Drummond, Payne named to OCCA Hall of Fame

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Osage County Cattlemen's Association on Friday acknowledged the grit and grace of Sandra Drummond, who rebounded from the sudden loss of her husband more than 30 years ago and became a ranching success in her own right.

Now in her 70s and a grandmother of nine, the OCCA Hall of Fame induction was a moment of triumph for Drummond, but she took care to acknowledge how very much her success was a product of the good will, kindness and effort of others who helped her.

“If it wasn’t for the cowboys, I wouldn’t be here,” Drummond said during remarks at the OCCA Luncheon in Pawhuska. “They not only worked with me, they worked for me, and they didn’t mind me being out there.”

Sandra Fallin Drummond grew up in Hominy and finished high school there in 1965. She married her high school sweetheart, Jack Richard “Dick” Drummond, who pursued a career as a rancher. Dick died in 1987, at the age of 43, as a result of an auto accident. The couple had four daughters.

Sandra Drummond was plunged unexpectedly into a much more complicated existence. She had completed a bachelor’s degree in business management about the time her husband died, but there was so much more to learn about ranching. She noted that she received mentoring from others – help with marketing and managing her cash flow, for instance.

She developed awareness and knowledge of conservation issues with the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Dick Bogard, who was district conservationist, was an early guide for her in that area, but she studied conservation issues and eventually was chosen by Gov. Frank Keating to serve on the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.

Drummond acknowledged, however, that her path was not always fun. There were days, she recalled, when she found herself sitting alone in the cab of a pickup, praying.

Harvey Payne, one of the sons of Hall of Fame honoree Holton Payne, complimented the “dignity and class” with which Sandra Drummond has pursued the ranching life. Harvey Payne noted the helpful spirit of the Osage County ranching community that Drummond's story helps to illustrate.

“I bet everyone here can share a story about someone coming to help you in a time of need," Payne said. He also offered remarks Friday about the ranching career of his late father, Holton Hiram Payne, who died in 2017 at the age of 89. Holton Payne had been a rancher in Osage County, Kay County and other locales. His widow, Betty Jane Harvey Payne, was on-hand Friday for the Hall of Fame induction.

“He lived and breathed ranching,” Harvey Payne said of his father, who began ranching at age 15. “Dad absolutely loved ranching. He also loved ranchers. He lived the life he loved.”

Harvey Payne said his dad would have thoroughly enjoyed the annual Cattlemen's Luncheon.

“If he was here, he would want to talk to everybody here,” Harvey Payne said. He also reflected on how hard everyone worked to make the family enterprise a success.

“Let me tell you, we learned how to work at a very early age,” Payne said. “If you’re old enough to climb on a horse, you’re old enough to help.”

He recalled that his mother possessed skills helpful in ranching – she could ride a horse and drive a tractor. She cooked three large meals a day and brought food to the cowboys -- "a good, hearty cowboy meal."

“She was side-by-side every step of the way,” Harvey Payne said.

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, the 2021 luncheon crowd heard a brief tribute from current association president Ford Drummond to his father, Frederick Drummond, who died in October 2020 at the age of 89. Ford Drummond pointed out his father had been association president exactly 50 years ago, in 1971.