El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750 Page: 39
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of cattle and some 3,000 head of horses. Just two years
later, the company bought more than 90,000 acres of
the Laureles grant from Charles Stillman and also some
22,000 acres of the William Mann ranch property in
the Casa Blanca grant north of the Santa Gertrudis.
When Walworth died in 1865, King and Kenedy dis-
solved the company and paid Walworth's wife $so,ooo
for his part. In an 1868 division of property, Kenedy
took the Laureles land, while King received the re-
mainder. In 1882, Kenedy sold the Laureles grant and
all his livestock for $I,Ioo,ooo to a syndicate from
Dundee, Scotland-the Texas Land and Cattle Com-
pany, Ltd. A month later, he organized the Kenedy
Pasture Company on land of the La Parra grant, a
ranch which continues today (Lea 1957).
Another major land purchase took place in 1852,
the year Kenedy first bought land. Major James H.
Durst, a wealthy landowner and merchant from East
Texas, bought the majority of the La Barreta land grant
(92,996.4 acres) from the Balli family for 1600 pesos.
He never moved onto the land, which had no cattle,
fences, buildings, modern water wells or tanks by the
time he died six years later. His daughter and son-in-
law moved onto the property in I885, establishing the
so,ooo-acre Armstrong ranch in present-day Willacy
County. In the early I850s, F. J. Parker and W. G.
Hale bought the Santa Rosa grant (about twenty-five
miles south of the Santa Gertrudis of Richard King)
and hired a manager to live on the ranch and work it
Several ranchers from Mexico also moved into the
area. Rancho La Mota de Olmos was established in
southern Duval County by the Bazins, a ranching
family from Camargo. They built traditional flat-top
homes of sillares with chipichil roofs and floors, corrals
de lena, and hand-dug wells to water their cattle. A
bit farther to the northeast, the Hinojosa family estab-
lished the El Guajillo ranch, beginning in the I85s0s. It
grew to some 60o,ooo000 acres, and much of it still belongs
to the descendants of the original owner. As at Mota de
Olmos, the Hinojosas built homes and corrals, as well
as a fairly large earthen dam.
When Richard King decided to buy cattle in Mexico
to stock his Santa Gertrudis ranch in 1854, he did some-
thing else which set a precedent for the way Anglo
ranches would be run during this period in ranching
history. While in Mexico, he offered to settle an entire
community at the Santa Gertrudis ranch, promising
the vaqueros twenty-five pesos a month, food and shelter.
Over one hundred men, women, and children (includ-
ing Damon Ortiz, whom King hired to take care of
the remuda), came to the ranch to work for him, bring-
ing all of their belongings in two-wheeled carretas (Lea
1957). This established what was essentially a hacienda,
with its class structure equivalent to that institution's
two distinct social classes-the patron and the pean
King had originally planned to be an absentee land-
lord and live in Brownsville with his family. As he
got more interested and involved in the ranch and its
work, he decided to move to the ranch headquarters,
which he and Lewis had put together as a cow camp
with a primitive shelter sometime between Septem-
ber i, 1852, and March 13, 1853. The King family lived
in a jacal while the main house was being built, just
as the early Spanish and Mexican hacendados had done.
The house the Kings eventually moved into, built of
cut lumber hauled from Corpus Christi, was made in
the typical Anglo style of the time. For his workers,
King provided houses, water, and specific amounts of
food based on the number of children in the family.
As on earlier haciendas, the King Ranch had its own
store, where the workers bought most of their needs.
By I885, the ranch employed about 300 men, and by
1895, they branded some 30,000 calves. By the time of
his death in 1885, King had acquired about 64o,ooo
acres in South Texas. The King Ranch people became
known as los Kinenos, the King People, and this basic
system of relationships continued until 1971 (Lea 1957).
This experience emphasizes an important point
made by Jovita Gonzalez: because of the history of
distinct separation of the two social classes, the pedn
class, including the vaqueros, was as happy working for
Anglo landowners as they had been for Spanish or
Mexican ones (I930). There is nothing to indicate that
King reduced his workers to vassals through debt, but
The Ranch in South Texas
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Graham, Joe S. El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750, book, 1994; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28328/m1/51/?q=el%20rancho: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.