In 1945, after being approached by Mr. Richey, the Abilene City Council generously provided 300 acres of land next to Lake Kirby on the south edge of Abilene for the establishment of a Boys Ranch. In 1946, Optimists International started an Abilene charter, sponsoring the Abilene Boys Ranch. With the help of Optimists International, a charter with the State of Texas was issued and a loan was granted for $2,400 to move an excess barracks building from Camp Barkley to the Ranch site, as well as pay a couple to live with the boys. This was to be the first building on the Abilene Boys Ranch new campus. In 1947, Abilene Boys Ranch was founded and Ben Richey, his wife, Jamie, along with Mrs. Richey’s brother, Edwin Yeager, moved to the ranch.