Bertha Lee Bass and the Partin Connection
Daughter of Mann and Mary Yates Mizell

HENRY O. PARTIN

Born in Partin Settlement, Kissimmee, Osceola Co, FL to Stephen "Steve" Clay and Temperance Gilford Sharpe.
Husband of Bertha Lee Bass. Married 21 Mar 1909. 
Father of Walter Elvin, Oscar Lee "Slim", Edward Louis "Geech", Henry Hyatt "Doc", Richard Earl and Kathryn Edith Partin Bronson.

The Last Of The Cowboys Geech Partin And The Partin Clan Are Kissimmee's Answer To The Ewings Of 'Dallas.' They Were Born And Bred On The Range. And Doubtless They'll Die There, Too -- With Their Boots On, Of Course.
November 23, 1986|By Rowland Stiteler


     In the early 1930s, Henry O. Partin built a big two-story ranch house near Fish Lake, just south of Kissimmee. It had its own electric generator, making it one of the first houses in rural Osceola County to have electricity in a time when only towns and cities had electric power. Later the Partin family would have its own private phone system connecting the Partin households so Henry O. could call his sons each morning and direct them where to assemble for work that day.

 

     From the time Slim, Geech, Doc and Earl were old enough to climb on a horse until long after their father had died, all the Partin brothers worked side by side, virtually every day of the year

''We've been working together so long that we know what each other is thinking,'' says Earl, who is 64 and the last of his generation healthy enough to ride a horse daily. ''We know what each other is going to say before he says it.''The unity of the Partin family, forged on countless cattle drives, has doubtless been the secret of its success. In the heyday of the Heart Bar Ranch, in the '30s, '40s and '50s, the entire extended Partin family had a single checking account on which each son could sign checks, with the balance being tallied by Henry O. Partin.In 1956, the Saturday Evening Post published a feature story about the Partin family, declaring the clan to be ''the hardest working millionaires in America'' and noting that the Partin patriarch had built his empire without hiring a single cowboy. He didn't have to. He had raised all the cowboys he needed.

 

     The Partins became somewhat famous within the ranching industry, as well -- as breeders of Brahman cattle. In the early 1930s, Henry O. Partin went to Texas and came back with 150 head of the Brahmans, which had been imported from India because they were better suited to hot climates than most domestic breeds.Soon the Partin ranch became the headquarters for Brahman cattle in Florida, if not the entire Southeastern United States. Henry O. Partin and his sons shipped registered Brahmans to Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia and half a dozen other countries where the art of raising purebred cattle was becoming popular with cattle barons.Geech and Slim Partin were beginning to have an affinity for fine horses, too.

 

     In the early '30s, Geech went to Alice, Texas, and purchased what would be the first registered quarterhorse in Florida. Always known for flaunting his style, he didn't want to let the arrival of Florida's first quarterhorse go unnoticed. After all, he'd paid $150, a fortune at the time, for his blue- blooded new mount.So Geech made sure there was an audience at the train station in Kissimmee when his quarterhorse was unloaded from the cattle car in which it had been shipped.What had been intended as a moment of personal triumph, however, proved to be Geech's biggest embarrassment. The horse had been crowded into the cattle car with a load of cows, which had managed to eat all the hair off the horse's mane and tail.What emerged from the car at the loading docks was a forlorn creature that looked more like it should be shot than saluted.But Geech Partin got the last laugh. The horse's hair grew back, and the experience had done nothing to diminish the animal's speed. Quarterhorses are so named because they are extremely fast at running the quarter mile. They are also extremely agile at herding cattle. Racing a normal cow pony against a quarterhorse over a quarter-mile course is like racing a Chevy Nova against a Ferrari..

 

     And when you happen to own the first quarterhorse in the state, racing is a particularly rewarding experience. ''I'd work cattle with that horse five days a week and then Slim, who only weighed about 135 or 140 at the time, would ride her in races on Saturdays and Sundays,'' Geech recalls. ''I remember seeing a feller put up a whole fistful of money against our horse and hearing my daddy say we'd match every dime. Our little pony took it going away.''

 

     Geech still periodically goes to the big-money quarterhorse races at Ruidoso, N.M. And he dreams of taking one of his own horses there someday. ''He might not be any faster than a fat wash woman,'' Geech says of the fastest quarterhorse he currently owns, ''but I sure would like to give it a run.''

For the most part, though, the Partins eschew competitive cowboy sports like bull riding on the grounds that it simply takes up valuable time and effort needed to run a ranch.

That endeavor has been something of an uphill battle for the Partins in recent years. For one thing, the entire ranching industry has been in trouble for the past decade or so because of declining beef prices and increasing costs for feed and fertilizer and all the other components of a rancher's overhead. It is getting more and more difficult for a rancher to sell his cattle at a profit.

Geech Partin

The Partin family runs the Heart Bar Ranch.
The photograph was taken during "Kid's Day" at the Heart Bar Ranch.
Edward (Geech) Partin and his children Kathy, Judy, Mike, and Edward. The second child from the left is a visitor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Oscar Partin,

 

Osceola County cattleman, introduced the Brahman breed to the state and was the founding father of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.

R. EARL PARTIN of St. Cloud died at home. He was born to H.O. and Bertha Lee Bass Partin. He was a member of Osceola County Cattleman's Association, Florida Cattleman's Association, National Cattleman's Association, American Brahman Breeder's Association and Osceola County Farm Service Agency and many more organizations. Earl was a graduate of the Curtiss Wright Institute of Mechanical Aeronautics in Glendale, CA and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII. He was a member of the First Christian Church of Kissimmee. Surviving are his wife, Dorothy J. Platt Partin; children, Dave (Cindy) Partin of Kenansville, FL, Barbara Marshall of St. Cloud, Janie Pickering of Lake Mary, FL, Lida (Robert) Christian of Hondo, TX, Cindy (Charlie) Chesnut of Ft. White, FL and Diane Partin of Ocala, FL; sister, Kathryn Bronson of Moore Haven, FL.; 18 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. A Celebrate the Life service will be held on August 24th at the Heartcry Chapel in Kissimmee with Reverend Leonard Thompson officiating. CONRAD & THOMPSON FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES is serving the family. Published in the Orlando Sentinel August 22, 2010 
 

Members of the Partin Heart Bar Ranch family and crew sometime in the early 1950's. Including Henry O. Partin, Henry H. "Hank" Partin, Jr., Mike Partin, Doug Partin, Henry H. "Doc" Partin, Ed Partin, Earl Partin, Dorothy Partin, (I can name most, but not all and do not guarantee 100% accuracy.) Photo Credit to the Florida State News Bureau

Quintessential Cowboy `Doc' Partin Co-founded The Silver Spurs Rodeo
DEATHS
February 15, 2005|By Tammie Wersinger, Sentinel Staff Writer
The Silver Spurs Rodeo has always been a time of excitement and celebration for Osceola County's ranchers and cowboys. However, there will be a huge void when the 115th event kicks off tonight.

Missing from the rodeo's lineup of esteemed founding members will be former "Big Boss" Henry Hyatt "Doc" Partin.

Partin, who was practically born in a horse's saddle, died Sunday at his ranch in St. Cloud after a long illness. He was 88.

"He was probably the best cowboy in these parts," said Kevin Whaley, committee chairman for the Silver Spurs Rodeo and a relative of Partin's. "He loved them ol' cows."

The name Partin is synonymous with ranching or, more specifically, cattle ranching, in Osceola County. The clan arrived in Central Florida from Georgia in the mid-1800s.

Doc Partin's father, Henry O. Partin, passed on a love of ranching and thousands of acres of ranchlands to his four sons and one daughter.

Doc, the middle child, was known as the peacemaker, said his daughter, Martha Booth of St. Cloud.

"He was a quiet man and a man of character," she said. "He was honest and hardworking, and he loved his family."

Booth said she and her siblings worked alongside their father.

"We got our own brand the day we were born and a horse just about on the day we began walking," she said. "We packed our horses and spent hours out on the ranch with our dad."

The Partin cross-country cattle drive became an Osceola tradition. In the 1930s, the family began moving its cattle from leased land near Holopaw to their Canoe Creek Road pasture. The annual drive ended in the late 1980s.

Another family tradition has been the Silver Spurs Rodeo.

It all started when Partin and his brothers would get together with other cowboys to rope and ride. They formed the Silver Spurs Riding Club in the early 1940s and started performing a quadrille -- a sort of square dance on horseback.

They performed shows to raise money for charities, and the first "full dress" rodeo was staged on July 4, 1944.

Partin served as the Silver Spurs Rodeo "Big Boss" in 1947. In 1990, he was the Coca-Cola Cowboy for his work "above and beyond the call of duty to promote the ranching and rodeo way of life."

Even with Doc Partin's death, the Partin family will be busy performing and making sure the rodeo runs smoothly.

Ten of his grandchildren will perform in the quadrille, his daughters are in charge of concessions, and his sons and grandsons will be in charge of moving and taking care of the bucking bulls and horses.

"We'll be there, because we have work to do," Booth said. "The rodeo is part of our life. It was part of his life."

Partin also is survived by his wife, Mildred "Petie"; sons, Doug of Kenansville and Henry H. "Hank" Jr. of St. Cloud; daughter Becky Kempfer of Melbourne; brother Earl of St. Cloud; sister Kathryn Bronson of Moore Haven; 12 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Grissom Funeral Home and Crematory of Kissimmee is in charge of arrangements.

(September 12, 1918 - December 24, 2010)

Mildred M. “Petie” Partin, 92, of St. Cloud passed away Friday, December 24, 2010 at home with her family by her side.
She was born in Watertown, Florida and has been a life long resident of Osceola County.
“Petie” was a homemaker and a member of the First Christian Church of Kissimmee.
She was also a charter member of the Silver Spurs and was honored with the Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, a member of the P.E. O. Chapter CX, St. Cloud, a former Girl Scout and Brownie Leader, Sunday School Teacher and played the piano in church.
She was also a graduate of Osceola High School in 1935.

“Petie” is survived by her son; H.H. “Hank” Partin (Beverly) of St. Cloud;
daughters: Martha Booth (Tom) of St. Cloud and Becky Kempfer (Billy) of St. Cloud;
step-brother: Jack Stewart (Toy) of Madison, Florida;
12 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her late husband H.H. (Doc) Partin, her son Doug Partin and grandson Christopher Partin.

The family will receive friends at Conrad & Thompson Funeral Home. A Service to Celebrate the Life of Mildred M. “Petie” Partin will be held on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at the First Christian Church of Kissimmee, Kissimmee with Minister Ross C. Pepper III officiating.
Interment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery, Kissimmee.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Vitas Hospice Charitable Fund, 5151 Adanason Street, Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32804 or the First Christian Church of Kissimmee, 415 Main Street, Kissimmee, Florida 34741.
 

 

The Doc Partin Ranch was once part of the Heart Bar Ranch of Kissimmee, FL started by Henry O. Partin in the 1920's.  On rough native terrain of then rural central Florida Henry O. began cattle ranching.  With the help of his four sons he improved pasture and built his ranch.  In an attempt to better his Florida cow herd he brought the first registered Brahman cows to the state in 1933.  These cattle would forever change the face of the Florida cattle industry. 

 

The popularity of Heart Bar Brahman cattle helped Henry O. and his family grow the ranch. While the registered Brahman herd was an important part of the Heart Bar they still were primarily commercial cattle producers. Then in 1984, 13 years after his death, the Heart Bar Ranch was split between his 5 children.  Henry H. "Doc" Partin was deeded part of the Canoe Creek property south of St. Cloud and the Doc Partin Ranch(DPR) was born.  Doc carried on the Partin family tradition and continued the produce quality commercial cattle and a limited number of registered Brahmans. 

 

Several years ago as the Brahman breed began to have a resurgence DPR grew their high quality production-oriented Brahman herd while continuing to advance their commercial herd as well.  Today DPR also is involved in sod production and Osceola Turkey hunting. 

 

We hope the future will bring new avenues for advancement that we can explore for the betterment of, not only the Florida cattle industry, but the Brahman breed and beyond.

Walter Douglas "Doug" Partin
Son of Henry "Doc" and Mildred "Petie" Partin
Find A Grave

Walter Douglas "Doug" Partin, 71, of Kenansville, FL, passed away Monday, December 14, 2009 at his home.
A member of a Pioneer Osceola County Family, Doug was the son of the late H.H. "Doc" Partin and Mildred Miller "Petie" Partin. Doug was born August 30, 1938 in Orlando, FL, and was a lifelong resident of Osceola County.
He was a Cattle Rancher and manager for "Lucky L" Ranch for 35 years and ended his career at The Adams Ranch, both located in Kenansville.
Doug was Protestant. He was a graduate of St. Cloud High School and the University of Florida Class of 1961, where he was a member of the fighting "Gators" football team, 1958-1960. He served on the Osceola County Commission. He was a member of the Silver Spurs Club named "Coca-Cola Cowboy" in 2007 and served as "Big Boss" of the Silver Spurs Rodeo in 1972. He raised outstanding bucking bulls for the Rodeo and was recognized by the NFR and PBR. He was a member of the American Brahma Breeders Association, Osceola County Farm Bureau and Florida Cattleman's Association. He served as a Director of the Peace River Electric Co-Op since 1979. Doug was a dedicated supporter of 4-H Youth Steer and Agricultural Programs.
Preceded in death by his son, Christopher, Doug is survived by his wife of 44 years, Lee; daughters, Julie (Robert) Soileau, Kaye (Steve) Whaley and Amy (Clint) Branger; his mother, Petie Partin; brother, Hank (Beverly) Partin; sisters, Becky (Billy) Kempfer and Martha (Tom) Booth; grandchildren, Stephen and Sarah Jane Soileau, Marlo and Derrick Whaley and Jake Branger.
Visitation will be 5:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, Dcember 15, 2009 at Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home, Kissimmee. Graveside funeral services will be 2:00 PM on Thursday, December 17, 2009 at Kenansville Cemetery.
Those who desire may make memorial contributions to Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, P.O. Box 2000 Live Oak, Florida 32060 or The St. Cloud Food Pantry, 901 Missouri Ave., St. Cloud, FL 34769.
Services under the direction of Osceola Memory Gardens, 1717 Old Boggy Creek Rd., Kissimmee, FL 407-847-2494


 

 

Burial:
Kenansville Cemetery
Kenansville
Osceola County
Florida, USA

Christopher Douglas "Chris" Partin, 23, of Kenansville died July 30. A member of a pioneer Osceola County ranching family, he was born in Orlando, the son of Doug and Lee Partin, and was a lifelong Osceola County resident. He was a rancher. He was a member of the First Christian Church, St. Cloud. Survivors include his parents, Doug and Lee Partin; sisters, Julie Partin, Kaye Whaley and Amy Partin, all of Kenansville; and paternal grandparents, H.H. "Doc" and Petie Partin, St. Cloud. Graveside services were held Aug. 3 in Kenansville Cemetery with the Rev. Clinton Curington, pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church, Kenansville, officiating. Grissom Funeral Home, Kissimmee, was in charge of arrangements.
 

 

Burial:
Kenansville Cemetery
Kenansville
Osceola County

Son of Walter C and Lee Christopher Partin
Christopher Douglas Partin