As It Happens

Largest single-fence ranch in the US up for sale for $725M

The land includes cowboys' tombstones and a horse buried standing up.
(Courtesy of Bernard Uechtritz)

If you have three quarters of a billion dollars kicking around, this Texas ranch is for you!  The W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch is big. At over half a million acres, it is bigger than New York City and Los Angeles, combined. It has been in the same family for more than a century. 

Bernard Uechtritz, one of the brokers looking after its sale, makes his sales pitch to As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch: "The Waggoner Ranch is an absolutely historic, one-of-a-kind offering. It's wrapped in legend and lore. It is an oil- producing, cattle-producing and horse-producing legendary ranch."

Bernard Uechtritz, broker for the sale of the Waggoner Ranch (Bernard Uechtritz)

The Waggoner family settled on the ranch in the 19th century. Already well-to-do with a booming cattle business, they then struck oil in 1908.

Uechtritz recounts the history of the family, especially that of the famous Electra II, who was a grand-niece of W.T. Waggoner. "After her, a town was named. After her the '56 Buick Electra was named," he says. 

Quarter horses, a sprinting horse used in rodeos, are also part of the ranch's history. Poco Bueno, Paul. E. Waggoner's famous breeding stallion, is reputed to be the first in America to have been insured for over a hundred thousand dollars.

And Poco Bueno comes with the ranch. As per Waggoner's will, the horse was buried standing up. "I think that was probably his warm-hearted and humourous way of recognizing his beloved horse. 

(Bernard Uechtritz)

Uechtritz has spent a lot of time on the property, and has grown to love it. Like the family, he says he wants the land to continue on as a working ranch.

"I think it's very feasible that someone is going to buy it and keep it in one piece, and hopefully protect it, preserve it and enhance it for another 165 years." 

Uechtritz says there has been a lot of interest in the ranch, and that they are in discussions with various potential buyers.