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Diamond L Ranch Rodeo Arena At 12841 South Main St.


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When Verna Lee Booker married Ted Hightower (date unknown), she began to train and ride more regularly. She devoted most of her time to and excelled at barrel racing. In 1949 the Hightowers purchased their first home which was located near the Diamond L Ranch, a rodeo arena on South Main in Houston. The arena, built by Black cowboy J. L. Sweeney, served as a venue where African-American cowboys and cowgirls came to compete. Verna Hightower gained early exposure and success in competitions at the Diamond L Ranch rodeos. She competed on the national level on the Black rodeo circuit in Okmulgee and Henrietta, Oklahoma, and Simonton and Pasadena, Texas, where she was very successful. Soon she became the “poster girl” for area rodeos.

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  • The title was changed to Diamond L Ranch Rodeo Arena At 12841 South Main St.

The address to the Diamond L Ranch is 12841 South Main St. I believe J.L. Sweeney owned another Diamond L. Ranch near Forth Worth. Forgot the small Texas town name.

I came across the address while browsing the newspaper The Bellaire Texan dated September 21, 1977.

Almeda Plaza Civic Club's World Champion Rodeo featuring Leo Frank and Baldridge Smith, has been slated for the Diamond L Ranch at 12841 S. Main Sep. 24 and 25.


There's an earlier ad (1936) from the Epsom Down's Rodeo located at 9700 Humble Road.  The stock for the rodeo was furnished by the Diamond L Ranch. This may have been when J.L. Sweeney had the ranch near Forth Worth? There's an incredible date-gap between 1936 and 1977.  Maybe the newer ranch on South Main was owned by a descendant of J.L. Sweeney?


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