Elton Eugene Brigham, retired rancher, of Lampasas passed away July 11, 2017, at Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple, TX. Mr. Brigham was born December 1, 1927, to William E. and Milda Anna (Viertel) Brigham in the small Texas community of Tuxedo in Jones County. “Jiggs,” as he was nicknamed, grew up on a West Texas dry-land farm and graduated from Hamlin High School in 1945. He was involved in 4-H and FFA through out his youth which included showing dairy and beef cattle and winning at all the major shows in Texas for himself and on behalf of other ranches. Those experiences were outstanding training for his life’s work.
Elton said his greatest achievement was marrying Bobby Jean Norris of Buda on July 12, 1955, and they became life-long partners in everything.
As a result of the severe and prolonged drought in the 1950’s, Elton and Bobby leased land from the Heep Ranch in Buda and took the opportunity to start their own, registered Hereford ranch. They established themselves as a knowledgeable and capable team in the Hereford industry. In the fall of 1959, they sold their herd and in January 1960 moved to Midlothian where Elton became manager of Hi-View Hereford Ranch.
Both believed in community involvement, and after the move to Midlothian, Bobby became an active member of the Methodist Church. Elton also took an active role in local affairs by serving as a director and president of the Ellis County Farm Bureau. While he was president, the county Farm Bureau built and operated the first Farm Bureau-owned tire store in Texas.
In 1962, Mr. A.H. Meadows of General American Oil purchased the Hi-View Ranch and retained Elton as the manager. This was the beginning of a friendship with Mr. Meadows and association with the Meadows Foundation that together spanned 30 years.
The highlight of those early years for Elton and Bobby was the birth of their three daughters, Shirley Ann in 1956, Cindy Ruth in 1960, and Linda Lee in 1963. All three girls graduated from Midlothian Independent School District. During that time, Elton was active in local politics serving on the Midlothian school board for 12 years with seven of those years as the board’s president.
Elton was chairman of a fundraising committee that built and opened a combined school, city and community library with a senior citizens' center in Midlothian. He served as the president of the Midlothian Library Board for many years and as chairman of the Ellis County Appraisal Board for four years.
Elton and Bobby always wanted to retire to their own ranch in the Hill Country. In 1991, Elton and Bobby moved to a small ranch north of Lampasas, just big enough to keep him busy and the grandkids entertained. The home was designed to enjoy country living and hosting all the family at Thanksgiving, Christmas, during the summer months and spoiling the grandkids year-round.
Family get-togethers included Ranger’s baseball, Dallas Cowboys, anything Texas A&M, and dominoes. Paw-Paw loved playing 84 with his grandkids and making sure they worked hard in futile efforts to beat him. His often said life did not get much better than playing 84 with good friends and enjoying a good meal.
Elton is survived by his loving wife Bobby of nearly 62 years; daughters Shirley (Greg), Cindy, and Linda; grandchildren Annelise, Kyle, Caitlann, Brian; brothers, William and James; sisters, Mildred, Lela, and Louella; cousin Arthur Lee; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Edgar and Milda; a son, Elton Jr.; and brother, Oran.
Visitation is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Sunday, July 16 at Sneed Funeral Home in Lampasas. The funeral will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 17 at the First Baptist Church in Lampasas with a graveside service set for 2:30 p.m. at the Live Oak Cemetery, Manchaca, TX.
Memorials may be sent to the First Baptist Church of Lampasas or Children at Heart Ministries in Round Rock, TX.