||Joel Hudgins (1800-1873) of North Carolina came to the Republic of Texas in 1839 and settled in the Hungerford area. He married Rachel Ann Northington McKenzie (d. 1903) in 1847. He was elected county commissioner in 1854.
After Joel's death, Rachel and their four sons began to buy more land and expand the ranching operation. Josiah Dawson (J. D.) Hudgins (d. 1928) headed the family's interests. He also owned a store, cotton gin, sawmill, and grew rice. In 1897 the four brothers divided the family property and operated independently.
In 1915 J. D. and his children purchased their first purebred Brahman cows, descendants of the herd brought from India by A. P. Borden in 1906. J. D.'s son Walter Hudgins (d. 1943) helped organize the American Brahman Breeders Association in 1924.
The Hudgins Ranch acquired the bull "Manso" in 1933. Manso's descendants are the cornerstone stock from which the ranch's American Gray Brahman herd was developed, now one of the largest registered American Gray Brahman herds in the world. Cattle from this ranch have been exported to over 42 countries and 34 states in the U.S. In 1962 the ranching partnership was reorganized into five separate entities, with each division operated by descendants of J. D. Hudgins.