Hat Ranch History

The Hat Ranch, historically known as the Quarter Circle XX, hosted many notable figures in American history.

Isabella Greenway (1886-1953) bought the Ranch in 1928. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1933-1936 as the sole Representative from Arizona. (At the time, Arizona’s population was small, so it was entitled to only one Representative.) Isabella won a statewide election, defeating two men, and was re-elected for a second term.

While still in her teens, Isabella became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962). They remained close friends until Isabella’s death.

Eleanor sent two of her teenaged sons to work as cowhands on Isabella’s Ranch because she thought the boys needed to be toughened up. One of the Rockefeller boys joined them. When they went to town for their mail, and told the Postmistress their names, she refused to believe them. “Lawrence Rockefeller and Johnny Roosevelt?” she snorted. “Yes, and I’m the Queen of Rumania!”

Eleanor’s husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), was running for president in 1932. Isabella played an important part in his nomination at the Democratic convention. Franklin visited the Ranch on September 25, 1932 during a campaign tour of the West. There he met Arizona Congressman Lewis W. Douglas (1894-1974) whom he later named to serve as his Director of the Budget.

Isabella’s son, Jack Greenway, went to high school with George H. W. Bush in the late 1930s. By 1963, Bush had a 16-year-old son, George W. Bush. In the tradition of Eleanor Roosevelt, George, Sr. asked Jack if his son could work at the Ranch for a summer. George built fences and did other odd jobs for the foreman.

The Ranch’s last private owner, Bazy Tankersley, was notable in her own right as a cattlewoman and breeder of Arabian horses.