the Arizona Beef Council to bring the message of ranching and the beef industry to their local schools, communities and businesses. The organization, both statewide and locally, provide educational scholarships for Arizona’s youth. Cowbelles are also involved in legislative issues affecting the cattle industry."
The Northern Arizona Cowbelles was organized 19 February 1947. In 1951/52 the organization compiled, edited and published "The Chuck Box" cook book. (There were additional printings in 1962 and 1973.) Mabel Hinkson had several recipes included in the cookbook.
|Published in 1951-52 by the Northern AZ Cow Belles|
|Mabel & Everett Hinkson at their home in St. Johns. From Ancestry - used with permission.|
The Hinkson's ranch was north/northeast of St. Johns, Arizona straddling the Arizona-New Mexico border. As I was researching I found a video that had been posted on YouTube (presumably by a realtor during a time the ranch was for sale.) Here is a screenshot of the ranch house taken from that video, and also the video:
From 1983-1994 the ranch was the site of the Ojo Bonito Archaeological Project:
"A survey and excavation project directed by Keith Kintigh and executed from 1983 through 1994. Approximate 58km2 were surveyed and 560 sites were recorded. Substantial excavations were undertaken at the Hinkson Site great house complex and Jaralosa Pueblo. Test excavations were completed at H-Spear, a Chacoan Great House located by the project and Ojo Bonito Pueblo. The project took place on the ranch of Mrs. Everett (Mabel) Hinkson (deceased). Most of the project work was done as a part of an Arizona State University summer archaeological field school."
The Hinksons were not able to have children and devoted all of their time to the ranch. They split their time between their home in St. Johns, and the 120,000-acre cattle ranch.
|Arizona Republic. 6 July 1952|
|Arizona Republic. Tues. 1 March 1955|
Everett Hinkson passed away 10 April 1983 in St. Johns, Arizona. He was buried in Hereford, Texas. He was 82 years old. About 9 years later, in 1992, Mabel married Bill Hanshaw and they were great friends and companions. On 17 July 2001, Mabel Hinkson passed away at age 93. She was buried next to Everett in Hereford, Texas.
|Mabel and Everett Hinkson|
|Hinkson's Headstone - Westpark Cemetery, Hereford, Texas|
Upon her death, her second husband, Bill Hanshaw became executor of her estate. He created a memorial foundation in Everett and Mabel's names and has donated money for much good in both Arizona and Texas to honor their memories. This is how the Theater got much needed renovations and upgrades, and also made the Assisted Living Center in St. Johns possible.
Mr. Hanshaw also gifted a large donation to the Amarillo College in Hereford, Texas. 2011.
"William C. Hanshaw, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., has entered the picture at Amarillo College.
Hanshaw delivered a $3 million gift to AC to help it fund the construction of the Mabel McDougal Hinkson Memorial Campus of Amarillo College in Hereford in memory of Hanshaw’s late wife.
Mabel Hinkson was a native Hereford, and is buried in her hometown. But her legacy lives on in the form of the grant bestowed by her husband."
|2018-Hinkson's St. Johns home|
So the next time someone wonders or asks "Who were the Hinksons?" Perhaps this little blog post can help answer that question.
In 2009 the Zuni tribe purchased the Hinkson Ranch restoring an ancient "pilgrimage trail to Zuni Heaven" and ancestral land to the tribe.