A Family Owned Ranch

the Edmiston family story

The ancestors of the name Edmiston lived among the Boernician of the Scottish/English Borderlands in the medieval era. Members of the Edmiston family settled in Scotland, just following the Norman Conquest of England, in 1066.

The earliest Edmiston settlers to the United States arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Virginia in the year 1740. The Edmiston motto is “Virtus auget honorem”, which translated means “Virtue increases honour”.

From 1740 until 1865, the Edmiston ancestors migrated from the east coast to central Texas.  In Coryell County, Texas, the Edmiston ranching legacy began as we know it.  In the mid-1870s, the migration continued to Mason County, Texas, and finally landed in Schleicher County, Texas.

Family

Upon arriving in Coryell County, Texas, in 1865, Mr. Newton James Edmiston filed for a land grant from the State of Texas and was granted 160 acres near modern day Copperas Cove, Texas.  He and his wife, Sara Louisa Sterling Edmiston, purchased cattle from her father with the brand of “SIS” on them; which was her personal brand that stood for “sis” (or sister), her family nickname.

Ranching

The “SIS” cattle brand is the holy grail livestock brand within the Newton James Edmiston family descendants.  The SIS brand is still being used by a 7th generation family member in the central Texas region.

Legacy

The original 160 acres is now part of Ft. Hood, Texas.  In a Ft. Hood Lands document, Newton James is listed as a “cattlemen with substantial herds in the vicinity of Cowhouse Creek”.

Rambouillet Flock History

While the Edmiston family is rooted in cattle ranching since the mid-1860s, the Rambouillet sheep arrived in the family around 1910, with William Frank Edmiston (son of Newton James) in Schleicher County, Texas.  The existence of the Edmistons as sheep men was prevalent by having their own shearing crew made up of William Frank’s 6 sons, with Eugene Newt Edmiston (3rd son) as the “el capitan” (or “the captain”).

Eugene Newt Edmiston (3rd generation Texas rancher) developed his own ranching legacy by purchasing and leasing numerous ranches in Schleicher County, Texas, during his lifetime.  At the height of his ranching, he and his sons had a total of 350 Hereford cattle, 3,500 head of Rambouillet sheep, and 1,000 head of Spanish goats.  Eugene Newt (known as “Gene”) was well known and honored amongst the West Texas ranching community for the quality of his livestock.

Schleicher Rambouillet Fiber & Lamb

Rambouillet Flock

Gene Edmiston

Gene Edmiston (aka, “Little Gene”), a grandson of Eugene Newt (“Gene”), is a 5th generation Texas rancher, who focus’ only on his Rambouillet flock on one of the ranches acquired by his grandfather.

All livestock are grass-fed, no antibiotics, no hormones, and no pesticides raised in a large, open pasture with minimum handling to reduce animal stress.  While many of the ranching practices his grandfather taught him are still in use, Little Gene has made some modern improvements to optimize the ranching operations.

Continuing with the Edmiston ranching legacy, Little Gene and his 17 year old son perform all of the ranching operations by themselves, with little outside help.

Schleicher Rambouillet Fiber & Lamb

Schleicher Rambouillet Fleeces

West Texas is known in the American sheep industry as having some of the best quality fleeces in the USA; with Schleicher County, Texas, being at the heart of Texas sheep country.  The Edmiston family has gone to great lengths to produce the best quality fleece product, given the dry, arid conditions of the ranch land.

Mr. Edmiston’s Rambouillet flock produces fine wool, next-to-skin fibers with an average fiber diameter in the 18 and 19 microns, 3”-3.5” staple length, 50% yield, low vegetable matter (VM), 99+% comfort factor, and lightly skirted. None of the animals have been coated (aka, blanketed) during any time of the year.

All livestock are grass-fed, no antibiotics, no hormones, and no pesticides raised in a large, open pasture with minimum handling to reduce animal stress.  While many of the ranching practices his grandfather taught him are still in use, Little Gene has made some modern improvements to optimize the ranching operations.

Schleicher Rambouillet Fiber & Lamb

Fleece Portfolio Pics

Each fleece has it’s own quality and characteristics that make them unique.  With all of the Schleicher Rambouillet fleeces grading as next-to-skin quality, the uses are endless using sewing, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and felting techniques.

After scouring (washing) and carding, the roving fibers look like a wonderful ball of soft clouds.  The light cream color is typical for West Texas Rambouillet sheep and provides the most diverse and accommodating color to coordinate with all other colors.

The Rambouillet fibers do a wonderful job of accepting all colors of dyes, both natural and acid.  The color palette is endless, while solids and blends each glow with a radiance of the full spectrum.

Schleicher Rambouillet Fiber & Lamb

Schleicher Rambouillet Lambs

West Texas is known in the American sheep industry as having some of the best quality sheep in the USA; with Schleicher County, Texas, being at the heart of Texas sheep country.  The Edmiston family has gone to great lengths to produce the best quality lamb product, given the dry, arid conditions of the ranch land.

Mr. Edmiston’s Rambouillet lambs are raised in an all-natural, organic environment using responsible ranching techniques to produce the optimal finished carcass to help maximize the flavor of a “gourmet meat”.  While the Rambouillet lamb doesn’t grow as fast as other breeds, it provides the ability for the animal to put on the proper weight balance to develop a well marbled muscle that isn’t too fat, while maintaining a moderately lean structure.

The lambs are locally grown in Texas and can be purchased on the hoof straight out of the pasture or by carcass via whole, half, or individual cuts packaging.  Custom orders are also available upon request.

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