LUBBOCK, Texas — After nearly four decades, Tony and Judy Mann said they made the difficult decision to sell the Lubbock Stockyards. They said the buyer plans to shut the operation down.

There are 54 years of history ingrained in the more than 50 acres of land in South Lubbock. Arthur Hamilton got things rolling in 1968 when he built the big, blue sale barn. 

Tony Mann first worked with Delton Caddell. Tony and his wife, Judy, bought the land from Caddell in 1983.

“I didn’t know anything about running an auction, but I learned pretty quick,” Tony Mann said. “I’ve been doing it for 39 and a half years. My wife runs my office, and I run outside.”

Tony’s granddaughter, Kate Mann, said he’s worked nonstop for nearly four decades. 

“I wasn’t sure Tony would ever be able to say goodbye,” Kate Mann said. “I didn’t think he’d ever be able to quit because he’s so fed up with it. Anybody that knows him is going to tell you this is what he does.”

Every Tuesday, the Mann’s held an auction for cattle, sheep and goats. They also sold horses once a month. Tony said it’s a labor of love.

“We’ve been doing it and, and we like what we’ve done,” Tony Mann said. “It’s had its ups and downs. We started out running a lot more cattle than we do right now, but I’m fixing to be 73 years old in December, and it’s kind of time to slow down.” 

“It was kind of a sad deal and a good deal for my family because we’ve been doing it for so long,” Tony Mann said. “Times are changing, and it’s time to change with it.”

The Mann’s said they’re grateful to have played a significant role in the cattle and beef industry. The family’s final day will be December 10 after the last Tack and Horse Auction.

“The saddest part about all of it is I’m watching my grandparents get rid of the first thing that they really loved,” Kate Mann said. “Tony dreamed about owning something like this his entire life. He goes home and can’t sleep at night, because he’s so excited for sale day. I’m watching them right now have to prepare to lose it all and just be done with it, and honestly, I don’t know how it’s going to go after this, because I’ve never known them outside of this ever.”