The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 332
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
main, amounting to over eighty million acres including the lands
set apart for schools, was an important center of attraction, for
the elevated plains of Northwest Texas were supposed to be a
most favorable region for profitable ranching.2
The Texans themselves, some of them newcomers who had
arrived during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, were
the pioneers, using their own meager funds and such money as
they could borrow from the northern part of the United States.
During the late 1870's and early 188o's they drove their herds to
the markets of Kansas and Illinois and came back with handsome
profits; but they were quite willing to sell their cattle, lands, and
leases to English and Scottish capitalists who, in their eagerness,
were disposed to pay somewhat more than such holdings were
worth, even to purchase them without careful appraisal, and, in
some instances, to employ Texans as foremen of the ranches they
sold. Of the more than sixty corporations organized in the British
Isles between 188o and 1890 to invest in land, livestock, and land
mortgages in the United States, at least thirteen were concen-
trated in Texas; and, in addition to these, several British indi-
viduals and partnerships invested in Texas ranches.8
Five of the thirteen companies organized for action in Texas
were incorporated in England and eight in Scotland. Titled no-
bility, members of parliament, and army officers were prominent
on their boards of directors. Prairie Cattle Company, Limited,
established in Edinburgh late in 188o, was the first of the thirteen
corporations to be organized; Land Mortgage Bank of Texas, Lim-
ited, founded in London in 1886, was the last. The aggregate
nominal paid-up capitalization of the thirteen companies at the
2The following works, among others, contain information on the economic devel-
opment of Northwest Texas: Lewis W. Newton and Herbert P. Gambrell, A Social
and Political History of Texas (Dallas, 1935), 317-336; Rupert N. Richardson,
Texas, the Lone Star State (New York, 1943), 300-324; L. F. Sheffy, The Life and
Times of Timothy Dwight Hobart (Canyon, 1950); C. L. Douglas, Cattle Kings of
Texas (Dallas, 1939).
nAn Irishman named John Adair bought a part of the JA Ranch in the Palo
Duro Canyon in 1877 and his wife purchased the rest of it in 1887. Baron Tweed-
mouth and the Earl of Aberdeen purchased the Rocking Chair Ranch in 1883.
Francklyn Land and Cattle Company, Limited, bought a Northwestern Texas ranch
in 1883, but soon became bankrupt and lost its property, which fell into the hands
of Edgar J. Elgood and William Godden of London. Alfred and Vincent Rowe,
both Englishmen, owned the RO Ranch before 188o. A good study of the JA Ranch
is H. T. Burton, A History of the JA Ranch (Austin, 1928).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/399/: accessed March 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.