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By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON — Retired university educator and administrator Lonnie Fuson, of Lawton, Okla., stays in touch with his rural Collingsworth roots.
Born at home on the Mill Iron Ranch July 9, 1933, east of Wellington, Fuson and his family continue to own property that borders the Mill Iron and visit often, said daughter Dana Fuson Gracien.
According to the Mill Iron website, Colonel William Edgar Hughes established Mill Iron Ranches in 1884. Spanning 30,000 acres, the Hughes family operated the Mill Iron until 2003 when the Allred family acquired the property.
“The Fusons have been good neighbors to us,” said Don Allred.
To this day, the Mill Iron remains a commercial cow-calf operation and is home to some of the finest hunting in North America. The Salt Fork of the Red River, the main artery for Collingsworth County, draws large populations of whitetail deer, bobwhite quail and turkey.
The sheer size of the ranch allows for limited hunting pressure, assuring that populations are healthy, and animals can reach maturity.
Even though cattle continue to be a focal point for the ranch, conservation stays at the fore front of mind. Purposely, the ranch is under-stocked in order to balance cattle and wildlife.
Texas Parks and Wildlife recognized the Mill Iron for its conservation efforts by awarding the ranch with the Lonestar Land Steward Award in 2015.
For more information, visit millironrach.com.