Kathryn Price’s “Film: The Art of Analyzing Society” Episode 2
By: Kathryn Price
History—it is not everyone’s favorite subject, but we are all part of it. It is the reason why we live where we do and how society has grown in this way. This is why the Hays County Historical Commission put together the documentary “The 101 Ranch-The story of the Kuyendall Family”. I was able to talk to the dignified director Richard Kidd about this film and how easily available this work and others are to the public.
“The reason we do these is so people can learn something out about Hays County,” Kidd says. “They come away from the program wanting to find out more, ask questions, whatever. So we distribute these to all the libraries in the county, to all the high schools. They sell them at all the screenings and we make sure there is a screening in each of our communities around the county.”
In “The Ranch 101”, Richard Kidd focuses on the lives of the Kuyendall Family as they endure the hardships of maintaining a large farm.
“Pretty straight forward right out The 101 Ranch was the largest cattle ranch operating in Hays County it was over 11,000 acres,” Kidd says. “Which just happened to be the largest, so that’s why we told their story. The Kuyendall Family, who started it, moved to Central Texas in 1902 and purchased all the land between Buda and Drift wood. We basically just wanted to tell that story what it was like for them. That was before automobiles so everything was done on horseback.”
The screening for this film was last Sunday, June 23rd, at Texas Music Theater. Plenty of refreshments were served after wards by a wonderful cowboy and girl staff.
The film follows the family’s daily events told from the point of view of members of the family, including Aunt Dora, Maggie’s sister, and two of Dorothy’s children. Aunt Dora’s long preserved diary entries narrate the changes the family went through in the 1900’s. Aunt Dora’s observations could be comically ironic– she noted how you can never be alone in this world now with a telephone box, autos and airships. This statement is true to today’s technology and now with cell phones any person is at hand reach.
Marshell Kuyendall does talk about how all four kids of Maggies did get a divorce. He pointed out how divorce was a taboo in the early 1900’s and seemed to emphasize that the Kuyendall children were a tough bunch.
The family lived off the land with handsome profits. Soon the children were able to split up the ranch to raise cattle and garden as they wanted. Shortly after the land was slowly bought out, and today the 101 Ranch is no more. The film shows how everything good does sadly reach an end. Fortunately Maggie’s grandchildren have only happy memories of the ranch.
You can find this film and others at your local library. Richard Kidd is now working on exhibits for The Hays County Court House.