Herbert Lee Kokernot Sr. established the 06 Ranch in West Texas in 1912. The brand he chose, the 06, had belonged to his grandfather David Kokernot, a scout for Sam Houston during the Texas Revolution. His descendants run Hereford cattle on much of the family’s vast mountainous holdings.
Although published reports of the family’s West Texas cattle ranches detail holdings of close to 300,000 acres, a thorough examination of tax records confirmed only a portion of that total in and around San Angelo where the family settled in the early 1900s.
Emmett McCoy transformed his father’s roofing business into McCoy’s Building Supply, a $550-million business with 84 stores. In their spare time, the McCoys run Angus cattle on family-owned ranches in the Davis Mountains of Texas. Ranch foreman Kaare Remme says, “It’s a cow-camp operation with the land divided into camps like in the old days.”
In 1886, Thomas Henry Green sent his son William west to look after a band of horses along Hubbard Creek. The young man arrived in Shackelford County with a $20 gold piece and an eye for good grassland. Over a century later, William’s son Bob, 82, and other members of the Green family run cattle in six Texas counties as a partnership.
In 1936, Texas oilman Sid Richardson purchased St. Joseph’s Island. The retreat, totaling more than 33,000 acres just off the Texas coast, became the billionaire bachelor’s favorite getaway and is now one of many parcels that his heirs, the Bass family of Fort Worth, own and operate in the Lone Star State.
The son of one of the first licensed geologists in Texas, Williams, 75, is based in Midland where he runs his own oil and gas company, Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. (CWEI). Claytie has several ranches in West Texas. He recently parted with one, which was purchased by Brad Kelley.
Situated in picturesque Palo Duro Canyon and occupying three Texas counties, the Ritchie family’s JA Ranch is the oldest privately owned cattle operation in the Texas Panhandle. An estimated 130,000 acres, the JA was founded in 1877 by John Adair and Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair with former Texas Ranger Charles Goodnight. A grandson, Montgomery Harrison Wadsworth “Montie” Ritchie, ran the ranch until 1993. It is now managed by his daughter and grandson. Unlike many Texas ranches, none of the JA’s income comes from oil and gas.
The Yturria name is indelibly entwined with the history of South Texas. Family patriarch Francisco Yturria opened the first private bank south of San Antonio and was a contemporary of Capt. Richard King (see No. 6 King Ranch heirs). According to a family spokesperson, multiple heirs have holdings in several South Texas counties.
Published reports show the Harrison family owning 140,000 acres, including an expansive horse ranch just outside Houston. D.J. Harrison Sr. began breeding quarter horses in the 1930s, and the Harrison Quarter Horse Ranch is now managed by Rosemary Harrison, wife of Daniel III.
In 1885, Luke Brite trailed a small herd of cattle across several hundred miles of the Texas frontier until he arrived at the base of Capote Peak. For the next few years, Brite camped alone under the West Texas skies as he established this now-famous ranch, whose divisions are run by his descendants.