“All in all it was a wonderful life.”
Thomas Clinton Finney was born December 20, 1913 at Paxico, the second child of Thomas and Bertha Finney. Shortly after he graduated from Paxico High School in 1931, his father passed away. While his mother and the rest of the family moved to Topeka, he went to work for his uncle, Karl Miller of Miller Herefords, in Belleville where he looked after the registered herd. In 1934 Tom went to work for the Brian Mitchell family on their sprawling ranch near Marfa, Texas. After about a year he returned to Wabaunsee County and went to work for R.E. Adams, Sr. of Maple Hill. In 1938 Mr. Adams sent him to his ranch in Meade County, Kansas and Beaver County, Oklahoma. After Mr. Adams death he continued to work for R.E. Adams, Jr. This was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that lasted until Tom’s death. In 1940 he married a girl from a neighboring ranch, Mary Ancshutz granddaughter of “Doc” Anschutz. Though their children are deceased, he has two granddaughters, Sarah Befort of Hays and Amy Marrs of Pittsburg, who were his pride and joy. In 1968, the couple moved to the XIT Ranch headquartered south of Plains, where they lived in the house built by X.I. Robert in 1892. Tom was always a fair and understanding boss. Over the years, so many of his employees have returned for events and stay in contact with his widow. Riding a good horse on an early morning round-up on the XIT Ranch was always a thrill for him. Both Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University sent people from other countries to the XIT to experience first-hand a working ranch. Tom Finney passed away January 2, 1996.
Year inducted: 2006