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October 30, 2019 Dear Family Land Heritage Honorees: It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome you to Austin for your well-deserved recognition as part of the 44th Annual Texas Department of Agriculture’s Family Land Heritage Ceremony. Today, in this historic House Chamber, I am reminded of our ancestors who came to Texas in search of a better life for themselves and their children. They created the foundation upon which generations of Texans have been able to build their dreams. They survived adversity through courage, ingenuity and grit; their stories of survival and success make Texas what it is today — a nationwide leader in agriculture, an industry that provides more than $110 billion to our state’s economy. For more than a century, you and those who came before you, have made agriculture a way of life and, in so doing, have made Texas a state rich in history and productivity. Congratulations on receiving this momentous designation. I am pleased to add your name to our honor roll of Family Land Heritage recipients. You join an elite group of hardworking Texas men and women who produce the safest, most abundant and most affordable food and fiber in the world. On behalf of the Texas agriculture industry and the Texas Department of Agriculture, thank you for your tireless contributions. Best wishes to each of you as you continue to nurture the agricultural legacy of Texas with the next chapter of your historic operation. Your servant,

Sid Miller Texas Agriculture Commissioner

















Deaf Smith




Collings worth





Family Land Heritage 2019 Honoree Properties

Child ress


Hardeman Bailey












Wilbarger Wichita

Foard knox









red river bowie



Lynn Dawson





STonewall Fisher






Shackleford Stephens Palo pinto Parker




rock wall


Hopkins Rains


Titus Camp








kaufman van zandt Andrews


El Paso



Ector Crane




Midland Glasscock Sterling

nolan Coke








vell omer




Tom Green




Jeff Davis







Gillespie Val Verde










LIve Oak jIM wELLS












La Salle


ga L V ES


ARCHER . . Noles-Gilmore Farm and Ranch (1904) ATASCOSA . Stahl Farm and Ranch (1919) ATASCOSA . Rakowtiz Farm (1896) BELL . . . . Spurlin Family Farm (1905) BLANCO . . . Wenmohs Ranch (1882) BOSQUE . . . McMillan Homestead (1919) BRAZORIA . Rustic Star Farm (1918) BURLESON . Bell Farm (1895) BURLESON . The Blinka Farm and Ranch (1907) BURLESON . Harper Farm (1919) CHEROKEE . McAnally Farm (1879) CLAY . . . . Russell, Crump, Davidson Farm (1918) COLEMAN . Jack Cooper Farm (1904) COLLIN . . . Parris Hill Farm and Ranch (1904) COLLIN . . . McClendon Farms (1902) COLLIN . . . Box M Ranch (1887) COLORADO . Willms Incorporated (1919) CRANE . . . Henderson LTM Enterprises (1917) DEWITT . . . Hagens Farm (1919) DEWITT . . . C.T. and Fannie Matthew Ranch (1918) DUVAL . . . William C. Mann Ranch (1919) ELLIS . . . . Cooke Farm (1856) FLOYD . . . . Francis Carthel Home Place (1905) GILLESPIE . . Rodney & Sharon Kott Ranch (1909) GILLESPIE . . Stanley Feller Ranch (1914) GOLIAD . . . Albrecht Ranch (1868)

Orange Jefferson

Ca l h




Fort Bend



Tyler Hardin


Colorado Gonzales


Polk San JAcinto











Wilson Maverick










Guadalupe Kinney










r Walle






Terrell Presidio






Falls Bell




Freestone Limestone




Anderson Cherokee




Smith Navarro



McCulloch San Saba



Mills Upton


SAn Augustine




Cass Marion








GOLIAD . . . BJR Cattle Company (1868) GOLIAD . . . F. Wayne Albrecht Ranch (1868) GONZALES . Davis Ranch (1909) GONZALES . 4 Gunn Ranch (1890) GRAY . . . . Smith Family Farm (1915) GRIMES . . . Callender Ranch (1835) GRIMES . . . Stout Ranch (1917) GRIMES . . . T6 Ranch (1919) HENDERSON J.H. Ward Farm & Ranch (1880) HOOD . . . . . Carter-Ives-Howard-Williams Farm (1908) KERR . . . . Hall Ranches (1918) KERR . . . . Schumacher Ranch (1864) LAVACA . . . Charles and Rosa Othold Farm (1919) LAVACA . . . Janak Farm (1919) LIVE OAK . . Leonard and Betty Pawlik Ranch (1919) LIVE OAK . . MAGUGLIN "The Old Place" (1901) 2

LLANO . . . . Maurice Dale Hohmann Ranch (1916) LLANO . . . . Smathers Hereford Ranch (1886) MASON . . . The Thomas Place (1903) MASON . . . Reuben & Doris Geistweidt Ranch (1866) MCCULLOCH Deans Farm (1919) MCLENNAN . Rejcek Farms (1906) SHERMAN . . Kent & Faye Cartrite Farms (1919) SWISHER . . B.F. and Ethel Foster Farm (1917) WASHINGTON Hughes Ranch (1906) WASHINGTON Rocking T Farm aka Gorka Farm (1911) WHARTON . Drastata Farm (1897) WHARTON . Kaechele Ranch (1916) WILBARGER Taylor Hill (1901) WILLIAMSON Bielss/Miller Farm (1909) WILLIAMSON Lutonsky-Kelley Farm (1900) WILSON . . . Akin Triple E Ranch (1900)



Family Land Heritage MASTER OF CEREMONIES Terry Starnes

INVOCATION Werth Mayes Cowboy Church of Erath County

PLEDGE TO THE FLAGS Mikayla Terry and Amber Cork Texas FFA Area 12 Vice Presidents

REMARKS John Paul Dineen III Texas Agriculture Memorial Day

CONGRATULATORY REMARKS Sid Miller Texas Commissioner of Agriculture

CERTIFICATE PRESENTATION Family Land Heritage Honorees





COMMISSIONER SID MILLER An eighth generation Texas farmer and rancher, Sid Miller is the 12th Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture. He has devoted his life to promoting Texas agriculture and rural communities. Since taking office in January 2015, Commissioner Miller has brought real, common sense reform to the Texas Department of Agriculture. He increased consumer protection in everything from to commercial scales to organic certifications. A former ag teacher and school board member, Commissioner Miller has also led the fight against childhood obesity through nutrition programs for Texas schoolchildren, including Farm Fresh Fridays and other farm-to-school initiatives. Commissioner Miller is the state’s leading advocate around the world for Texas agriculture. He and his staff have visited every continent on the globe, except Antarctica, representing Texas agriculture and the GO TEXAN marketing program. Commissioner Miller is on a mission to spread the word about Texas’ world-renowned agriculture industry and showcase the best Texas.



Terry Starnes was born in Cleburne, Texas and raised near Glen Rose, Texas. He attended Glen Rose schools all 12 years, and graduated in 1971.

For more than 40 years, Red Steagall has entertained people around the globe as a recording artist, songwriter, television and motion picture personality, and cowboy poet.

He wanted to be nothing but a cowboy ever since he can remember. He has made those childhood dreams come true by being involved in rodeo as a bull rider and team roper.

In 1991, the Texas Legislature named Red the Official Cowboy Poet of Texas. By 1994, he launched his one-hour syndicated radio show Cowboy Corner which is now heard in approximately 165 markets across 43 states.

In 1983, he had an opportunity to announce a small rodeo and has been behind the mic at some of the most prestigious rodeos and bullridings in the nation since then. Although the PRCA Gold Card holder has reined in his schedule in the last couple of years, he is still one of the most sought after voice talents in his industry, and has no plans for retirement any time soon.

Musically, Red has won eight Wrangler Awards from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. He has also authored four books.

He and his wife of 37 years, Shelley, have three sons and five grandchildren, and breed and train bucking bulls on the small ranch that they live on. The ranch was purchased by his grandparents in 1941, and he is the 3rd generation to reside there.

Commissioner Miller breeds and trains American Quarter Horses and is a recognized rodeo cowboy with 12 world championship titles.

In recognition of Red’s significant contribution to the western way of life, he was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame in October 1999. In 2003, he joined the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Great Westerners. A year later, Red was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 2006, Red was awarded the prestigious Charles Goodnight Award and also was named the Poet Laureate for the State of Texas. Red’s television show In the Bunkhouse with Red Steagall first aired in 2009. His current show Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street airs nationwide on RFD-TV.

Miller and his wife, Debra, have been married for more than 40 years. They have two sons, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.


150 Year Honorees



enry L. Cooke was born in Beaufort North Carolina in 1809. In 1856 he traveled with his wife, Martha Burdeshaw, to Ellis County to join his brothers who were living there already. He purchased 220 acres in September of that year where he and his brother built a house for their family. He also purchased 100 head of beef cattle, 12 dairy cows and split rails to build fencing.

Cooke Farm Ellis County 6 miles east of Ennis FOUNDED: 1856 FOUNDER: Henry Lechmere Cooke CURRENT OWNER: Owen Douglas Cooke, Denise E. Cooke, Bradley Douglas Cooke, Vanessa Coke Gerich

They had several children, of whom, Silas Lechmere Cooke married Lockey Jane Odom and remained on his father’s farm until his own death. Two of his own sons, Benjamin Frank and Wesley Emmett Cooke took over their family farm and raised their children on the property, building new houses as families expanded. They raised cattle and grew hay, wheat, corn, sunflower, milo and market vegetables. Wesley Emmett’s


n 1848, Frederich Albrecht traveled from Prussia, Germany to Indianola, Texas at 24 yearsold. He was introduced to Robert Kleberg, who paid for his passage in exchange for labor. Frederich worked and lived with the Kleberg family for five years and married Louisa Harsdrof in 1853. Frederich joined the The Texas Rangers during the Civil War. He purchased land in Goliad County in 1868.

Albrecht Ranch Goliad County 12 miles north of Goliad FOUNDED: 1868 FOUNDER: Frederich Albrecht CURRENT OWNER: E. Gayle and Valerie Albrecht

Frederich and Louisa had 15 children. The oldest son, Ferdinand, operated a general store and gin. His younger brother, Frederich Christoph, purchased land from Ferdinand. Frederich Christoph built a family home and a large barn with his wife Caroline "Lena" Hausmann. Frederich Christoph was one of the first to bring Hereford bulls to Goliad County. He owned milk cows, goats, hogs and sheep, horses and mules. He was a blacksmith and operated a molasses mill on the farm.


son Owen Wesley, remained on the farm after his father passed and inherited the title to the land. He lived in the house originally built by his great grandfather. He and his wife had six children. They taught them all to farm and homestead as they had done. All three Cooke brothers remained in Ennis. Douglas Cooke, son of Owen Wesley Cooke, had a son, Bradley Cooke, who resides on the farm currently raising sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, and several acres of hay.

As told by the Cooke Family. ORIGINAL ACREAGE 220 acres PRODUCTION 1856 Cattle, Hogs, Hay, Corn, Oats, Wheat and Cotton 2019 Sheep, Goats, Cattle, Ducks, Chickens, Rabbits, and Sudan

The son of Frederich Christoph, Edgar Louis was born in the ranch home in 1901. In 1941, Edgar inherited his share of land from his parents and acquired adjacent acreage through family members. Edgar operated the ranch with great care until his passing at the age of 87. Edgar's oldest son, Edgar Gayle Albrecht, continues to operate the Albrecht Ranch. He shares his love of the land and ranching with his two children, Sharon Albrecht Raab and Jason Albrecht and five grandchildren.

As told by Alan Albrecht, greatgreat grandson of the founder.



1868 Cattle, Turkeys, Sugar Cane, Corn, Cotton


BJR Cattle Company Goliad County 13 miles north of Goliad FOUNDED: 1868 FOUNDER: Frederich Albrecht CURRENT OWNERS: Michael S. Calhoun and Regina Calhoun

n 1848, Frederich Albrecht traveled from Prussia, Germany to Indianola, Texas. He was introduced to Robert Kleberg, who paid for his passage in exchange for labor. Frederich worked and lived with the Kleberg family for five years until he married Louisa Harsdrof. Frederich purchased land in Goliad County in 1868. He and Louisa had 15 children including Fredrich Christoph, who inherited property and acquired additional acres of his own. He carried on the tradition of his father; raising cattle, corn, cane and cotton. Fredrich Christoph married and had a daughter, Waldine, who inhertied 252 acres and was giftdeeded an additional 126 acres from her brother in 1982. She leased a portion of the land to


n 1848, at the age of 24, Fredrich Albrecht immigrated from Prussia, Germany, and arrived in Indianola. He settled in Goliad County and brought his parents and six brothers to Texas. In 1868, Frederich purchased 320 acres. Frederich and his brothers came to own several ranches along the Milby and Coleto Creeks in northern Goliad County. They raised cattle, turkeys and crops to support the cattle and families that lived on their ranches. The children attended the Albrecht school and the families built the first Lutheran Church in the county.

F. Wayne Albrecht Ranch Goliad County 12 miles north of Goliad FOUNDED: 1868 FOUNDER: Frederich Albrecht CURRENT OWNER: F. Wayne Albrecht and Alan Albrecht

Frederich and Louisa had 15 children and 12 survived to see adulthood. Frederich’s son Frederich C. inherited a portion of the land along the Milby Creek and purchased additional land. Frederich C. and Lena had six children on the ranch and four survived into adulthood. Their son Edgar inherited a portion of


her cousin who continued to raise cattle. Waldine’s only child, Pauladeen Calhoun, was giftdeeded the land in 1994 who ran cattle with her son, Michael S. Calhoun, who acquired the land in 2003. He continues to run a cowcalf operation. As told by Michael S. Calhoun, great-great grandson of the founder.



1868 Cattle, Turkeys, Sugar Cane, Corn, Cotton. 2019 Cattle and Hay

the land and purchased additional land from his brothers. Edgar and Melanie had two children, Wayne and Edgar, who continue to work cattle on the land. Wayne and his wife Joan, had one son, Alan, who inherited Joan’s undivided half upon her passing in 2018. As told by Alan Albrecht, greatgreat grandson of the founder.



1868 Cattle, Turkeys, Hegari and Red Sugar Cane 2019 Cattle


gnatius Simes came to Texas in the early 1820s from Louisiana. He was granted a league of land prior to 1928 and obtained the title in 1835. Ignatius and his wife, Nancy Early, had seven children: Richard, Nancy, Mary Anne, Mary Jane, Adiline, William and John. The family raised cotton and cattle until Ignatius’ passing in 1856.

Callender Ranch Grimes County 4 miles north of Bedia FOUNDED: 1835 FOUNDER: Ignatius Simes CURRENT OWNERS: Roger Lee Callender

Before his death, Ignatius sold a parcel of land to his son-in-law, Jeremiah B. Callender, who was married to Mary Anne. J.B. and Mary Anne had six children. J.B. was a successful farmer and raised livestock until his death in 1870. J.B. and Mary Anne's son, John, limited his education and took on a big part of responsibility due to the passing of his father at an early age. John married Camilla Pyle in November 1892 and had five children. The family raised cattle and farmed in the community that had become known as


urkett Foster Sublett was born in Butler County, Kentucky. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 2nd Cavalry at Fort Mason, Texas. Burkett arrived in Kerr County in 1861. He married Sarah Brazeal in 1864 and settled on 160 acres in western Kerr County. Burkett operated a sawmill and raised livestock, feed crops and vegetables. After farming the land for almost a decade, Burkett applied for, and received, a land grant. Burkett passed away and Sarah continued raising livestock, corn, rye and vegetables.

Schumacher Ranch Kerr County 2 mile east of Hunt FOUNDED: 1864 FOUNDER: Burkett Foster Sublett CURRENT OWNER: Frances Schumacher Andrews, Billie Schumacher Zuber and Jeanne Schumacher Sutton

In 1888, Sarah married Christian Schumacher. They had one son, John Randolph Schumacher. In 1921, John received 80 acres from his mother. John continued farming this land and raised livestock with his wife, Mary Rutledge, until his death in 1945. In 1967, John and Mary’s son, Ben Nolan “Pete” Schumacher, received 59 acres of this land and ranched it with his wife, Gustine Mathis. He raised


Stone. John opened a store in the community before passing away January 1931. John and Camilla’s son, Joe Eagle, was born in 1896 and married Maria Midkoff on Christmas Eve 1916. They had one son, Richard Lynn, and continued to farm and raise livestock. Richard Lynn preceded his parent’s death in December 1969. The Callender farm was then passed to Richard’s son, Roger Lee, upon Joe’s death in 1971. Roger continues to raise horses, cattle and hay today. As told by Roger Lee Callender, great-great grandson of the founder.



1835 Cotton and Cattle 2019 Livestock, Cotton and Hay

Coastal Bermuda and Sorghum Cane for livestock grazing and hay. Upon Pete’s death in 1992, his three daughters inherited 54 acres of his land. 155 years after Sarah Brazeal Sublett Schumacher settled this land, her three greatgranddaughters continue to operate the Schumacher Ranch raising cattle, feed crops and vegetables. As told by Jeanne Schumacher Sutton, great-granddaughter of the founder.



1864 Cattle, Hogs, Feed Crops and Vegetables 2019 Cattle, Feed Crops, Pecans and Vegetables


ohann Heinrich Geistweidt was born on September 8, 1829. Johann Heinrich and his brother Wilhelm Geistweidt traveled from Erndtebruck, Germany by boat to America. They made landfall in the Port of Galveston on December 17, 1853. They traveled to Indianola and then to Fredericksburg, Texas, by way of horse and wagon. Johann married Marie Helena Otte on May 26, 1854 and the couple moved to their home on Squaw Creek in Doss, Texas.

Reuben & Doris Geistweidt Ranch Mason County 6 miles north of Doss FOUNDED: 1866 FOUNDERS: Johann Heinrich Geistweidt CURRENT OWNERS: Doris Geistweidt, Stephen Geistweidt, Pamela Rieson, Jan Williams and David Geistweidt

Johann purchased 640 acres of land in 1866 from James Dunlap in Doss. Johann and Marie had 12 children. Seven of the children perished from diphtheria. Their five surviving children included: Lena, Henry Jr., Mary, Willie, and Jacob. Around 1880, the family moved to Onion Creek where they farmed and ranched. Henry Jr. married Louise Kneese and they had six children together: Selma, Nellie, Wesley, Albert, Walter, and Elsie. Henry


died on December 9, 1935 and Louise inherited the land. Their son, Wesley John Geistweidt died in 1937, and Louise divided the land between her son Walter and grandson, Reuben. In 1938, Louise gave 353.4 acres to Walter and 353.6 acres to Reuben. In 1956, Reuben married Doris Hardin and they had five children: Stephen, Pamela, Jan, David, and Valarie. A partnership was created between Reuben and Doris, and their children. Reuben passed away in July of 2017. Doris currently resides on the ranch in the original 100-year-old home. As told by the Geistweidt family.



1866 Cattle 2019 Willman "Lovegrass", Coastal, and Klein Hay, Cattle and Sheep.

ABOUT THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Created by the Texas Legislature in 1907, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is a state agency with a diverse mission to keep Texas a national leader in agriculture, protect consumers, fortify our economy by promoting Texas-made products, businesses and services, empower rural communities and encourage healthy lifestyles for Texas children.

regulate and promote agriculture commodities. Our GO TEXAN program helps promote Texas businesses and their products across the state and around the world. Through Commissioner Miller’s global marketing initiative, TDA has visited every continent on the globe, except Antarctica. Texas agriculture is a $110 billion industry that helps feed and clothe the world, and our goal at TDA is to ensure the agriculture industry continues to flourish.

Through our many responsibilities and programs, TDA touches the lives of almost every Texan every day. Some of the agency’s more public responsibilities include ensuring the safe use of agricultural and structural pesticides, checking measuring devices like commercial scales for accuracy, administering federal school nutrition programs, and helping to

Learn more at www.texasagriculture.gov and follow us on Facebook @TexasDepartmentofAgriculture Twitter @TexasDeptofAg and Instagram


ABOUT THE TEXAS AGRICULTURE MEMORIAL DAY In 2016, by state proclamation, November 21 was named Texas Agriculture Memorial Day. It is a day to remember the lives and honor the sacrifices of our farmers and ranchers who produce the food and fiber for Texas families.

The honor category recognizes those who have had a severe debilitating accident while engaged in agricultural-related pursuits. Those who passed away due to natural causes or in a non-agricultural accident but had an active role in an agricultural operation will be recognized in the memorial service category.

Each year, applications are accepted to nominate honorees to the agriculture memorial through three categories: memorial, honor and memorial service.

Future plans include an interactive kiosk in the Agricultural Museum in the Texas State Capitol. The kiosk will allow visitors to search for honorees, read about their contributions to Texas agriculture, as well as nominate a new honoree. The kiosk will also include accident prevention and safety education provided by The Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education at the University of Texas in Tyler.

The memorial category recognizes men and women who have lost their lives while engaged in agricultural-related pursuits such as working livestock, transporting agricultural goods or operating machinery.


100 Year Honorees



eorge David Noles was born in Arkansas in 1862 and moved with his family to the Dundee area in the late 1800s. G. D. acquired 640 acres of farmland on August 24, 1904 from J. W. Johnson. He raised cattle and farmed wheat, oats and cotton. G.D. and his wife Mima had six children: Wallace, Edeth, Della, Outia, George David Jr. and Lawrence.

noles-gilmore farm and ranch Archer County 2 miles east of Dundee FOUNDED: 1904 FOUNDER: G. D. Noles CURRENT OWNERS: Leo Gilmore, Allen Gilmore, Bob Gilmore and Guy Gilmore

G.D. Noles Jr. acquired title to the section of land after his father passed away in 1940. G.D. Jr. and his wife Lorine had four daughters: Izola, Jo Ann, Claudette and Rosemary. Each daughter was taught how to farm and drive a John Deere tractor.

has Stahl was born to German immigrants in Bulverde, Texas. Chas acquired 100 acres in June 1919 and two weeks later acquired 50 acres from Eleanor Stevens Townsend. He raised livestock, cotton, milo and corn. Chas married Ida and they had five children: Edna, Marvin, Alice, Harold and Elroy. The children grew up on the farm and worked hard to make ends meet.

Atascosa County 14 miles east of Pleasanton FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDERS: Chas L. Stahl CURRENT OWNER: Linda Stahl Ramey and Randall Ramey

As told by Guy Gilmore, greatgrandson of the founder.



1904 Cattle, Wheat, Oats and Cotton 2019 Cattle and Wheat

Leo Gilmore worked on the farm as a teenager and eventually married Jo Ann. Leo Gilmore later became


Stahl Farm and ranch

a working partner with G. D. In 2001, Leo Gilmore and his sons Allen, Bob and Guy purchased the Noles Homeplace. They continue to farm and ranch it today.

In 1952, Chas and Ida sold the farm to their son, Harold, and he continued the tradition of raising livestock, milo, corn, and hay production. Harold married Lillian and had three daughters: Alva, Evelyn and Linda. In 1987, they moved the original home off of the land and built a new home. Harold passed away July 31, 1990 and Lillian continued growing hay and raising livestock. Lillian passed away on May 15, 2005 and their three daughters inherited the Stahl Farm and Ranch.

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At the end of 2005, Linda purchased her sisters’ interest. Linda and her husband Randy have two daughters, Kimberlie and Kellie. Randy and Linda sold .61 acre and the home to Kimberlie in October 2015. Randy and Linda have been active in the Atascosa County Farm Services and the Cattlemen's Association. As told by Linda Stahl Ramey, granddaughter of the founder.



1919 Milo, Corn, Cotton, Cattle, Hogs and Chickens 2019 Hay


eon Rakowitz was born in Poland and came to the U.S. with his parents. They traveled through the Port of Galveston and settled in the St. Hedwig area. In 1896, Leon purchased 1510.33 acres from Mary E. Howard. Leon would travel by wagon to work the land in Atascosa County where they raised cows and farmed whatever would grow.

n s e e

Rakowitz Farm Atascosa County 6 miles north of Pleasonton FOUNDED: 1896 FOUNDER: Leon Rakowitz CURRENT OWNERS: Lonnie and Regina Rakowitz

Leon and his wife Julia had nine children. The land was divided among the children after Leon and Julia's passing. Wladislaus “Walter” Rakowitz built a home on his 182.5 acres. Walter and his wife Pauline had two children, Eadmont "Eddie" and Bridget. Walter and his son Eddie worked together raising cotton, peanuts and cattle until Walter passed in 1965.


d d o e. d r n y s

spurlin family farm Bell County 8 miles south of Flat FOUNDED: 1905 FOUNDER: George Geisselbrecht CURRENT OWNER: Michael C. and James David Spurlin

Eddie acquired the title in 1965. He raised cattle, imported grasses, Buffelgrass, Blue Panic Grass, KR Bluestream, Coastal and Bermuda. Eddie and his wife Rose had three children: Edwina, Elaine and Lonnie. Lonnie attended college and then returned to work with his father. They worked together until Eddie passed in 1981. Lonnie continues to raise cattle, hay and livestock. As told by Walt Rakowitz, greatgrandson of the founder.



1896 Cattle, Peanuts and Cotton 2019 Hay and Oats

eorge Geisselbrecht was born on November 30, 1852 in Weisenburg, Germany. In 1879, he immigrated to the U.S. and arrived in Galveston, Texas on March 16th. He travelled to Bell County, where he met Augusta Stoebner. George and Augusta married in 1882 and raised nine children: August, John, Lena, Laura, O.C. “Jack,” Mary “Mae,” Hattie, Pat, and Minnie. In 1905, George purchased 106.75 acres of farmland from S.E. and John Nichols in Bell County. He began to raise cattle, chickens, hogs, cotton, milo, and corn.

In 1942, 12 acres were sold to Paul McLaughlin. The U.S. government purchased 15.38 acres in 1953, and another 7.18 acres in 1954 for Fort Hood. After Thomas Spurlin died in 1976, his two sons, Bill and E.P. Spurlin, inherited the remaining 72 acres of the farm as co-owners. They continued to raise cattle.

Thomas Jefferson Spurlin was born in the Brookhaven Community of Bell County in 1896. Thomas married Mary “Mae” Geisselbrecht on October 28, 1916 and began farming in Bosque County. In 1923, Thomas and Mae bought the 106.75 acres of land from her father. Together they raised two sons, Billy Charles and Estes Pearl “E.P.”, and continued to raise chickens, cattle, hogs, corn, milo, and cotton. The family relocated to Temple during World War II to raise livestock on the farm.

As told by Michael C. and James David Spurlin, great grandsons of founder.

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In 1993, Bill and E.P. deeded the farm to Bill’s two sons, Michael Charles and James David, as coowners. Michael and James raise cattle and goats in conjunction with their cousin, Don Watts.



1905 Cattle, Chickens, Hogs, and Cotton 2019 Cattle and Goats


ohn Bruno Wenmohs moved to Texas in 1874. He was a 19-yearold son of German immigrants. Around this time, he entered the cattle business. In 1881, John began buying property and the next year he registered the wineglass brand in the county. John was the first person in Blanco County to use barbed wire to fence off the land.

Wenmohs Ranch Blanco County 18 miles northeast of Johnson City FOUNDED: 1882 FOUNDER: John B. Wenmohs CURRENT OWNERS: Dena Wenmohs, Roy Wenmohs and Will Wenmohs

During the Great Depression, he sold the land that is now Perdernales Falls State Park. When John died he left the remaining land to his son, Charles “Charley” and Charley's siblings. Charley married and had two sons, one of whom was Milton Wenmohs.


Bosque County 3 miles north of Valley Mills FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: John Virgil McMillan CURRENT OWNERS: Nelson C. McMillan and Mary C. McMillan

As told by Roy Milton Wenmohs great-great grandson of the founder.



1882 Cattle, Sheep and Goats 2019 Cattle

Charley split the 800-acre ranch between his sons after he passed. Milton had one son, John Ben Wenmohs, who inherited his share after Milton died. John Ben died in 1993 and left 400 acres of land

ohn Virgil McMillan was born near Augusta, Texas in 1892. John traveled to Bosque County early in life and married Mattie Mildred Bearden on September 6, 1914. On July 30, 1919, John acquired 583 acres from T.A. Sears along Childress Creek. He raised livestock, cotton, milo, corn and wheat.

McMillan Homestead

to his wife and two sons in a trust. John Ben’s son, Roy, continues to raise cattle and has a cow-calf operation.

John and Mattie had seven children: Virgil “Mac”, Edna, Neil “Jack”, Joyce, Florence, William “Buck” and Nelson Clark. The children were raised on the farm and attended school in Cayote and Valley Mills. The couple added 484 additional acres during World War II and extended family of the McMillan and Bearden family lived nearby. John and Mattie continued to live on their homestead until their deaths in 1980 and 1993.

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Nelson Clark acquired 292 acres in 1962 and later added 153 acres in 1966. Today he raises livestock, cotton, milo, corn, wheat, oats and hay. The family continues to be active in the Cayote and Valley Mills communities. As told by Dwight Kurtis McMillan, great grandson of the founder.



1919 Livestock, Cotton, Milo, Wheat, Oats and Hay 2019 Cattle and Hay


ustave Schlitzkus was born in Washington County in 1887; his family re-settled in the Varner Creek area of Brazoria County in 1913. Emma Schumacker was born in Eureka, South Dakota in 1898; her family re-settled near the Varner Creek in 1911. Both families had immigrated from Germany.

Rustic Star Farm Brazoria County 5 miles south of Damon FOUNDED: 1918 FOUNDER: Gustave and Emma Schlitzkus CURRENT OWNERS: Richard Rhett and Jo Ann Martin

Gustave and Emma married, purchased their homestead of 106 acres in 1918 and lived there until their death. Their daughter, Ruth, was born in 1918. The farm was a true ‘family farm’ and supported them throughout their lives. They raised vegetables, fruit trees, row crops, hay, cattle, hogs, poultry and mules to work the land. Gustave and Emma retired in 1966, and passed the farm operation to their daughter Ruth and her husband W. H. Martin.


imon and Ellen Bell moved to Texas from Arkansas with their five sons in 1863. The family settled in the community of Belltown 11 miles west of Caldwell. In December 1895, Simon and Ellen’s son, William, acquired the original 96-acre Bell Farm, which was reduced in the 1950s by conveyances. William married his wife Annie, and their children raised cattle, corn and cotton on the farm.

Bell Farm Burleson County 11 miles west of Caldwell FOUNDED: 1895 FOUNDER: William E. (W. E.) Bell CURRENT OWNERS: Hubert Bell Jr., Merilyn Bell Rucker, Estate of Willie Eva Bell Gamble

Following William’s death in 1944, his son Hubert Bell Sr. continued to operate the farm, raising cattle, corn and maize. Later, Hubert Sr. acquired the interests of all his siblings except Willie Eva Bell Gamble. When Hubert Sr. passed away in 1980, his interest in the farm was acquired by his children, Merilyn Bell Rucker and Hubert Bell Jr. Since then Hubert Jr. has


Ruth and W. H. Martin continued to operate the farm until they died. Ruth’s sons inherited the land and continued the operation. Richard, Ruth’s son, bought out his brother’s interest and now operates Rustic Star Farm and other properties in the Varner Creek area with his wife Jo Ann. Richard, Jo Ann and their family are proud to continue the family legacy of farming. As told by Richard Rhett Martin, grandson of the founder.



1918 Cotton, Corn, Hay, Cattle, Hogs, Poultry, Vegetables and Fruit Trees 2019 Cotton, Milo and Hay

operated the 80-acre farm raising cattle, occasionally horses and grows hay. As told by Hubert Bell Jr. the grandson of the founder.



1895 Cattle, Corn and Cotton 2019 Cattle and Hay


oseph John Janicek was born March 19, 1868 in Czechoslovakia. He came to the U.S. with his parents John and Rosie Janicek in 1875 at seven years-old, and the family settled in the Shelby and Wesley area.

Harper Farm Burleson County 8 miles north of Caldwell FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: Joseph John Janicek CURRENT OWNER: William P. Harper and Peggy Harper

In 1890, Joseph married Veronica Chervenka and they lived in Wesley until 1910 when they relocated to Chriesman. In 1919, Joseph purchased 59.75 acres of land for $2,400. He and Veronica built a home there and had three daughters together. They raised cattle and cotton.

Burleson County 16 miles south of Caldwell FOUNDED: 1907 FOUNDER: Frank and Emma Blinka CURRENT OWNERS: Donnie Blinka, Patsy Schoppe, Lynne Blinka and Judy Throckmorton

As told by William Harper, grandson of the founder.



1919 Cows and Cotton 2019 Cow, Bull and Calf Production

Joseph and Veronica remained in Chriesman until they passed away. Veronica preceded Joseph’s death in 1937 and Joseph passed away in 1956.


The Blinka Farm and Ranch

Today, the family runs a cow-calf operation and enjoys hunting and fishing the land.

rank Blinka was born in 1879 at Ross Prairie in Fayette County. His parents, both born in Czechoslovakia, immigrated to Texas around 1877. Emma Havemann was born in Germany and came to the U.S. by boat at three-years-old. Frank and Emma married and had one daughter. In 1907, they bought 150 acres of land in Burleson County from Fred and Minnie Gayeska. They built a home and had six more children, one of whom was Edwin. They farmed cotton and corn using oxen and mules.

popcorn, and sweet potatoes. Meat was supplied by the cattle and hogs they raised.

In 1958, Edwin and his wife, Velma, bought the 150 acres, along with the house, garage and smokehouse. They raised livestock and continued to farm cotton, corn, and maize with the help of a 1953 Farmall tractor. They grew much of their food in a garden; growing potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers,



Edwin and Velma had four children: Donnie Edwin, Patsy Jean, Lynne Sandra, and Judy Kay. Their children acquired title to the land in 1974 after both parents had passed away. As told by Lynne Blinka, granddaughter of the founder.

150 acres


1907 Cotton and Corn 2019 Cattle and Ryegrass


McAnally Farm Cherokee County 3 miles northeast of Jacksonville FOUNDED: 1879 FOUNDER: John Ryan McAnally and Catharine O. Love McAnally CURRENT OWNER: Stuart McAnally

ohn Ryan McAnally was born in Nacogdoches County in 1845. He married Catharine Love in 1869 and they moved to Cherokee County. They purchased a 162acre farm from W.H. Lovelady on March 19, 1879. They raised cotton and corn and had seven children before Catharine died in childbirth in 1881. In 1883, John Ryan married Tabitha Jane Jowell and had 10 more children before he passed away in 1908. Tabitha continued to live on the property until sometime in 1930. Their son Robartus Columbus (RC) McAnally took ownership of his part of the property, approximately 34.5 acres, and moved his wife Edna Young McAnally and his children to the farm. They raised cotton, corn and tomatoes. RC and Edna had 14 children, 11 of whom reached adulthood.


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amuel Loving Russell acquired the land on September 12, 1918. He cleared the land for crops, put up fences, built a house, a barn, and a chicken house. He also dug a water well. The farm once flooded in the early 1920s, so Samuel built terraces to keep the property from washing out. He raised swine, poultry, and farmed wheat, oats and hay.

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Russel Farm, Crump Farm, Davidson Farm Clay County 5 miles southwest of Henrietta FOUNDED: 1918 FOUNDER: Samuel Loving Russell CURRENT OWNERS: Judy Crump Davidson

Samuel would let families live in a dugout on the property in exchange for work. Most of the families stayed in the dugout during the winter and would leave in the spring to find their own property. Today, the family cultivates improved grasses and raises Angus cattle.


After RC’s death in 1946, Edna and her daughter Edith stayed on the farm to raise cattle. After Edna died in 1981 and Edith in 2008, the farm passed to RC and Edna’s son Stuart, who continues to raise cattle and care for the family farm today. As told by Tamara McAnally, great- granddaughter of the founder.



1879 Cotton and Corn 2019 Beef Cattle

As told by Judy Davidson, granddaughter of the founder.



1918 Swine, Poultry, Wheat, Oats and Hay 2019 Improved Grasses and Angus Cattle


jack cooper Farm Coleman County 2 miles west of HWY 283 FOUNDED: 1904 FOUNDER: Bob and Jim Steward CURRENT OWNER: Monte Cooper Sheffield and Charles Michael Sheffield

rothers Bob and Jim Steward came to Texas from Tennessee and acquired 273 acres of land from E.G. and E.H. Ussery. They raised livestock, cotton, corn, coastal grass, honey and fruit orchards. Jim bought 171 acres from Bob in 1909. Jim and his wife, Maude Rutherford, had five children: Fanny Faye, Johnny, Bill, Beatrice and Pebble. They were raised on “The Place” as the family called it.

children of Jo Beth Sheffield and Quincy Allen in April of 2017. The family leases a cow/calf operation to their second cousin Jamie Kay (Steward) Ray and her husband Mike Ray.

Fanny Faye and her husband Jack Cooper aquired the land following Jim’s death in 1954. They continued to raise livestock, cotton, corn and fruit orchards with their two daughters, Jo Beth and Pebble LaQuinn.


Jack and Fanny Faye deeded the land to their daughters in December of 1983. Following the passing of both daughters, the acreage was acquired by the


amuel Houston Parris and Sarah Elizabeth Lair Parris, were from North Texas and bought their 270acre farm just north of Melissa, Texas in 1904. Sam and Sarah raised cows, pigs and chickens and grew cotton, corn, maize and wheat. They had five children: Cora Bessie, Lawrence Graham, Lou Ethel, Grace Aline, and Cordelia Elizabeth.

Parris Hill Farm and Ranch Collin County 1 mile north of Melissa FOUNDED: 1904 FOUNDER: Samuel Houston Parris and Sarah Elizabeth Lair Parris CURRENT OWNER: Diane McVey Miller, Lillie Elizabeth Miller and Lawren Miller

Samuel left the farm to Cordelia "Cordie" where she lived with her husband Malcolm Martin, who passed away in 1962. In 1978, Cordie's great niece, Diane McVey Miller, moved to take care of Cordie and manage the farm. After Cordie died in 1981, she left the farm to Diane and Diane’s mother, Ruth Elizabeth “Liz” Anderson McVey (daughter of Lou Ethel Parris). The mother and daughter co-owned the farm until Liz’s death in 2014.


As told by Monte Cooper Sheffield, great grandson of the founder Jim Steward.

273 acres


1904 Cattle, Horses, Corn, Peanuts, Honey, Fruits and Vegetables 2019 Cattle

Diane and her husband Lawrence “Bob” Miller Jr., also from Melissa, farmed, ranched and raised two daughters, Lillie Elizabeth and Lawren, at Parris Hill. Since Cordie took ownership in 1941, over 75 years ago, Parris Hill has remained a matriarchy. Diane, Lillie and Lawren own the farm today. Diane continues to live and work at Parris Hill with her dog Jojo and never plans to leave. As told by Lillie Miller, the great-great granddaughter of the founder.



1904 Cotton, Corn, Maize, Wheat, Cows, Pigs Horses, Chickens 2019 Hay, Cows and Donkeys


.W. Tollet was born in Sevier County, Arkansas. Tollet moved to Texas to work as a farm laborer in Collin County. In November 1902, Tollett and his wife, Florence, purchased 89 acres from R.L. Brown. He raised cotton, wheat, hay, cattle, mules, hogs, sheep and chickens with his wife and five children: Vera, Bruce, Zona, Grace, and Carl Tollett.

McClendon Farms Collin County 1 mile southeast of Lavon FOUNDED: 1902 FOUNDER: W. W. Tollett CURRENT OWNER: David Ronnie McClendon

Zona and her husband, Frank Geren, acquired ownership of the land in 1936 after the passing of her mother. Together they raised cotton, wheat, cattle, mules, hogs and chickens. The Geren’s had three children: Irene, Carylene and Malcom Geren. Carylene and her husband, David Carter McClendon received the title to 42 acres of the farm in 1969. They raised cotton, wheat, oats, sorghum-milo, hay, Hereford cattle and chickens. They had one son,


.W. Tollett was born in Sevier County, Arkansas and moved to Collin County, Texas seeking farm work. He and his wife Florence purchased the first of five farms on July 22, 1887. They raised five children and grew cotton, corn, cows, hogs, and chickens.

Box M Ranch Collin County 2 miles southeast of Lavon FOUNDED: 1887 FOUNDERS: W. W. Tollett CURRENT OWNERS: Michael and Susan Box

In 1936, their son Henry Carl Tollett and his wife Beatrice inherited the farm and continued to raise the same things as his father. After Henry passed away, Beatrice deeded the land to her children William Tollett and Bettye (Tollett) Box. In 1976, Bettye and her husband M.J. Box purchased William’s share to become sole owners. M.J. continued to work the land with two other branches of the W.W. Tollett family; the Gerens and the McClendons.

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David Ronnie McClendon, who inherited the farm in 1990. Ronnie has been the owner of the farm to this day. Ronnie and his wife, Mary Nelle, had one son Cole McClendon. Cole lives on the farm with his wife Terri, his sons, Carter and Colby, and Colby’s wife, Ashley. Cole and his sons continue to operate the land, raising wheat, oats, sorghum-milo, hay and Hereford cattle. As told by Colby McClendon, great-great-great grandson of the founder



1902 Cotton, Wheat, Hay, Cattle, Mules, Hogs, Sheep and Chickens 2019 Wheat, Oats, Sorghum-Milo, Hay and Hereford Cattle

M.J. and Bettye’s son Michael J. Box moved back to the land with his wife Susan in 1986 to raise cattle, horses, and hay. The land continues to be worked by the Box and McClendon branches of the W.W. Tollett family to this day. As told by Michael J. Box, great grandson of the founder.



1887 Cotton, Cattle, Cane, Watermelons, Corn, Truck Garden, Hogs and Horses 2019 Cattle


Willms Incorporated Colorado County 3 miles south of Columbus FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: Frederick John Willms and Minnie Florentine Shuckman Willms CURRENT OWNERS: Willms Incorporated

rederick J. Willms was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. with his parents in 1885. He married Minnie F. Shuckman in 1896. They moved from Indiana to Lane City, Texas in 1909 to farm rice and other crops. Later, after producing a large potato crop, Frederick purchased 387.5 acres from C.K. Quinn at the Colorado County courthouse auction. He raised cotton, corn and hogs on this land. Frederick and Minnie had eight children: Edna, Hilda, Harley, Theodore, Ada, Walter, Florentine and Norman. In 1952, after Frederick and Minnie died, the remaining children Edna, Hilda, Ada, Walter and Norman acquired the land. Walter raised cotton, corn, hay and cattle until 1981. In 1981, the five family members formed Willms Incorporated. Willms Incorporated took over title of


Henderson LTM Enterprises Crane County 8 miles south of Penwell FOUNDED: 1917 FOUNDER: Marvin F. Henderson CURRENT OWNER: Sam F. Henderson

the land and equal stock shares were issued to the five members. Since that, time shares have been willed to children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Frederick J. Willms and James B. "Cord" Willms currently reside on the land and continue to raise cattle, hay and pecans. As told by James B. "Cord" Willms, great grandson of the founder.



1919 Cotton, Corn and Pigs 2019 Cattle, Hay and Pecans

arvin F. Henderson hopped off the Texas Pacific West bound train in Odessa, Texas, on March 7, 1906. Only one day before his 21st birthday, he came to join his brother and Texas Ranger, Homer Henderson. After two years in Odessa, Marvin became an outrider for the 400 section 04 Ranch open range in Crane County.

Crane Counties. In total, he has operated over 88,000 acres during his lifetime.

Marvin and his wife, Lois Henderson, bought four sections on the north edge of Crane County and made it their homestead. Marvin purchased an additional seven sections before his death in 1958.


Sam F. Henderson, grandson of Marvin and Lois, took over the ranch in 1965 at age 25. Since then, Sam bought the Bedford Ranch in Andrews County, KBar Ranch, Notrees Ranch, Connell Ranch and Carlinville Ranch in Ector and

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As told by Sam Henderson, grandson of the founder.


1917 Cattle 2019 Cattle


Hagens Farm DeWitt County 6 miles west of Yoakum FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: Walter George Hagens CURRENT OWNERS: Janet Hagens Baker and Susan Hagens Motal

alter George Hagens was born in DeWitt County on April 15, 1895. He was one of eight children. On November 1, 1919, he acquired 82 acres from Adolph Benys. Walter raised livestock, cotton, corn and milo.

his wife June, gifted the land to their daughters Janet and Susan, each acquiring 41 acres. They continue to raise cattle on the land. Leonard passed away in 2017. He was a member of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau.

Walter married Elsa and had three children: Wilbert, Leonard and Anna Mae. The children were raised on the farm and attended school at Hochheim Prairie School. Walter operated a blacksmith shop, and in 1948 he invented a horsedrawn crop-dusting machine for controlling insects on his crops. This machine was later upgraded for tractors. He received a patent on June 2, 1931 (Patent #1,808,654) and his invention was manufactured and sold to farmers worldwide.

As told by Susan Motal, granddaughter of the founder.

olumbus Terry "Terry" Matthew was born in DeWitt County in 1891 to Walter Matthew and Martha Frances Newman Kirkland. His mother was a great granddaughter of William Rabb of Austin’s Old 300 Colony. Stephanie Victoria "Fannie" Wysatta was the granddaughter of immigrants who founded the first Czechoslovakian newspaper in Texas at LaGrange.

DeWitt County 10 miles south of Yoakum FOUNDED: 1918 FOUNDER: C.T. and Fannie Victoria Matthew CURRENT OWNERS: Lisa Matthew Fowler, Holly Matthew Dyes and Amy Matthew Federick in general partnership D.B.A. Matthew Sisters Cattle Company II

82 acres


1919 Cotton, Corn, Milo and Cattle 2019 Cattle

In 1977, the land was deeded to Walter's son, Leonard. He seeded the land with grazing grasses and raised cattle. In 2013, Leonard and


C.T. and Fannie Matthew Ranch


Terry and Fannie married in 1914 and remained in the Stratton community the remainder of their lives. He was a rancher and tomato grower and Fannie was the homemaker. Terry acquired the reputation of a hard worker early in his life. In 1918, he and Fannie purchased their first 200 acres, which later grew to an expansive 4,479-acre cattle ranching operation in DeWitt and Lavaca Counties before he died in 1959. During their lives, Terry and Fannie donated land for an expansion of

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the Alexander Cemetery situated within the 983.9-acre home place at Stratton. Their five children were born and raised on the home place and all of the family members are buried together in the Alexander Cemetery. Their son Pete served in the Texas House of Representatives (19571959). The great grandchildren of C.T. and Fannie raise cattle, hay and pecans on the land. As told by Lisa Matthew Fowler, grand daguhter of the founder.



1918 Cotton, Corn and Pigs 2019 Cattle, Hay and Pecans


arl Mann immigrated from Germany to Kansas in the late 1800s. In 1901, he took a train as far south as he could, and ended up in Falfurrias, Texas. He purchased his first property just west of town and started a dairy farm on his 32 acres. On October 23, 1919, Karl purchased a dairy farm outside of Realitos from Gerhard Wenke and his wife Sophie Wenke.

William C. Mann Ranch Duval County 6 miles southeast of Realitos FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDERS: Karl Mann CURRENT OWNERS: Georgia Mann

This property also had a house and an orange orchard. He raised dairy cows, chickens and swine, and farmed hay and oats to feed his livestock. Karl and his wife had no children. He expanded his farm in 1924 and 1943. In 1961, Karl’s nephew William C. Mann purchased the land. He continued running the dairy farm and farming hay and oat crops. In 1992, William retired from the dairy farm and started raising beef cattle and growing hay. He planted grass to improve his


oseph Marios Carthel was born in Springfield, Missouri in 1853. Joseph lived in Arkansas and Oklahoma before moving to Texas at age 21. Joseph met Martha Catherine and they married in 1878 and had 11 children together. Joesph was interested in the flat grass land of West Texas where he hoped to purchase enough land to gift to each of his children. In March 1905, Joseph bought two and a half sections of land in Floyd County, where he raised wheat and cattle. Martha acquired the land in 1916 when Joseph passed.

Francis Carthel Home Place Floyd County 4 miles north of Lockney FOUNDED: 1905 FOUNDERS: Joseph Marion Carthel CURRENT OWNER: Barbara Carthel Mathis and Theodore Francis Carthel

In 1919, Martha gave one of her sons, Francis, a quarter section of the land. Francis and his wife, Dora, grew cotton, wheat and sorghum until 1976. Their three children; Hershel, Olga, and Chester acquired the 155 acres in a trust. Hershel and his wife, Octavia, raised corn, cotton and wheat until they died in 1997.

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pastures and support the livestock and hay production. Georgia Mann, William’s sister, acquired the land after William C. Mann passed. Georgia still runs the beef cattle and grows grass hay fields. As told by Georgia Mann, niece of the founder.



1919 Dairy Cattle, Chickens, Swine, Hay, Oats and Wheat 2019 Beef Cattle and Hay

Hershel and Octavia’s son, Theodore “Ted”, and their daughter Barbara, have owned the land since. Barbara and her husband, Warren Mathis, had three children, Mike, D’Lyn, and Karen. Mike and his son, Garrett, operate the farm and raise wheat, cotton, corn and sorghum. The family has been active in Floyd County Farm Bureau and in cotton, wheat and corn growing associations. As told by D'Lyn Morris, greatgreat granddaughter of the founder.



1905 Wheat and Cattle 2019 Wheat, Cotton and


rnst Kott's father, August Kott, immigrated from Germany in 1846. In 1900, Ernst, his wife, their four sons and two daughters made their home in the Wolf Creek area. Ernst purchased 640 acres in 1909.

Rodney and Sharon Kott Ranch Gillespie County 14 miles south of Fredericksburg FOUNDED: 1909 FOUNDER: Ernst Kott CURRENT OWNERS: Rodney and Sharon Kott

Ernst’s fifth child, August, acquired the property in 1920 after returning from service in World War I. August and his wife, Dina Ahrens, along with their son, Francis, and his wife, Alice, continued to operate the ranch until their passing. In 1925, the Wolf Creek School was built on the property. Ownership was conveyed to Francis and Alice’s children, Rodney and Russell Kott. Alice and Francis helped their sons manage the ranch.

Gillespie County 18 miles southwest of Fredericksburg FOUNDED: 1914 FOUNDERS: Julius Feller CURRENT OWNERS: Stanley Feller

As told by Rodney W. Kott, great grandson of the founder.



1909 Sheep, Goats, Cattle and Horses 2019 Sheep, Hay and Small Grains

In 1983, Francis suddenly passed. Alice wished for her children to continue to pursue careers away from the ranch. Alice, with help from her sons, continued to operate


Stanley Feller Ranch

the ranch until her passing in 2010. Rodney received ownership of the property and he and his wife, Sharon Roberts, returned to the ranch in 2013. They are currently living in Rodney’s Opa and Oma’s house and they have two children, Bryan and Lisa.

ulius Feller was born December 11, 1871 in Gillespie County in the Morris Ranch community. He married Maria Klein in 1895. Julius was employed by the Morris family training racehorses. After the family ceased the racehorse operation, Julius and Maria purchased 429 acres of land from Adolph Weber in January 1914. Julius and Maria made their living from the property and moved their family there. Their family consisted of their sons Albert, Alfons and Bruno and their daughter Lina. All the children continued to reside in Gillespie County until their deaths.

When Stanley inherited the land from his parents, he and his wife Shirley moved onto the property. They continued the family legacy by running the farm and ranch operations themselves. Today, the family raise cattle on the property.

In 1955, upon the death of Julius, Bruno inherited this property. He and his wife Edna made a living on the land raising livestock, growing crops and canning fruits and vegetables from their garden and small orchard. Bruno and Edna had two sons, Charles Julius Feller and Stanley Bruno Feller. Stanley, the current owner, was actually born on the property.

1917 Livestock, Garden Vegetables and Fruit Orchards 2019 Cattle

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As told by Stanley Feller, grandson of the founder.




.E.J. Davis was born August 20, 1866 in Gonzales County, Texas. He purchased 298 acres of land in the W.H. Foster and H.C. Sites surveys on November 9, 1909. J.E.J. and his wife, Emma, had four children: Maston, Jeff, Frankie and Lucy. They raised livestock, corn, hay and vegetables.

Davis Ranch Gonzales County 6 miles northwest of Waeldee FOUNDED: 1909 FOUNDER: J.E.J. Davis CURRENT OWNERS: LaVerne S. Davis and Kenneth E. Davis

In 1939, J.E.J. gave the land to Jeff and his wife Sadie, and they had five children: Arlene, Muriel, Wayne, Winston and John. Jeff continued to raise livestock, corn, hay and vegetables until his death in 1977.



1909 Livstock, Corn, Hay and Vegetables 2019 Cattle and Hay

John took over the land with his wife LaVerne and they continued to raise cattle and hay until November 1983 when John died. Since then, LaVerne has raised cattle and hay with the help of her son, Kenneth E. Davis.


4 Gunn Ranch

As told by LaVerne Davis, greatgranddaughter-in-law of the founder.

he Gunn family came to Texas from North Carolina as children. They purchased land gradually while clearing land for others. Beulah Gunn Moore inherited 666 acres in 1933 and raised cattle, and grew corn and cotton with her husband James.

As told by Steven Gabriel greatgreat-grandson of the founder.

In 1952, the ownership of the ranch passed to the children of Beulah Moore. Morris Moore's closed four brand was registered April 5, 1919. It is the current brand of 4 Gunn Ranch under the direct management of Morris's greatnieces and nephew.

1890 Cattle, Corn and Cotton 2019 Cattle and Hay

Gonzales County 6 miles north of Gonzales FOUNDED: 1890 FOUNDERS: Walter Pierce and Sallie E. Gunn CURRENT OWNERS: Pat Parker, Linda Story, Steven Gabriel, Dianna Holloway and Donna James

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oy W. Tinsley was born in Kansas. Roy had family in Pampa, Texas and sought out land to establish a farm life. He purchased a parcel of dry land and some grass land that was broken out to use for farming. Irrigation was established in 1954. Roy raised cattle and grew corn, wheat, grain sorghum, oats, cotton and hay.

Smith Family Farms Gray County

Roy retired in 1965 and his grandson Earl Smith began farming the land. Center pivots were established in 1986. Five pivots now exist. Corrals and new fences around the perimeter have been built and are in good shape today. Earl continues the family tradition of farming that land today.

As told by Earl Smith, grandson of the founder.



1915 Cattle, Corn, Wheat, Grain Sorghum, Oats, Cotton and Hay 2019 Cattle, Corn, Grain Sorghum, Hay, Cotton and Wheat

2 miles east of Pampa FOUNDED: 1915 FOUNDER: Roy W. Tinsley CURRENT OWNER: Smith Family Trust and Earl Smith


Stout Ranch Grimes County 2 miles northwest of Piedmont FOUNDED: 1917 FOUNDER: John Ernst Moody CURRENT OWNER: John and Laurel Stout

ohn Ernest Moody was born in Grimes County in 1885. Both his parents died by the time he was 12. In 1911, John married Bettie Bounds and found employment helping build the Mexia Cutoff Railroad. Using the money he earned, John purchased land in Piedmont, Texas and built a home using hand hewn sills from trees on the land. Over the years, he continued purchasing land and eventually owned over 2,000 acres. In 1950, he built a lake next to Gibbons Creek which bears the name “Moody Lake." His home was near Shanghai Springs on Gibbons Creek. The spring flowed sulphur water and was an area attraction in the early 1900s. Neighbors would camp and picnic at the spring, sometimes jousting matches were held there.


As a result, he acquired the nickname “Shanghai". Before John’s death in 1975, he deeded equal portions of his property to each of his three children: Evan, Velma and Ozelle. When Ozelle died in 2003, the property was passed to her son, John Stout. All of John Moody's original property is still owned by his descendants. As told by John Stout, grandson of the founder.



1917 Cattle, Hogs and Corn 2019 Cattle


ritz Thane was born in 1866 on the Thane Farm in Wehdem, Germany. In 1883, Fritz immigrated to New Wehdem, Texas, in Austin County, with hopes of someday owning a Texas ranch. Fritz married Minnie Winkelmann in New Wehdem. Fritz and Minnie moved to Washington County in 1892 and purchased his first 153-acre Texas ranch to raise cattle and to trade land, cattle, horses and mules.

T6 Ranch Grimes County 5 miles west of Navasota FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: Fritz Thane CURRENT OWNER: Brian R. Thane and Michael D. Thane

Fritz’s trading expanded into Grimes County in 1919 when he purchased 1,660 acres with cattle. Fritz died in 1921 and Minnie’s estate was partitioned to her children in 1923. The 150acre T6 headquarters and family home were partitioned to son, Paul Thane. At age 14, youngest son, Walter Thane, quit school to manage his mother’s estate and Paul’s 150 acres.


J.H. Ward Farm and Ranch Henderson County 10 miles southwest of Athens FOUNDED: 1880 FOUNDER: John Henry and Nancy Jane Ward CURRENT OWNERS: Judy Whittenberg Connolly, Kevin Hale Hines, Morris Dwayne Ward, Raymond Mitchell Ward, Brian Keith Ward and Toni Ward Miller

ohn Henry Ward was born December 21, 1847 in Jackson Township, Arkansas. He traveled to Texas with his family after his father was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. On January 3, 1880, Ward acquired 160 acres from the Texas Homestead Act. He raised cattle, poultry, and sugar cane. He and his wife, Nancy Jane, had eight children: Edward, Irene “Ira”, Dora, Henry Ella, Andrew Jackson, Arthur, Pearl, and Leonard Ward. After Nancy Jane died in 1900, John Henry married Julia Earle Brown in 1906, until her death in 1925. John and Nancy had four additional children: Myrtle, John Henry, Jr., Earl Lee, and Arlene. On January 8, 1927, John Henry's son, Andrew Jackson Ward purchased the entire 160 acres. A warranty deed released Andrew’s other siblings from ownership. Andrew and his wife, Catherine

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In 1937, Paul sold his 150 acres to Walter, who continued raising cattle. In 1983, Walter gifted these 150 acres to his younger son, Billy Ray Thane, who also raised cattle. In 2002, Billy Ray gifted the T6 Ranch headquarters to his two sons, Brian Ray Thane and Michael David Thane, who continued to manage the ranch. As told by Brian Ray and Michael David Thane, great-grandsons of the founder.


PRODUCTION 1919 Cattle 2019 Cattle

Ward, had six children: General Watson, James William, Mable, Vera, Ruby and Velma. The family raised cattle, poultry, and sugar cane. Each child inherited 26.31 acres of the original 160 acres. Today, Morris Dwayne Ward raises cattle and pecans and grazes his cattle on all 160 acres. The Ward family are members the Texas Farm Bureau. As told by Morris Dwayne Ward great-great grandson of the founder.



1880 Cattle, Hogs, Poultry, Tomatoes, Sugar Cane and Peas 2019 Cattle and Pecans


earl Claudius "D.C." Carter was born in Bossier Parish Louisiana, May 21, 1853. Soon after Dearl traveled with his parents to Buckner, Texas. On November 9, 1908 Dearl purchased 210 acres. He raised cattle and cotton. He and his wife, Luvenia, had one child, Mauzell. On May 21, 1943, The Hood County Tablet reported, "At age 90, Uncle Dearl is the oldest citizen of Lipan. D.C. was once one of the biggest cotton growers of this section and was an operator of a gin and mill for many years.”

Carter-Ives-Howard-Williams Farm Hood County 4 miles northeast of Lipan FOUNDED: 1908 FOUNDER: Dearl Claudis Carter CURRENT OWNER: Debra Howard-Williams and Steven Ray Howard

Barney and Mauzell (Carter) Ives acquired the land in 1933 and together they raised cattle, and pecans. They had two children: Curtis Don Ives and Sandra (Ives) Howard. Sandra acquired the land in 1994. She and her husband, James Howard, raised cattle,


Hall Ranches Kerr County 15 miles west of Mountain Home FOUNDED: 1918 FOUNDERS: D.C. Hall and T.C. Hall CURRENT OWNERS: Mary Jane Hey, W.T.H. Heritage Trust, W.L.H. Heritage Trust, S.H.S. Heritage Trust and T.C.H. Heritage Trust

pecans, peanuts, and coastal hay. Debra Howard-Williams and Steven Howard acquired the land in 2018 and raises coastal hay. As told by Debra HowardWilliams, great-granddaughter of the founder.



1908 Cattle, Cotton and Wheat 2019 Coastal Bermuda, Wheat and Pecans

.C. Hall was born in Gonazles County, Texas in 1866. He had one son, T.C., who was born in Gonzales County in 1889. D.C. and T.C. made their first purchase of land in Kerr County, collecting 3,307.5 acres from A.C. Schreiner, in August 1918.

As told by William Thomas Hall, great grandson and grandson of the founder.

The land was passed from T.C. Hall to his son, T.D., and then to T.D.’s four children: William, Walter, Susan, and Travis. D.C.’s son, H.L. Hall, granted the land to his daughter, Virginia (Hall) Hey. Eventually, Virginia deeded the land to her daughter, Mary Jane Hey.


The founders raised Hereford Cattle, Angora Goats and a crossbreed of Delaine and Raimbouillet sheep. Today, Crossbred cattle and Angora and Spanish goats are raised by the founders’ descendants operating a total of 3,688.80 acres.

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ORIGINAL ACREAGE 3,307.50 acres

1918 Hereford Cattle, Angora Goats, and cross-bred Delaine and Raimbouillet Sheep 2019 Cross-bred Cattle, Angora and Spanish Goats


harles Othold was born on August 6 in Shiner, Texas in Lavaca County. On June 24, 1915 he married Rosa Nollkamper who was also born in Shiner on May 13, 1890. On April 28, I9I9 Charles Othold purchased 96.7 acres from Mrs. Elizabeth Maack who was the widow of Charly J. Maack. Charles and Rosa farmed primarily cotton and corn. They also raised cattle. Charles and Rosa had six children: Oletha, Lorene, Elmer, Elroy, Leola Mae and Charlene. Elmer and Elroy were twins.

Charles and Rosa Othold Farm Lavaca County 4 miles north of Shiner FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: Charles and Rosa Othold CURRENT OWNERS: Martha Othold

The children were raised on the farm and helped with the farming responsibilities. Charles Othold died on October 5, 1934. After their father's death, Elroy and Elmer took over operation of the farm. After serving in World War ll, Elroy married Martha Darilek and they moved in with Rosa to continue farming. Rosa died on June 4. Her children inherited the property. On October 9 that year; Elroy and


lbert Janak was born in Lavaca County in March 1894. Albert married Helen Matusek in 1914 and they acquired the 61.54-acre farm that would become their home in 1919. Albert and Helena raised 12 children together. They farmed the land using only horses.

Janak Farm Lavaca County 8 miles west of Halletsville FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDERS: Albert and Helen Janak CURRENT OWNERS: Cheryl Janak Pavliska and Chuck Pavliska, Michael Janak, Roger Janak and Allan Janak

In 1941, Albert bought a John Deere H2 row tractor and kept six of the horses for farming. Albert died in January of 1952. Helen remained on the homeplace of 61 acres with their youngest son Marcus. They continued to raise corn, cotton, cattle, pigs and chickens. In 1966, the farm was bought from Helen by her sons Frank and August, who continued to farm the land raising cotton, corn and milo. In 1980, Frank and August divided the farm amongst themselves, each retaining 28 acres. August giftdeeded his portion of the farm to his children in 2009, and Frank also deeded his portion to his sons.

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Martha purchased the 96.7-acre property from Elroy's siblings. Elroy and Martha continued to raise cotton, corn, and cattle. They had four children: Susan, Elroy Jr., Reginald and Gilmary. The children assisted with the farming and cattle in addition to attending school in Shiner. Elroy died on September 4, 1983. Martha continues to own the property. Martha, her son Reginald, and his sons, Jordan and Justin, continue to raise cattle on the property. Reginald's career was in agriculture serving as General Manager for a national egg production company.

As told by Reginald Othold, grandson of the founders.



1918 Cotton, Corn and Livestock 2019 Cattle The children maintained it and continued to raise cattle and produce hay. While Frank was still alive, he was a vital part of the farming and managment of the property. Currently living on the farm in 2019 are two of Frank’s sons, Michael Janak and his wife, Jolene, and Roger Janak and his wife, Beverly. Also living on the farm, are August’s daughter, Cheryl Janak Pavliska, and her husband, Charles “Chuck” Pavliska. They raise cattle and hay to sell.

As told by August F. Janak, son of the founder.



1919 Cotton, Corn, Milo, Hogs, Cattle and Chickens 2019 Cattle and Hay


rank Pawlik was born September 16, 1851, in Silesia, Prussia. Frank came to the U.S. in 1890 and settled in Meyersville, Texas. Frank sharecropped until 1911 when he and his wife, Maria, purchased 128.3 acres in Meyersville, DeWitt County, Texas. Frank and Maria had nine children: Teofel, Gertrude, John, Mary, Frances, Margaret, Walter, Anton and Stanley.

Leonard and Betty Pawlik Ranch Live Oak County 5 miles southwest of Henrietta FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: Frank Pawlik CURRENT OWNERS: Leonard J. Pawlik and Betty J. Ballentine Pawlik

!n 1919, Frank sold the land in DeWitt County and moved to Live Oak County, Texas. On July 21, 1919, Frank purchased 97.12 acres, four and a half miles west of George West. By January 1920, Frank had purchased 331.46 acres, raising cattle, hogs, poultry, cotton, corn, and other vegetables. Frank died in 1922, and willed the land to his sons, Walter, Anton, and Stanley, who continued to farm. In 1934, Stanley Pawlik acquired the title to the original 97.12 acres purchased by his father, and 80 acres he and Anton purchased in 1926. Stanley owned 177.12 acres and raised cattle, hogs, poultry,


arlo Maguglino left Milano, Italy, for New York City, in 1882. When he arrived, the immigration officials changed his name to Charles Maguglin. He made it to Texas, near the Austin area, where he helped dynamite the granite used in the State Capitol building. In 1901, he bought land in Live Oak County where he settled with his wife, Emma Mathews Vaughn, and raised their eight children. On the ranch, Charles raised cotton, broom corn, peanuts, corn, milo, watermelons, cattle, hogs, and chickens.

maguglin "The old place" Live Oak County 6 miles east of Oakville FOUNDED: 1901 FOUNDERS: Charles Maguglin CURRENT OWNERS: George Larry Custer

George Maguglin, one of Charles and Emma’s sons, acquired title to the land in 1945. George continued to farm the land until he grew old. George leased the farm to his grandson, Ricky Maguglin who farmed corn, wheat, milo, and cattle. Georgia Williams Custer Burger, daughter to George Maguglin, acquired title to the land in 1997, but continued to let her nephew farm the land.

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cotton and corn. Stanley married Justina and they had six children: Aggie, George, Gladys, Grace, Leonard and Mitchell. Stanley and Justina deeded 170.12 acres to their son, Leonard J. Pawlik. Leonard and his wife, Betty, purchased 176.18 additional acres, totaling 353.3 acres. Stanley and Justina continue to raise cattle, along with their three children: Patricia, James and Rebecca. As told by Leonard J. Pawlik, Grandson of founder.



1919 Cattle, Hogs, Turkeys, Chickens, Hay, Cotton and Corn 2019 Cattle and Hay

George Larry Custer, son of Georgia, acquired the land in 2008, and helped Ricky run the ranch. In 2014, Leroy Wolff, son-in-law to George Larry Custer, established improved grasses for his cow-calf operation. As told by George Larry Custer, great grandson of the founder.



1901 Cotton, Broom Corn, Peanuts, Corn, Milo, Flax, Watermelons, Cattle, Hogs and Chickens 2019 Improved Grasses and Cattle


n 1871, Karl Sagebiel immigrated from Germany to the Cherry Springs Community of Gillespie County, Texas. He married Eliese Sophie Ottmers in 1877. In 1878, Alfred G. Sagebiel was the first of ten children born to Karl and Sophie. In 1916, Alfred bought 1,496 acres from his father and uncle in the Prairie Mountain area of Llano northwest of Enchanted Rock. Alfred raised beef cattle with his wife Louise Dittmar and had three children. Thirza Sagebiel was the first born in 1902.

Maurice Dale Hohmann Ranch Llano County 20 miles southwest of Llano FOUNDED: 1916 FOUNDERS: Alfred G. Sagebiel CURRENT OWNERS: Maurice Dale Hohmann and Myrtle Hohmann Life Estate

In 1922, Thirza married Walter E. Crenwelge and they lived in the Willow City Community in Gillespie. Walter and Thirza had five daughters and Myrtle was third born. Myrtle married Roland C. Hohmann in 1950. Roland and Myrtle had three sons: Maurice, Bobby, and Patrick. Walter and Thirza continued to raise beef cattle on the land.


ames Jefferson Smathers was born August 29, 1859 in Clarksville, Texas. He moved with his parents to Llano County in October of 1874 and first settled in the Oxford Community. In 1885, he married Harriet Olenza Spinks. Shortly after their marriage in 1886, he purchased 145 acres near Valley Spring from J.M. and J.A. Moore. He acquired other acreage in 1888 and 1901 to own a total of 390 acres. He raised cattle, cotton, corn and milo. James and Harriet had seven children: James F., Felton, Pearl, Iva, Velma, Sallie, and Forrest.

Smathers Hereford Ranch Llano County 11 miles west of Llano FOUNDED: 1886 FOUNDERS: Jefferson Smathers CURRENT OWNERS: Rick Myron Smathers and Renee Wyn Smathers

In 1936, the property was acquired by Forrest. He and his wife, Ella Mae raised seven children, as well as cotton, peanuts, Hereford cattle, goats, corn and pecans. In 1980, Forrest gift-deeded portions of the property to each child: James Forrest, Frances Ann, Marion Glen, Lester Lyn, Charles Winfred, Harriet Mae, and Marilyn.

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In 1950, Alfred deeded 916 acres to Thirza. In 1991, the 916 acres were divided and deeded to Thirza and Walter’s children. Myrtle received 238.6 acres and were deeded to her son, Maurice Dale Hohmann at various times since 1995. Maurice continues to raise beef cattle on the land. Maurice Dale Hohmann, greatgreat grandson of the founder.


PRODUCTION 1916 Beef Cattle 2019 Beef Cattle

Charles and his wife Mary Lou had two children, Renee' Wyn and Rick Myron. In 2010, Charles deeded a portion of his property to his son, Rick Smathers. Father and son continued to raise registered and commercial Hereford cattle along with improved grasses until Charles passed in 2017. Rick's son, Slade Kelby Smathers is the fifth generation of Smathers to live on the original founder's property. He is the great-great grandson of James Jefferson Smathers. As told by Renee Smathers, great granddaughter of the founder.



1886 Cattle, Cotton, Corn, Peanuts, and Milo 2019 Wilman Lovegrass and Hereford Cattle


oel "Joe" Harvey Thomas Sr. was born 1859 in Jackson County, Missouri, to George H. and Sara A. Thomas. Joel married Mary Ellen Wilson in 1878. Joel, Mary, and his parents moved to Abilene, Texas in 1880.

The Thomas Place Mason County 5 miles southeast of Fredonia FOUNDED: 1903 FOUNDER: Joel "Joe" Harvey Thomas Sr. CURRENT OWNERS: Donald and Joan Thomas

Joel and Mary moved from Abilene to Mason County near Willow Creek in 1890. In 1903, they bought an adjoining 320 acres near the Wagram Community. They built a new house and raised a variety of livestock and crops to support the family. Mary Ellen died in 1917 and Joel married Ida Mae Lambert on July 12, 1921. Upon Joel’s death in 1929, J. H. "Joe" Thomas Jr. was appointed manager of the estate. In 1936, Howard, the youngest child of Joel and Mary Ellen, and Gertrude, Howard’s wife, acquired the 320 acres where the original house was built. In 1964, Howard’s sons, Edward and Donald, paid off existing debts and acquired the


illiam Marion "W.M." Deans was born in 1881 in McCulloch County, Texas. His descendants left Avoca, Arkansas in the 1870s and arrived in McCulloch County, where they founded what is now Voca, Texas. In 1919, W.M. purchased the original 146.37 acres of the Deans Farm from David and Helen Taylor. Minus the five acres that were sold to the state to pave what is now Texas Highway 71, the original farm is still intact from this purchase.

Deans Farm McCulloch County 1 mile east of Voca FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: William Marion Deans CURRENT OWNERS: David Earl Deans

The original acreage is now retained and operated by W.M.’s grandson, David Earl Deans. David raises cattle, goats, and hay just as his grandfather did.

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320 acres. They gave their parents rights to live out their lives on the property. After the passing of Howard and Gertrude, Donald and Joan acquired the 160 acres where the original house was built, which is considered the old home place for Joel H. Thomas Sr. and family. Donald and Joan are now retired and currently live on the original home place while they continue the ranching efforts. As told by the Thomas family.



1903 Cotton, Cattle, Cane, Watermelons, Corn, Hogs and Horses 2019 Cattle

As told by David Earl Deans, grandson of the founder.



1919 Cattle, Goats and Hay 2019 Cattle, Goats and Hay


Rejcek Farms McClennan County 6 miles west of West FOUNDED: 1906 FOUNDERS: Anton Rejcek CURRENT OWNERS: Anthony and Sharon Rejcek

nton Rejcek immigrated to the U.S. as a young man from Moravia, Czech Republic in 1893. On November 1, 1906, he and his wife Mary, acquired the original tract of 313 acres, purchasing additional acreage to expand to the current 350-acre farmstead. Anton and Mary had nine children while also farming and ranching corn, cotton, oats, hay, cattle, horses, mules, pigs, and chickens.

children: Kristen Ann, Kevin Joseph and Kayla Lynn. Today, Anthony continues to operate the farm and work the land, as he has for decades, raising corn, wheat, milo, hay and cattle.

In 1950, the founder’s son, Anton and his wife, Lois, purchased the farm from his parents. Anton and Lois had four children: Catherine, Barbara, Anthony and Genevieve. The family raised corn, wheat, milo, oats, hay, cattle and chickens.


As a third generation Texas farmer and rancher, Anthony Joseph Rejcek attained title to the original farm and homestead from his parents in February 2016. Anthony and his wife, Sharon, had three


ohn "J.T." and Jesse "J.A." Cartrite came to Sherman County, Texas in 1908 from Yadkin County, North Carolina. The brothers purchased 480 acres in October 1919. J.T. purchased the undivided half interest of J.A. Cartrite on April 21, 1930.

Kent & Faye Cartrite Farms Sherman County 8 miles north of Sunray FOUNDED: 1919 FOUNDER: John Thomas and Jesse Cartrite CURRENT OWNER: Kent and Faye Cartrite

J.T. and J.A. lived on the southeast quarter of the section and they had eight children between them: Hugh Thomas, Harvey Lee, Allan Reed, Geneva Rose, Erwin Montgomery, Leonard Ear, Jeanette LaVern, and Janice Nellie. J.T. began construction on a home in the northeast quarter in 1929. He completed it and moved into the home in January 1931. His youngest son, Kent Craig, was born July 2, 1931. He still lives in the home and sleeps in the room where he was born.


As told by Anthony Rejcek, grandson of the founder.

313 acres


1906 Corn, Cotton, Oats, Hay, Cattle, Horses, Mules, Pigs and Chickens 2019 Corn, Wheat, Milo, Hay and Cattle

J.T. and J.A. raised their children growing wheat and milo. J.T. was elected County Commissioner in 1929 and served until 1945. The family survived the years of The Depression and Dust Bowl by harvesting their own food. As told by Kent Cartrite, son of the founder.



1919 Wheat and Milo 2019 Wheat, Milo, Corn, Cotton, and Cow-Calf Operation


n , e s ,

ooker Franklin “Book” Foster was born in 1873 in Hardeman County, Tennessee. Ethel Lucretia Harvey was born in 1878 in Adair County, Kentucky. Both came to Texas with their families before 1880. They married in Hillsboro in 1897 where their first two children were born. Their third child was born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma and their fourth in Cooke County, Texas.

B. F. and Ethel Foster Farm Swisher County 12 miles east of Kress FOUNDED: 1917 FOUNDERS: Booker Franklin and Ethel Lucretia Foster CURRENT OWNERS: Weldon H. Foster Trust and Nadine B. Foster

In 1907, the family moved to Amarillo, then to Plainview with all of their possessions (including livestock) via boxcar, riding the first train south from Amarillo. They rented a dairy on Spann Road where another child was born. In 1909, they moved to Whitfeld renting a section of land and served as Postmaster. They purchased this section for $14,720 in 1917. Each of their last four children were born there. They grew cotton, wheat, maize and cattle, and established a general store on the land.


enry Waters Hughes Sr. was born in 1865, on Ashland Farm, in Washington County, Texas. Henry and his brother E.C. released their heirship to any property from their parents, to their sisters, Leila and Annie Hughes.  In 1906 Henry Sr. purchased 700.7 acres in a Washington County Sheriff ’s auction.  He and his wife, Bessie Thornhill Hughes, and their children raised cattle, sheep, goats, and swine, also crops of corn and cotton.    Henry Sr. added several other large tracts of land to his estate.

Hughes Ranch Washington County 6 miles north of Chappell Hill FOUNDED: 1906 FOUNDERS: Henry Waters Hughes, Sr. CURRENT OWNERS: Herbert & Patricia Hughes, Judy Hughes Kapchinski, Susannah Hughes Compton, Kerry Hughes, Whitney Ann Wagner, and Henry Wade Hughes

Henry Waters Sr. passed away in 1935 and left the property to be managed by his wife, Bessie T., and his son, Henry Waters Jr., During ownership of Henry Waters, Jr. a 40‐acre lake was created when the Army Corps of Eng. built the Hughes Lake Dam. Henry Waters Jr. raised the same types of livestock, corn, and hay, and sold fishing shares on Hughes Lake. After Henry Waters, Jr.


The Post Office closed in 1919. Book was killed by lightning in July 1940. Ethel continued to run the store until 1943; she lived on the property and managed the farm until entering a rest home where she died at the age of 96. Weldon, a son, inherited the section and farmed cotton, corn, wheat and cattle until his death in 1992. Currently, the section is now held jointly by his widow, Nadine, and his trust is being farmed by his younger son, Steve Foster who grows cotton, wheat, corn and cattle. As told by Janice L. Foster, granddaughter-in-law of the founder.



1917 Wheat, Cotton, Maize, Cattle and Hogs 2019 Wheat, Cotton, Corn and Cattle passed, the property was taken on by Henry Walter Hughes, III and his brother, Herbert.   There was a shift to raising registered Paint and Quarter horses, with Henry’s son, Henry “Bubba” Wright. To this day, Bubba’s son, Henry Wade Hughes, and Bubba’s sisters, Judy and Susannah, carry on the cattle operations, and raising horses. As told by Susannah Hughes Compton, great‐granddaughter of the founder.



1906 Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Swine, Corn, Cotton and Hay 2019 Cattle and Horses


eofl Laskowski was born in Saint Hedwig, Texas, in 1876. He traveled by buckboard to Washington County in early 1900 to try his hand at farming. Josephine Hocmann immgrated from Slawno, Poland with her family to Chappell Hill via Galveston in 1900, joining nearby extended family. Teofl married Josephine Hocmann in 1907, and they bought farmland four years later.

Rocking T Farm aka Gorka Farm Washington County 2 miles east of Chappell Hill FOUNDED: 1911 FOUNDER: Teofl Laskowski CURRENT OWNERS: Mary Gorka Morrison, Thomas Gorka, Sandra Gorka Timte, Janice Moore, Debra Borski and Geoffrey Gorka

Teofl and Josephine had five children: Christine, Anton, Isidore, Theodosia and Florian. The five of them worked together with their grandpa and their resident sharecropper family. When not working the fields, the children attended St. Stanislaus School. The family worked the cotton crop on the farm, and later terraced and dammed the land. The family lived in the former station master’s house, and shared food with Depression-era travelers along the tract. Teofl and Josephine’s son, Theodosia “Tilly”, acquired the title to 24 acres


Drastata Farm Wharton County 10 miles northwest of El Campo FOUNDED: 1897 FOUNDER: Frank and Antonia Drastata CURRENT OWNER: Susan Harrison, Rich Harrison and Georgie Drastata Dayka Family Trust

of the land, in 1963, when Teofl passed away. Tilly and husband, Stanislaus “Stash” Gorka, continued to raise cattle, grow hay, and plant the kitchen garden. Their oldest son, Thomas, was primarily running the land with assistance of the other five children. The 24-acre tract was bequeathed in 2001 to Tilly’s six children as part of her estate. Thomas continued to manage the farm until 2011 when Geoffrey succeeded Thomas as point person. Geoffrey continues to manage the property, while raising cattle and hay.

As told by Geoffrey Ralph Gorka and Sandra Gorka Timte great-great grandchildren of the founder.



1911 Cotton, Cattle and Hay 2019 Cattle and Hay

rank and Antonia Drastata, and their two sons, Charles and Frank, came from Mnichovice, Czech Republic to New York. Frank worked at a large vegetable truck farm and he dreamed of his own farm one day. After hearing of the low prices in Texas, the family sailed to Texas and settled in LaGrange, where they fared as tenants near Ammansville.

was able to turn the wild prairies, into cultivation sustainable for what they needed to grow to survive.

As the Gulf Coast prairie, including Wharton County, opened for settlement, numbers of Czech families decided to try their luck on the new rich lands. At the end of the year of 1896, the family moved to Taiton in a horse drawn wagon, packed with their household goods.

80 acres

In November 1897, Frank purchased 80 acres of unimproved land in Taiton. After many hard years of trial and error, the family

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As told by Charles Drastata, son of the founder, and Betty Drastata McPherson, granddaughter of the founder.


1897 Cotton and Corn 2019 Pecan Trees, Grasses, Chili Peppers and Veggies


Kaechele Ranch Wharton County 6 miles northwest of East Bernard FOUNDED: 1916 FOUNDERS: Charles Kaechele CURRENT OWNERS: Charlotte Mieth, Cheryl Linder, Rebecca Aschenbeck, Bonnie, Roy and Ryan Reznicek

harles Kaechele purchased 911.72 acres of land along the San Bernard River in Wharton County in 1916, from D.A. and Eula E. Dickson. Charles, his wife Clara Stern Kaechlele, along with their two children, Edna and Charles Roy, formed a family partnership in the 1930s to preserve their land during the Great Depression. They raised commercial beef cattle and farmed rice. Charles Roy married Frieda Schoettler in 1939, and they had three children: Charlotte, Royce, and Bonnie. The family purchased additional acres in the vicinity of the original property over the years.

and Ryan Reznicek and Rebecca Aschenbeck, were given an interest in the land along with, Cheryl Mieth Linder, Charlotte’s daughter.

Charlotte Mieth, Royce Kaechele, and Bonnie Reznicek inherited their grandparents’ interest in the property in the 1960s. In the early 1990s, the three acquired the interests of Edna, Charles Roy, and Frieda. In 2012, the children of Bonnie and Frank Reznicek, Roy



us Anderson was born December 10, 1852 in Sweden. Annie Anderson, same last name but no relation, was born December 18, 1858. Their families immigrated to America, to Ellis Island. The Anderson families eventually settled in Illinois to farm. Gus and Annie fell in love and married on March 20, 1880. The Anderson’s moved to Wilbarger County, where they acquired 188 acres, from Carl Zipperle. There, Gus and Annie had eight children. The family raised cotton, wheat, and livestock on the farm.

Taylor Hill Wilbarger County 3 miles northeast of Vernon FOUNDED: 1901 FOUNDERS: Justin and Clint Kennedy CURRENT OWNERS: Mary Kennedy, Bob Taylor, Donna Lispi, Sherry Scheide, Leslie T. Taylor and Flossie Taylor

Meredith Taylor, son-in-law of Gus, acquired the 188 acres in 1928. In 1969, Annie Taylor, Meredith’s wife, acquired the land. She continued to raise wheat, cotton and livestock, with the help of her children. Leslie Taylor, son of Annie and Meredith Taylor, acquired the land in 1978, and maintained the tradition of farming and raising livestock. Following Leslie’s death in 2000, his wife, Lois, acquired the land,


The family members have continued the commercial beef cattle and rice farming operation as Kaechele Ranch, LP. Kaechele Ranch is a member of the Texas and Southern Cattle Raisers Association and Texas Farm Bureau. As told by Bonnie Kaechele Reznicek, granddaughter of the founder.

911.72 acres


1916 Cattle 2019 Cattle, Hay and Rice

where she and her grandsons, Justin and Clint Kennedy, would continue to operate the farm. After Lois Taylor’s passing in 2009, the farm was inherited by her children, Mary, Bob, Nancy and Don. When Don Taylor passed away in 2013, his part of the land was acquired by his wife Flossie, and children, Donna Lispi, Sherry Scheide, Leslie T. Taylor and Monte Taylor. Today, the land is owned by Mary Kennedy, Bob Taylor, Donna Lispi, Sherry Scheide, Leslie T. Taylor, and Flossie Taylor. The farm is still being ranched by great-grandsons of founder, Justin and Clint Kennedy. As told by Mary Kennedy, great granddaughter of founder.



1901 Wheat, Cotton and Livestock 2019 Wheat, Cotton and Cattle


ax Bielss was born near Walburg, Texas and was a farmer his whole life. He homesteaded the land in the 1890s, including the farmhouse which is still in use today. In 1899, he married Lillie Isle, and they had only one child, Hilda, in 1901.

Bielss/Miller Farm Williamson County 13 miles north of Georgetown FOUNDED: 1909 FOUNDERS: Max Bielss CURRENT OWNERS: Ruth M. Burks and J.M. Burks

Max acquired the deed to the property in 1909, of about 300 acres. At this time, he built several buildings and continued raising livestock and farming with his four mules. Max shared his water supply from his windmill with groups of Indians. The Indians would come during the dry summer months and brought Max trinkets as form of payment. Lillie Ilse passed away and Max remarried to Mary Schien, where they continued to farm. Hilda received a portion of the land as a wedding present when she married John Miller. John started his own dairy barn which is still in use today. After Max and Mary’s passing, John and Hilda Miller acquired the remaining acres of the land.


Lutonsky-Kelley Farm Williamson County 5 miles south of Taylor FOUNDED: 1900 FOUNDERS: John and Rosa Lutonsky CURRENT OWNERS: Georgia Ann Kelly

John retired in 1972 and divided the land between their five children. Ruth Burks, daughter of John and Hilda, acquired 60 acres which included the farmhouse. Ruth and her husband raised cattle and produced hay to sell to other farmers and ranchers. Today, they sell hay and pecans, and have restored the original farmhouse, where they reside.

As told by Ruth M. Burks, granddaughter of the founder.



1909 Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Horses, Chickens, Wheat, Oats, Maize and Hay 2019 Cattle and Hay

ohn and Rosa Lutonsky immigrated to the U.S. from Moravia, Czechoslovakia in 1890. The two took up sharecropping for for 10 years to save up money and purchase their own land. By 1900, John and Rosa purchased land, where they built a house, barn, sheds and fences. Their first crop grown was wiped out during the 1900 hurricane.

Georgia continues to operate the farm following the passing of Homer and raises corn and cattle.

They continued to save money after the hurricane and the Lutonsky’s were able to buy an additional 300 acres and had nine children. Their son Charles bought the original farm in 1937 and maintained it until 2000, when he gave it to his niece, Georgia Ann and her husband, Homer Kelley.



As told by Georgia Ann Kelley, granddaughter of the founder.


1900 Cotton, Corn, Maize, Cattle, Mules, Pigs and Chickens 2019 Corn and Cattle


illiam Joseph was born in Van Buren County, Arkansas in 1872. When he and his family moved to Texas, between 1873 and 1874, they bought land in Coryell County. In 1875, they moved to Wilson County. William married John Eva Dawson in 1894. On December 17, 1900, William and Eva purchased 100 acres of land. Eva and William raised peanuts, watermelons, sweet potatoes and sorghum. Eva also raised turkeys and hogs.


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Akin Triple E Ranch Wilson County 4 miles north of Stockdale FOUNDED: 1900 FOUNDERS: William Joseph and John Eva Akin CURRENT OWNERS: William and Sandra Kay Akin English

On May 13, 1949, William and Eva sold the 100 acres and a 25-acre tract that they had purchased on September 25, 1918 to their son and daughter-in-law, Clyde and Annie Akin. Clyde and Annie continued to restore the land. They raised cattle and Coastal Bermuda on the property.

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Following Clyde’s death in 1980, Annie continued to raise cattle and Coastal Bermuda on the land. In 2008, after Annie’s death, Clyde and Annie’s daughter, Sandra Kay Akin English, inherited the land. Today, the land has been placed in a family trust and they continue to raise cattle. As told by Sandra Kay Akin English, granddaughter of the founder.



1900 Peanuts, Watermelons, Sweet Potatoes, Sorghum, Turkeys and Hogs 2019 Cattle



Texas Cotton Producers, Inc.


about the family land heritage program The core of agriculture in Texas remains the family-owned farm or ranch. The ownership and care-taking of family farms and ranches by generations of Texas families is not only central to our economy, it is the cornerstone of our Texas heritage. For more than 40 years, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has honored that legacy through our Family Land Heritage program. The Family Land Heritage (FLH) program recognizes family farms and ranches engaged in continuous agricultural production for 100 years or more. The FLH program began in 1974 and over the past four decades, has honored more than 5,000 Texas family farms and ranches. Every fall, TDA hosts a ceremony at the Texas State Capitol to celebrate and commemorate these special families who have passed down their proud agricultural legacy from generation to generation. At the ceremony, the families are recognized by Commissioner Miller with a certificate and photo. A commemorative program is created for the ceremony that includes family stories and historic pictures along with information and location of the property being honored. Preceding the ceremony, TDA hosts a BBQ lunch on the Southwest Capitol Lawn for honorees. Honorees may also obtain a plaque recognizing their property as a Family Land Heritage recognized location. If you or anyone you know may qualify for recognition in the Texas Department of Agriculture Family Land Heritage program, please visit the Family Land Heritage webpage at www.TexasAgriculture.gov.

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CONGRATULATIONS! “Every Texan today owes a debt of gratitude to these generations of Texans who worked the soil, raised the animals and in the process, fed and clothed the world. Today, we honor these families for their dedication to Texas agriculture. They are the brightest lights in the agricultural legacy of the Lone Star State.� Commissioner Sid Miller

texas department of agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller www.texasagriculture.gov

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Family Land Heritage Commemorative Program 2019  

Family Land Heritage Commemorative Program 2019  

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