The Texas Historian, Volume 36, Number 3, January 1976 Page: 10
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meat markets in Egypt, people traveled from
throughout the area to buy beef, even all
the way from Wharton. Since Duncan kept
the old cotton gin, which was located next to
his store, Northington built another near his
As time passed the Green Duncans raised a
family of five children: Nancy, Harris Bowie,
Isaac Vance, Francis Bowie, and Donald. All
grew up to become substantial citizens of their
respective communities, and kept alive their
rich family traditions. Harris Bowie Duncan,
for example, attended the University of Texas
and returned to operate his father's D Cross
Ranch in Burnet, Texas. He married Eva Cook
of Burnet and they had four children. His last
son, Donald Duncan, presently operates the D
Cross Ranch. Isaac Vance Duncan, the third
child, operated his father's ranch near Eagle
Lake, not far from Egypt. His son, Gardner,
presently operates this ranch. Francis Bowie
Duncan was born on the Spade Ranch in
Egypt. He attended the University of Texas
and was captain of the Longhorn football
team in 1907. He had the distinction of throw-
ing the first forward pass and was elected to
the Longhorn Hall of Fame. In 1922 Bowie
was elected to the State Legislature, repre-
senting Wharton and Jackson counties. Green
Duncan died in 1910 leaving his land to his
sons. Bowie returned from the University of
Texas to operate the Spade Ranch and was
joined by his brother Donald when he too
graduated from the University. Green Duncan
did many things in his lifetime that benefited
others. In 1890 he served in the Texas legis-
lature and was elected sheriff of Wharton
County several times.
Green Duncan and his wife made the
family home a beautiful place. A magnolia-
lined driveway gave access to the large white
house with expansive and elegant gardens.
Because of its splendor and warm friendly
hospitality, the Spade Ranch has always been
a favorite place for friends and relatives to
The Spade Ranch presently consists of
about 12,000 acres and runs approximately
1,000 head of cattle. The grazing land takes
up about ten percent of the ranch. Crops,
which cover the remaining ninety percent of
the land, include rice, cotton, corn, and maize.
Rice was introduced around the turn of the
century and now the Duncan Brothers plant
about 1,200 acres of rice annually.
While the economic base of the community
has changed over the years, the present-day
Spade Ranch, including the rest of Egypt, re-
mains today much the same as it did in the
early 1800's. The Northingtons and a few of
their relatives still reside on the original Heard
property. And with the Duncan store closed,
the Northington store still serves Egypt's ap-
proximately 125 residents, selling much of
what it originally sold. The Duncan Brothers
office occupies their old store, along with the
The descendants of the original settlers,
therefore, are preserving their unique heritage,
while giving stability and permanence to the
Land of Egypt. George H. Northington III,
for example, has established the Northington-
Heard Museum adjacent to the Northington
store, whch contains artifact collections that
document the establishment and growth of the
community. Those who have known Egypt
have a deep appreciation for its beauty and
tranquil atmosphere, so far removed from the
rush of the city. Hopefully this atmosphere
will contnue to be nurtured and treasured.
Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton Coun-
ty, 1846-1961, Austin, 1964.
Wharton County Deed Records, Wharton, Texas.
Diary of W. F. S. Alexander, in possession of
George H. Northington III, Egypt, Texas.
Duncan Letters, in possession of F. B. Duncan,
F. B. Duncan to Genny Duncan (n.d.).
Donald Duncan to Genny Duncan (n.d.).
G. C. Duncan to Genny Duncan (n.d.).
Mrs. G. C. Duncan to Genny Duncan (n.d.).
Mrs. Olive Duncan Hershey to Genny Duncan
George H. Northington III to Genny Duncan
Clara Heard Northington to Genny Duncan (n.d.).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Texas Historian, Volume 36, Number 3, January 1976, periodical, January 1976; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth391423/m1/12/?q=bowie: accessed August 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.