Our History

The oldest ranch in the state of Oklahoma under continuous family ownership, we are proud and honored to carry on a great family legacy.

Robert Clay Freeny, 1812 – 1878

Robert Clay Freeny, born January 14, 1812, came by stagecoach in 1838, to Fort Towson Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. He soon married Sarah “Sallie” Ellis, the daughter of John Ellis, the Choctaw son of Mo-Shu-la-Tubby. He was a famous chief of the Choctaw Indians back in Mississippi, prior to the tribes removal west on the Trail of Tears.

Robert and Sarah’s son, Robert Clay Freeny (Clay), was born on August 8, 1850. He was 13 years old in 1863 when his family moved to Boggy Depot, which is a branch of the old Texas road. Boggy Depot was located approximately 14 miles west of Atoka on the Clear Boggy River. It was the principal Confederate Commissary north of Texas during that period of the Civil War.

Sarah Ellis Freeny died July 24, 1868. At the time of her death, Sarah was 46 years old and the mother of 12 children- James, John, Andrew, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Robert, Henry, Ruben, Daniel, Benjamin and Frances.

In late 1868, Robert Clay Freeny moved his family west of Caddo for a short time before locating northeast of town on what was known as the Redlands.

Caddo Herald – 1924

Robert Clay “Clay” Freeny
August 8, 1850 – December 12, 1924

“Judge Freeny was a progressive Choctaw, gathering his education from the Indian school at White Bead and from the early Christian Missionaries, who visited this country in the early days. In the middle life he accepted the teachings of these Missionaries and became consistent Methodist, helping at all times to support the cause and to build churches that his people might worship the true God.

One looking now upon the broad fields fertile with the fruits of nature, can hardly realize it, but Judge Freeny was the first man to stick a plow into the black waxy land soil of northern Bryan County the first to realize that such land would prove responsive to tillage. Prior to his pioneering the prairies were thought by Choctaws to be good for nothing but grazing, on which vast herds of cattle found rich sustenance.

In the early days the Choctaws would make a clearing perhaps on the edge of the prairies where they would be close both to the pasture for the horses and cattle and the cleared land on which was raised wheat, corn and cotton. Hogs ran wild in the woods and cattle were branded and turned loose on the prairies.

They have witnessed the transition from this method to modern farm homes, modern fields and machinery, well built and progressive towns.

To his sons and daughters he left his name which they can be proud to wear, which means much in human life. It is untarnished and noble. Truly he was a nobleman among primitive people.

Thus passes a man born of the forest between two civilizations. A mixture of the best blood of red and white, reared under frugal, primitive, stern realities. Conquering a wilderness and building an empire out of the primeval, in the building of which this man had a prominent part. He witnessed the transition of his people from roving, primitive, untutored sons of the forest to honorable, civilized patriotic American citizens”.

Peter Freeny and His Decendants in America

“Although no deeds were of record at that period, Clay Freeny told his daughter of a transaction between them and a man named Johnson when he acquired the original part of land later known as Freeny Valley. Clay Freeny would have been about 20 years old at the time…..The permanent ranch headquarters was later established at the head of a draw where excellent spring water existed. It was near a good source of timber, needed for building construction and firewood. It also had fertile level land for farming corn, open meadows for hay and range land, all underlay with limestone”

Robert Clay Freeny (Clay), 1850 – 1924

Clay Freeny married Josephene Baxter after the death of his wife Mary Beck in 1894. Clay and Josephene had 7 children. He raised cattle, horses, mules and farmed. In August 1902 Clay Freeny became “County and Probate Judge” of Blue County, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. He served in that capacity for four years and was forever recognized and identified as Judge Freeny. His only daughter with Josephene, Carrie Ida Freeny was born in 1900. She attended Tuskahoma (Red Warrior in Choctaw) Choctaw School for Girls. Tuskahoma has served as the capital of the Choctaw Nation.

“Her transportation to school consisted of a buggy ride from the ranch to Caddo, where she caught the MK&T passenger train to Durant, where she changed and rode to Hugo, another change and train ride to Antlers, where buggies were provided to transport the girls to Tuskahoma, north of Antlers”
– Peter Freeny and His Decendants in America.

Robert Terry Stuart, 1880 –

On January 24, 1880, Robert Terry Stuart was born to Champ Terry Stuart and Betty Raines in Lawrence, Texas. Champ Stuart was a cattle rancher, “one of the old timers who knew the trails by-ways of the Texas plains…a guy who had a way with lassos and a dogie” an excerpt from the book, This is Colonel Stuart by Henry G. Bennett. “The eldest of 2 brothers and 2 sisters, he grew up in a household where his father had a strong backbone and expected no less from his sons.”

After college, Colonel Stuart taught school, sold life insurance and wanted to study law. His “life saving” occupation came as a windfall-hauling rock and he made a killing. In 1904 he joined the Pacific Mutual Insurance Company at 28 he became president of his own concern, the American Home Life Insurance Company in Fort Worth and in 1916 bought Mid-Continent Life Insurance Company of Muskogee and moved the company to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Ida Freeny Stuart tells the story of the last Caddo Carnival in 1917 she relates “it folded up after I was queen. It was the big event for many years, located in the a shady grove east of the Katy tracks. “Good carnival companies came each year. There was a good grandstand, a race track, a lovely pavilion always decorated with agricultural exhibits. There were horse races, trotting on harness races, ball games and parades with floats”. That year and the next our boys went to war and wars have a way of changing things”.

In 1930 Colonel Stuart met Ida Freeny and in 1931 they married. It was the wish of Judge Freeny that his only daughter to have the family homestead. In 1933 Bob Stuart was born to Ida and Colonel Stuart. Bob Stuart continued building the ranch and its legacy until his death in 2001.

7S STUART RANCH inducted into the 2012 Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame

“I always knew that ranching was what I wanted to do. My parents actually discouraged me in some respects — Daddy in particular, maybe because I was female. He believed certain things were for a boy or a son to do, not for a daughter. And that’s fine, but because of that, I always thought I had to prove myself to be worthy. Through hard work and determination I got to live my dream.”

– Terry Stuart Forst

Today… Terry Stuart Forst

Terry Stuart, one of four daughters born to Bob Stuart, is now heading up the operation at 7S Stuart Ranch along with her 2 sons, Clay and Robert. These are the sixth generation Stuarts, named after their ancestors.

Terry Stuart Forst began her position as Ranch manager in 1992, taking over from her father.

Newly widowed and the mother of two boys, the 1976 animal science graduate of Oklahoma State University went back to school to gain a thorough understanding of the business side of ranching. She graduated from the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in 1988 and the Texas Ranch Management Program at Texas Christian University in 1992.

Under her watch, the cattle operation has improved and the horse program has gained notoriety. She has served as president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, was named the 2007 Oklahoma Cattleman of the Year, and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in November 2007. Terry brought the ranch to great success by making radical changes in the cattle operations, which dramatically impacted the ranch’s bottom line.

​She has continued to run the ranch in the ways that have worked for her and her family for many years, earning the respect and admiration of those involved in helping the ranch run smoothly. With an excellent work ethic and a big heaping of good manners, she has been recognized as a woman who has excelled in her field while exemplifying the pioneer spirit of the American West.