WAURIKA — Terry Stuart Forst respects history. She also makes it.
Forst leads a ranch that began about three years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
This month she is scheduled to become the first female president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. She will take the reins at the end of the organization’s annual convention, July 23-25.
"I was certainly honored to be considered for president,” she said. "I have always felt one should only be considered for a job based on qualifications.
"I don’t think I will ever feel qualified to follow in the footsteps of so many outstanding men, but I’m not afraid of work, and I will give it my best,” she said.
Past and present
Forst’s great-great-grandfather, Robert Clay Freeny, started the ranch in 1868. The original land in Bryan County, near Caddo, was eventually passed to Forst’s grandmother, Carrie Ida Freeny, and then to her father, R.T. Stuart Jr.
Forst graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in animal science and completed Texas Christian University’s ranch management program. She was hired as ranch manager by her father in 1992. He died in 2001.
Today’s Stuart Ranch consists of two divisions: 11,000 acres in Bryan County and 32,000 acres near Waurika in Jefferson County.