W.T. Waggoner Ranch-A Giant Texas Opportunity Sold
February 10th, 2016 | by Michelle Eastridge
There’s nothing like it in the world. A piece of land so big, so storied and so steeped in family legacy that no title report or even a complete survey existed until recently.
The W.T. Waggoner Ranch, America’s largest ranch “under one fence,” consists of more than 510,000 contiguous acres encompassing an empire of oil fields, open ranges, fertile farming and endless miles of grazing land—all spread across six counties of West Texas prairie and open rangeland.
Here’s what Stan Kroenke, L.A. Rams owner and notable rancher, has to look forward to.
Thousands of cattle, enormous lakes, hundreds of foundation bred, award-winning American Quarter Horses and a legend as big as the ground it covers. The W.T. Waggoner Ranch is considered one of the last remaining hallmarks of Texas cowboy culture.
The W.T. Waggoner Ranch represents a singular opportunity so rare, it only comes along every 165 years or so. In fact, the last time this property was available for ownership, Abe Lincoln was in Congress and California was petitioning to join the U.S. as a free state.
Headquartered in Vernon, Texas, the ranch covers 800 miles of sandhills and plains that make up the southeastern area of the Texas Panhandle, stretching through counties once roamed by the Comanches—Archer, Baylor, Knox, Wichita, Foard and Wilbarger.
Since the Waggoner family first laid claim to the land in the mid-1800s, the ranch has had a long history as a cow/calf ranch with a reputation for both tradition and innovation. Today the property is equally known as one of America’s best Quarter Horse operations, with a state-of-the-art training and breeding facility, indoor and outdoor arenas and designations from the American Quarter Horse Association.
But what makes this iconic holding so unique is what lies underfoot. With this many contiguous acres, there is an immense variety of land types on the ranch. The terrain varies from fairly level to gently rolling, sloping and hilly, with areas of rougher breaks and scenic, eroded, red clay badlands. About 30,000 acres are in cultivation or improved pasture. The remainder of the ranch is in native grass, supporting a mixed variety of palatable native grasses. In all its years of family ownership, the ranch has never been commercially hunted, making it a haven for deer, turkey, quail and more.
Also underfoot, oil. The property currently has an estimated 1,000 + producing oil wells on the ranch, with the W.T. Waggoner Estate operating approximately 150 of these wells and 40 independent operators holding the balance. Some of the wells discovered in the 1920s are still in operation. Approximately 41.67% of the mineral rights with a prorata portion of the executive leasing rights are expected to convey with the sale.
Waggoner descendants have acted as tremendous stewards of this land, making substantial structural improvements that include thousands of miles of fences and roads, hundreds of earthen pond dam sites, natural gas lines and more. All buildings, farm equipment, livestock (cattle and horses) and considerable personal property are included in this offering, as well at the historic W.T. Waggoner brand.
This turn-key ranch represents a slice of cowboy culture and a once-in-a-lifetime chance for an investor with vision and a love of land such as Kroenke.
For more luxury properties throughout North Texas, see briggsfreeman.com. President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Uptown, Lakewood, Southlake, The North, Ranch and Land, and The Ballpark.