In 1887, a young boy from Nolansville, Tennessee, S.W. McClaren (1869-1941), arrived with his parents in Milam County, Texas. “The family settled on the Little River in the Marlow Community where the rich lands of the river bottom appealed to the elder McClaren and his son who followed the long furrow of the years and later held many of its acres in his own name...,” as written in The Cameron Daily Herald on September 16, 1941.
S.W. McClaren became known as “one of the large planters in the bottom lands of the Little River” and a man that “knew his business well,” as reported in The Cameron Daily Herald. However, it was not until 1909 when he first emblazoned his cattle with the “44” brand that the story and tradition of 44 Farms® truly began.
Those early days of 44 Farms were raw and rough, but big things come out of a pioneering spirit. S.W. McClaren was a man of faith; he wasn’t afraid to defy the odds and kept on pioneering. He was a leader in developing new agricultural practices and sharing innovation with others. As said in The Cameron Daily Herald in 1941, “he was a man of exceptional information, an incessant reader and was an inspiration to his fellows when he talked.”
Nine children blessed S.W. McClaren and his wife, Josie. Four sons followed their father in production agriculture and continued his stewardship of the “rich lands of the river bottom.” The fruitfulness of their love and generational pioneering produced children that built a successful dairy operation (son, Hubert Lee), and a forage pioneer that introduced coastal bermuda grass to Central Tex.