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Located where present Ardmore developed, the 700 Ranch, which dates to at least 1879, was one of several Chickasaw Nation ranches operated by the Roff brothers, who migrated north from Texas. Initially serving as a line station to keep cattle from drifting farther south, the ranch headquarters consisted of a dogtrot log cabin. A replica of this original building has been placed on display at Ardmore's Greater Southwest Historical Museum. In 1885 the Lee brothers and other outlaws killed Jim and Andy Roff, who were part of a posse organized to capture the gang of bootleggers, murderers, and cattle rustlers. Alva Roff, who in 1867 married a Chickasaw citizen, continued operating the 700 Ranch, as well as the JR Ranch near present Springer. He had earlier established a cotton gin and a farm on the Red River. In addition to running his own cattle on 700 Ranch land, Roff also pastured Texas cattlemen's herds, charging a fee. Another Roff brother, Joe, ran cattle near present Roff. He founded Roff and served as its first postmaster. He also engaged in the mercantile business as well as in farming. In 1908 Alva Roff died near Ardmore, and Joe Roff died at Roff in 1940.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, Oklahoma), 11 November 1908 and 28 July 1937. D. C. Gideon, Indian Territory: Descriptive, Biographical and Genealogical, Including the Landed Estates, County Seats, etc., etc., with a General History of the Territory (New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1901). Charles L. Roff, We Were Young Together (New York: Vantage Press, 1973). Joe T. Roff, "Reminiscences of Early Days in the Chickasaw Nation," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 13 (June 1935). Julia K. Sparger, "Young Ardmore," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 43 (Winter 1965-66).

Larry O'Dell

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