When the term “ranch” is used, quite often it refers to a tract of land where the accoutrements of ranching can be found. A brand has been registered. Pickup trucks, preferably duallies, are muddied. But if the livestock is for show, not for profit, odds are you’re on a “gentleman’s ranch,” not a “working ranch.”
No one has ever mistaken the Waggoner for anything but a working ranch. As the gate picture above readily demonstrates, it is massive in every respect. Many will choose to dwell on its acreage, or the number of cattle it runs, or its oil and gas numbers. To me, its most massive quality is the will of the men and women who forged it and the family that has kept it together for so long.
Read the more about this iconic ranch in this stirring account by Henry Chappell with photography by Wyman Meinzer.