America’s biggest ranch, which is larger than New York City, goes on sale for $725million in Texas
The Waggoner Ranch is the largest contiguous ranch in the United States spanning six counties in Northern Texas
Listing marks end of decades-long court battle among heirs of cattle baron W.T. Waggoner who founded it in 1923
The estate includes the 510,000-acre ranch with two main compounds, hundreds of homes and 20 cowboy camps
Also included are hundreds of quarter-horses, thousands of cattle, 1,200 oil wells and 30,000 acres of cultivated land
It reportedly falls within ‘super asset class’, akin to selling the ‘Statue of Liberty’ of cowboy culture, it has been said
By JAMES DUNN FOR MAILONLINE
The biggest ranch in America that stretches over 510,000 continuous acres – that’s 796 square miles, making it a plot of land bigger than the island of Oahu – has gone on sale for $725million.
Realtors are hoping the Waggoner ranch in north Texas will become the most expensive estate in the world – after slapping the huge price tag on it in the hopes of attracting a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or oil tycoon.
Cattle baron Dan Waggoner established the estate in 1849 – and it has operated with its backwards ‘D’ logo ever since.
The estate includes the 510,000-acre ranch spread over six North Texas counties, with two main compounds, hundreds of homes, about 20 cowboy camps, hundreds of quarter-horses, thousands of heads of cattle, and 30,000 acres of cultivated land, according to Dallas-based broker Bernie Uechtritz, who is handling the sale along with broker Sam Middleton of Lubbock.
Oil was discovered on the property in 1902 and there are now more than a thousand wells spread across the property.
The Waggoner name was prominent in the development of Hereford cattle and pedigree American quarter horses in the 20th century. Dan Waggoner the founder of the W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch
Heirs and stakeholders currently occupy two of the three principle houses and much of the estate has not yet been explored for oil and other mineral reserves.
The realtor behind the sale of the property, Bernard Uechtritz.
Uechtritz, of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, has a history of selling unusual properties. He was in charge of the sale of Jose and Kitty Menendez’s Beverly Hills mansion after the couple were killed by their two sons in 1989, and evaluated both OJ Simpson’s Brentwood mansion and his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson’s apartment in Santa Monica where she was killed with her friend Ronald Goldman
Uechtritz says The Waggoner Ranch estate falls within a ‘super asset class,’ akin to selling the ‘Statue of Liberty’ of cowboy culture.
He added: ‘It is an extremely rare piece of property, not only because of its individual attributes but you likely simply cannot buy this amount of contiguous ranchland under one fence anywhere else in the world.
‘Certainly there are none, however large, that have the exact qualities, history and potential upside of this property .
‘There are 510,000 acres on the estate, making it the largest ranch in the United States under one fence. It’s a record breaking price because it is a completely unique offering.
‘This is a legacy property having never been on the market before and been in the same family for the past 160 years since the 1800s.
‘There are 510,000 acres on the estate, making it the largest ranch in the United States under one fence. It’s a record breaking price because it is a completely unique offering.”
‘What really sets it apart is that all this land has been kept together under one fence by one family for nearly 100 years, and its history in the settling of the West,’ said court-appointed receiver Mike Baskerville.
W.T. Waggoner built the Arlington Downs racetrack that operated in Arlington during the 1930s. His granddaughter Electra Waggoner Biggs was a noted sculptress after whom Buick named a luxury car and Lockheed named a plane.
Map: Weldon Hawley, ranch manager for the W.T. Waggoner Estate in Vernon, Texas indicates the area of the ranch where approximately 2,000 acres burned in 2011. Its listing marks the end of a decades-long courtroom battle among the heirs of cattle baron W.T. Waggoner, who established the estate in 1923
As well as a piece of history, the ranch is a thriving business with various premises helping the huge estate turn a profit
In 1991, she filed a lawsuit seeking the liquidation of the family estate, spurring a 12-year family feud. Biggs died in 2001. When a district judge ruled in favor of liquidation in 2003, one of the estate’s primary stakeholders, A.B. ‘Bucky’ Wharton III, appealed.
The family agreed to list the estate after the court said it was considering ordering an auction of the assets, Baskerville said. The listing has already attracted attention from interested buyers, he said.
Local residents have been worried that oil wildcatters or foreign investors will divide up the land and fire ranch employees, more motivated by making a profit than preserving history.