The Spur brand originated in western Craig County Oklahoma during the late 1930s, operated by Thomas Herschel "Jot" Hartley and Fred Hartley. Bob Hartley converted the operation to the Angus breed in the late 1950s. Under the guidance of Bob Hartley and his son Clay, Spur Ranch has grown to cover more than 15,000 acres in Craig and Nowata Counties in Northeastern Oklahoma.
Early on, Bob Hartley used performance testing to improve the herd, and was one of the founding members of Performance Registry International. Through their breeding efforts, Spur Ranch became one of the nation's leading performance breeders, producing numerous Certified Meat Sires. Spur Ranch genetics also had success in the show ring, highlighted by the naming of Spur Emulous Master as the 1971 International Grand Champion Bull.
Spur Ranch continues to emphasize performance in their production of registered Angus bulls for the commercial cattle industry. Spur Ranch produced the first Angus bull to gain more than six pounds per day at OBI. Spur Ranch has produced the high-indexing Angus bull in at least one OBI test group, including their herd sire, Spur Travel Master, who achieved an adjusted weaning weight of 785 pounds and an adjusted yearling weight of 1,524 with a birth weight of only 75 pounds.
Spur Ranch annually holds one of the top Angus bull and Angus commercial female sales in the United States — “Performance Herd of the Heartland Sale” is held the fourth Friday in October.
The Hartley family and Spur Ranch genetics have been instrumental in the development of the cattle industry in Oklahoma and the United States.