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Augustus and America Jane Captain, members of the Osage tribe, started the enterprise later known as Hoots Ranch. The Captains and their children came with the Osage from Kansas to present Osage County, Oklahoma, in 1873. They built a trading post at Hominy Falls on Hominy Creek three miles southwest of present Skiatook and ranched adjoining tribal land. At the trading post they constructed the first stone house on the Osage Reservation, but before they moved in, Augustus died. After his death Jane continued trading and ranching. During the early 1890s she married Luther Appleby, and they moved to Tulsa.

In 1886 Jane's daughter, Rosa Captain, married Alfred Hoots, who ranched on Mingo Creek, east of Tulsa. After their marriage they moved to the Hominy Falls ranch, which then became known as the Hoots Ranch. From 1893 until 1898 Hoots leased thirty-eight thousand acres of land west of their Hominy Falls ranch from the Osage. He subleased the property to cattlemen, first to Tom Waggoner from Texas, who used the 3D brand. From this, the acreage became known as the 3D pasture.

Osage tribal land leasing ended when their reservation was allotted to tribal members in 1906. Rosa Hoots and her children, Alfred Augustus and Agnes Jane, received the land at Hominy Falls as their allotment. Increasingly, the ranch was used for breeding and raising racehorses. In 1909 Alfred Hoots traded an undetermined amount of land for a filly named U-See-It, which subsequently won thirty-two races.

Before Hoots died in 1917, Rosa had promised him that one day U-See-It would have an offspring in the Kentucky Derby. Rosa was able to keep her promise when U-See-It was bred to Black Toney, producing the foal Black Gold, which became a Kentucky Derby entry in 1924. Not only did Black Gold compete in the running of the fiftieth derby, he won it by half a length. Rosa Hoots joyfully accepted the fourteen-karat-gold trophy along with the $52,775 purse as her proof of a promise kept. After the big victory in Kentucky, the ranch at Hominy Falls soon became known as the Black Gold Ranch.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Alfred Worth Hoots," Encyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 9 (New York: American Historical Society, 1934). Rosa M. Hoots Interview, "Indian-Pioneer Papers," Vol. 5, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Les Warehime, History of Ranching the Osage (Tulsa, Okla.: W. W. Publishing, 2000).

Les Warehime

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