The Guitar Ranch - T Diamond was started by John Guitar, Sr. He was born in Carrollton, Missouri, in 1866. In 1890, he moved to Abilene, Texas, and entered into the cotton business. He purchased the Big Spring Ranch in 1906 and then purchased the Dell City Ranch in 1927. He owned several ranches in the Carlsbad, New Mexico area, which he operated in the 1920s. In 1934, he purchased the Colbert Ranch at Spur, Texas. He owned numerous farms in Spur, Texas.



Parts of Guitar Ranches stem from the legacy of John Guitar, Sr., who was born in Carrollton, Missouri, in 1866. He spent his childhood as a clerk in his father’s mercantile store, which his father had purchased with gold he’d saved in the California Gold Rush. In 1889, he married Laura Hudson and the couple left Missouri to settle in Jefferson, Texas. He shortly became involved in the cotton business. By 1897, he and his family had established themselves in Abilene, TX, seeking out the growing cotton industry in West Texas. He soon became interested in farming and ranching, in addition to running over 20 cotton gins in and out of the state.

His first ranch purchase in 1906 was 30 sections of the Bauer & Cockrell Survey near Big Spring, TX, pieces of which are included in Guitar Ranches to this day. In 1918, he bought 53,000 acres comprising the TC Division of the Figure 2 Ranch in Hudspeth County, TX. 13,000 acres eventually went to Dell City for irrigation. John entered into a partnership with Bruce Pardue and the two men purchased land around Carlsbad, NM. One of the ranches to the west of Carlsbad had over 200 sections. Jim White, who discovered the Carlsbad Caverns, worked on this ranch in the early 1920s. His final land acquisition was the Colbert Ranch, which was made up of 14,000 acres, in Spur, TX, in 1934.

John didn’t limit himself to agriculture and ranching, he also invested with Conrad Hilton in Hilton Hotels, and served as Vice President for 5 Hilton Hotels in Dallas and West Texas. His youngest of 8 children, Earl, managed the Abilene Hilton Hotel, and hired Lawrence Welk to play the dining room for two weeks; Welk ended up staying 6 months. Earl continued the tradition of ranching. Earl and his siblings also inherited the mineral interests from all of the land John had purchased over the years, and Earl continued to purchase land and interests during his lifetime.