| Douglas R. Burns
(Manager of the Pitchfork Ranch
|Born|| July 8, 1896 |
Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas
|Died|| October 9, 1977 (aged 81) |
|Spouse|| Mamie Sypert Burns (married 1924-1977, his death)
Douglas R. Burns, also known as D Burns (July 8, 1895 – October 9, 1977), was from 1942 to 1965 the manager of the legendary Pitchfork Ranch near Guthrie in King County, Texas. Earlier he had ranched for thirteen years near Lamesa (pronounced LA MEESA) in Dawson County, also in West Texas
A native of Cuero in DeWitt County in southeastern Texas, Burns was the youngest of five children born to Arthur Burns (1853-1914) and the former Mary Evelyn Cardwell (1855-1914). His parents are interred at Hillside Cemetery in Cuero. His paternal grandfather, Columbus James Parmer Burns (1829-1999), was the first white child born in what became DeWitt County, which is named for the empresario, Green DeWitt
Douglas Burns graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry. He was a member of the Texas Hereford, the American Quarter Horse, and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser's associations. He was the first chairman of overseers of the Texas Tech University Ranching Heritage Association in Lubbock.
In 1924, Burns married the former Mamie Sypert (1896-1982). She wrote a cookbook: Recipes of a Pitchfork Ranch Hostess: The Culinary Legacy of Mamie Burns. She assumed management of the ranch’s Big House, including the feeding of personal and business guests. The recipes and reminiscences in her notes, reproduced in the cookbook, reveal that Mrs. Burns set a bountiful table. Though she claimed not to have enjoyed cooking, her recipes and comments on ranch living reveal a real enthusiasm for preparing food for guests. The book provides not only the ingredients of her special dishes but a glimpse into West Texas ranch life. Mrs. Burns also wrote This I Can Leave You: a Woman's Days on the Pitchfork Ranch, which was published four years after her death by the Texas A&M University Press.
Afer twenty-three years as manager of the Pitchfork Ranch near Guthrie in King County, Texas, Burns turned over the position to Jim Humphreys, the manager from 1965 to 1986. Mamie Burns died in Lamesa, Texas, four years after the passing in Lubbock of her husband. The couple is interred at Dawson County Cemetery in Lamesa, Texas. The tombstone carries the message: "They never left a herd on a dark night."
- Mamie Burns (1896-1982). Findagrave.com. Retrieved on November 23, 2019.
- Arthur Burns. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on November 23, 2019.
- Sheryl Williams (April 22, 2009). Douglas R. Burns, son of Arthur Burns. genealogy.com. Retrieved on November 22, 2019.
- Douglas R. Burns: An Inventory of His Papers. Texas Tech University Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. Retrieved on November 22, 2019.
- Cathryn Buesseler and L. E. Anderson, eds., Mamie Burns: Recipes of a Pitchfork Ranch Hostess: The Culinary Legacy of Mamie Burns.