Dobie houses on A.W. Wight's YT Ranch. 1904.
Buildings left to right: Kitchen, Bedrooms, barn & chicken house. People: Buck, a hired hand, Laura Elmenia 'Dotsie' Wight, A.W. Wight, Inez and Edith Wight, twins, unidentified visitors and Schuyler Bryon Wight (in wagon).
A family member described the ranch pictured above, "the dobie houses on YT Ranch, 15 miles northwest of Odessa were built in the summer of 1896 and were destroyed by a torrential rain in the summer of 1921. A.W. Wight came to Ector County in 1883, with a herd of sheep and settled on what is now the YT Ranch. There were no fenced ranches; all was open grazing country. Mr Wight drilled several wells, one of which, called the "Big Mill" drilled in 1885, is still in use at the YT headquarters. The "Big Mill" is just to the left of the first house in the picture above.
A.W. Wight did establish the first sheep ranch in Ector County, though he wasn't alone for long. By 1887, there were over 6,000 sheep here, owned primarily by 4 ranchers. By 1891, however, the flocks of sheep had been replaced by herds of cattle. And 4 years later, there were over 6,000 cows in the County, several hundred owned by the adaptable A.W. Wight.
Not only the first sheep herder in the County, Wight was also one of the leaders in the
Town Orchard Company. This was a co-operative of 18 fruit growers who each put in and
cared for a ten acre orchard irrigated by windmills. While the Company was active, Ector
County was quite a fruit producer.
Courtesy: The Flavor Of Odessa, 1891-1991; editor:Ann Sherburn.
The Heritage of Odessa Foundation.
Corrections courtesy: Sarah Wight Schaper. [thank you!]