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Southfork Ranch fiction

A history of the Ewing family home Southfork Ranch.
Ewing Oil

History of the Ewing empire
Southfork Ranch factual

Factual information on the Ewing home used in the series. Includes photos of the original ranch.

Find out the real life locations of buildings used in the series.

Ewing Oil - history of the Ewing empire

"Ewing Oil isn`t a building, it isn`t a name. Ewing Oil is Jock Ewing and his legacy and no one can touch that" - JR EWING

Soaring upward from the Dallas skyline, the Ewing Oil building is right up there, at fifty stories, with the Republic Bank and Reunion Towers. It is the home of Ewing Oil, the family owned and operated corporation. The executive offices are on the top floor, where for decades the Ewings, had Dallas at their feet.

Jock Ewing founded Ewing Oil in 1927 and ran it until 1977, when he retired as Chief Executive Officer. He retained his seat as Chairman of the board. His years of leadership were ones of solid expansion in what Jock knew best - bringing up oil out of the ground. The company's substantial natural gas leases were almost incidental in the beginning; they were a kind of well-why-let that land-go-to-waste-we-might-as-well-get-something-if-not-oil venture. His company was a strong example of the Independents who survived over the iff many didn't]: prudent sense, a game plan of research/acquisition/ a no-nonsense approach based on the Puritan work ethic, a word stood on a handshake, and a virtual army of loyal employees who carrried out orders.

The Year it all began 1927:

Jock struck up a friendship with Willard "Digger" Barnes, who could literally smell oil and pinpoint exactly where to drill. With Jocks brightness and cunning and with his expertise of being able to use the highly dangerous method of breaking through limestone deposits by shooting the well with nitrogen, the two men pulled together as wildcatters.

1930 : The Ewing Empire is born.

Due to Diggers drunken tenancies Jock brought in his brother Jason Ewing to assist the venture. Finally Ewing 1 came in, and what a gusher it was. Jock put the money into other ventures, a worked his butt off to build on their wealth. But the partnership began to crumble as Jason and Digger would continually drink and gamble away the money. But then came Ewing 6. Jock decided to put this well in his name only, as a way of protecting the asset. When this well came in , it was the biggest strike yet. Jock was then confronted by Jason and Digger, he tried to explain why he had done it. But Digger accused him of being a "crook" and tried to murder him. After this Jock decided to go it alone, and let Jason and Digger drink themselves silly. Digger never forgave Jock, the Ewing-Barnes feud was born, and Jason disappeared. Jock went it alone.........Ewing Oil was born.

1939 : The Heir to the Empire

This was the year that John Ross Ewing J.R was born, J.R Ewing. Jock said he was going to train him to be a "mans man", this included Jock taking his son from the age of 5 into the offices of Ewing Oil, to teach him the family business. Jock was about to create a man who had only two aims in life: money and power, both of which came under the heading of EWING OIL.

1960: JR comes home to roost:
JR came home as a soldier from Vietnam, and became Vice Chairman of Ewing Oil

1977: The Year of Change:
Jock retired as Chief Executive Officer, but remained Chairman of the Board. JR Ewing became the president.

1978 : Bobby Joins The Oil Business:
J.R`s younger brother joined the executive management team. J.R resented his presence and wanted him out of the way. Things came to a head at the end of 1978, Bobby resigned from Ewing Oil and started up Ewing Construction.

1979: The Biggest Oil Strike in the World. Ewings are now Billionaires
Cliff Barnes, Diggers son was made Commissioner of the Office of Land Management and declared WAR on Ewing Oil. In October Cliff halted all the new drilling sites of Ewing Oil and began shutting down the fields. JR quickly had to find a new source of income. JR invested $200,000,000 in offshore leases in Asia and mortgaged the Ewing home South fork to do this. The wells came in and was one on the biggest oil strikes in the world. making the Ewing Family billionaires.

1979 : Revolt in Asia ,JR FIRED, Bobby steps back into OIL, and Marilee a widow.
Jock was upset over JR`s mortgaging of South fork, so Bobby stepped into help run Ewing Oil. JR had word that problems were escalating in Asia so he decided to sell shares in the Asian leases. Four people took up the offer: Seth Stone, Jordan Lee, Andy Bradley, and Vaughn Leland.
The next day there was a political revolt in Asia and the wells were nationalized. The investors lost everything, sending them all near to bankruptcy.
Seth Stone could not bear to tell his wife Marilee that he had near bankrupted her fathers company, in his distress Seth killed himself. Jock believed that JR knew the wells were going to be nationalized , and that the Cartel had been double crossed, so he fired JR from Ewing Oil and made Bobby president.

1980 : The Takapa Project : Bobby resigns.
Bobby committed Ewing Oil to a deal with the Cartel. It was the first business Ewing had done with them since the Asian deal and was important for the relationship to continue. But unbeknown to Bobby, Jock had taken $12,000,000 out of the Ewing Oil account to go into business with Punk Anderson on the Takapa project, turning land on the Texas/Louisiana border into a fishing resort. Bobby eventually pulled the deal off via a loan but had a terrible row with Jock and decided to quit Ewing Oil.

One night in the spring of 1980, JR was shot at the Ewing Oil offices, by his Sister in law Kristin.

1980 : JR back as President.
Jock reinstated JR as president. JR`s first move was to improve Ewing Oil`s public image, so hired so hired Public Relations guru Leslie Stewart to improve its tarnished image. But the best thing for the image of Ewing Oil was the toppling of the Asian government. The oil wells were returned to their Texas owners, making Ewing Oil and the Cartel a small fortune.

JR's wife Sue Ellen left South fork and moved in with her lover Dusty Farlow at the Southern Cross Ranch. JR began stock piling Farlow oil as a way to force Sue Ellen back to South fork with their son John Ross. This put a great strain on the Ewing finances as the price of Oil dropped and JR was stuck with a load of Oil he could get rid of.


Jock was killed in a helicopter crash in South America. The balance of power was now held as following :

Ellie Ewing : 30 Shares.
JR EWING : 20 Shares.
John Ross Ewing : 10 Shares ( Ellie voted them if he was living off South fork, JR if on South fork)
Gary Ewing : 10 Shares ( which he gave to Lucy Ewing)
Bobby Ewing: 20 Shares
Ray Krebbs: 10 Shares.

Miss Ellie stepped in to stop the destruction of Ewing Oil over the stock piling of Farlow Oil. She persuaded the family to vote with her to have JR fired as President and Bobby reinstated.

1982 : The Reading of Jock Will : THE WAR OF THE EWINGS:

The will stated that Ewing Oil be split 50-50 between Bobby and JR and each would run his half as a separate company for one Year.
At the end of the year the brother with the greatest profit would inherit 51% of the company. and the loser 19%. The rest would go to Miss Ellie, Ray and Gary. Bobby's route was to drill in frozen ground in Canada using the Tundra Torque drill bit. JR`s route was to over pump oil with a special variance from the OLM, refine it and open a chain of cut price Gas Stations.

1983: The Near Destruction of the Family Ewing:

The battle for the brothers was blood thirsty. It tour the family apart. Bobby and Pam divorced, Pam`s mother Rebecca was killed in a Plane crash during her attempt to stop JR winning. In the fall of 1983 JR and Bobby decided to call the battle off. They agreed a 50-50 share and signed to this effect. Just after this signing it was revealed that Bobby Ewing would have won the war as his wells in Canada came in. Ownership of Ewing Oil was now as follows:

JR : 35%
Bobby : 35%
Gary : 10%
Miss Ellie :10%
Ray: 10%

The brothers would run the company side by side.

1984 : Bobby shot at Ewing Oil:
Bobby was shot at the office, this time the would be assassin was Katherine Wentworth, Pam's sister who was in love with Bobby. During his recover Donna Krebbs stepped into his place at Ewing Oil, much to the annoyance of JR. But anything that made JR uncomfortable, made Donna very happy.

1984 : Jock, Digger and Jason's legacy:

Jason's daughter Jamie Ewing turned up at South fork, from Alaska where she had been working in the Oil Business. Jason was now dead and Jamie had a document which apparently proved that Ewing Oil was in fact owned by Jock, Digger and Jason. Jamie married Cliff and they sided to take the Ewings to court for their shares in Ewing Oil.

1985 : Barnes vs Ewing

The case came to court and the Ewing's had a fight on their hands to keep control. But then a stranger came to town in the shape of Jack Ewing, Jason's son and Jamie's brother. Jack went to JR to reveal that he had proof that Ewing Oil was owned outright by Jock Ewing. But there was a price for this information. Jack demanded 10% of Ewing Oil. The Ewing Family agreed. Jack took Ray, Bobby and JR to California to meet a man called Wally Windun. He had witnessed the dissolving of the partnership and revealed that the document was with Jock first wife Amanda. The family met with Amanda, retrieved the document and won the battle for control. But now with Jack Ewing as a partner.

The balance of power:

JR : 30%
Bobby: 30%
Gary :10%
Jack :10%
Miss Ellie : 10%
Ray :10%

1986 : The Oil Business is in trouble.:
The price of oil dropped dramatically, the middle east had flooded the market with their oil, sending the price of crude down to an all time low. It was fine for the big companies like WesStar, but the likes of the Independence were in turmoil. JR was forced to shut down the stripper wells causing a great deal of unemployment. Meanwhile Cliff Barnes stole an idea of Jamies for all the Oil Companies to pull together and form a lobby in Washington to put a tariff on imported Oil. Cliff became famous over the idea, much to Jamie's anger. Donna Krebbs headed the Lobby. A man by the name of Scotfield lost his job from Ewing 12. In his anger he blew up a well, he was later arrested and in his shame committee suicide. His wife Martha wanted vengeance. She visited Ewing Oil and told Bobby that "one day a big fish like Ewing Oil is gonna get eaten up and swallowed hole by a even bigger fish" and she would hold them that promise.

1986 : Saudi Arabia : JR STARTS A WAR

JR wanted the price of American crude to rise and he wanted it to happen now. He met with a General Longly who was sacked from the military for War Mongering. He put JR in touch with BD Calhoun who would go to the middle east and start trouble by blowing the Oil Wells. This he did. Iraq blamed Libya and Libya blamed Iraq, JR had met his aim. But to do this people were killed and JR wanted out. BD would hold JR to his promise
and blamed JR for the whole mess. BD kidnapped John Ross and threatened to kill him, but Ray killed BD in time. The FBI were involved and decided on a cover up to save the face of America as well as JR`s butt.


Mrs Scotfields brother worked at the FBI offices as a clerk. He stumbled upon information revealing JR`s involvement with BD Calhoun which was a federal crime. Mrs Scotfield then gave the story to a small town paper who revealed the story and opened the biggest can of worms JR was ever to see.
Jeremy Wendell of WestStar wanted the Ewing assets. He made Mrs Scott a rich woman for which she gave him the evidence. She made him promise her he would destroy Ewing Oil, he agreed.


Ewing Oil is currently owned by Bobby James Ewing in partnership with Sue Ellen Ewing Lockwood.