Few images captivate the Western imagination more than the Texas cowboy at home on the range, herding, corralling, throwing and branding cattle, bronc busting, dining from chuck wagons, and sleeping under the stars. The SMS Ranch in the early 1900s was exactly such a place. Spanning hundreds of thousands of acres and holding land in 12 Northwest Texas counties, the SMS was formed by early Swedish immigrant to the Republic of Texas Swante Magnus Swenson. Swenson, a good friend of Sam Houston, had a penchant for wise financial decisions and, by the late 1800s, lived in New York with offices on Wall Street. Swenson sent his two sons to manage his vast Texas landholdings. In 1902, they hired legendary cattleman Frank Hastings to manage the SMS Ranch, headquartered in Stamford, Texas, north of Abilene and west of Fort Worth. Hastings's wife, Laura, and daughter Ruth photographed life on the ranch, and many professional photographers visited the SMS as well, leaving a rich visual legacy.