Texas

68 – Wilson-Hodge Ranches – 134,000 acres

Headquartered in Del Rio, Texas, this family-owned ranching company has three divisions spread out in three counties in Southwest Texas. In addition to traditional ranching operations, a wildlife management program has been implemented that has bolstered native populations of whitetail

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96 – Eshleman Family – 96,00 acres

The family’s Eshleman-Vogt Ranch is located in Jim Hogg County. This South Texas property is used primarily for cattle ranching, although hunting leases are proving to be a valuable source of income as well.

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13 – Dolph Briscoe Jr. – 560,000 acres

A two-time Texas governor, Briscoe, 85, also served as the president the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association where he spearheaded the cattle industry’s effort to eradicate screwworms. He declined to confirm published reports of the size of Briscoe Ranch,

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22 – Fasken Family – 300,000 acres

The Faskens were lucky enough to settle in West Texas before oil and gas were discovered in the Permian Basin. Their holdings now span Midland, Ector, Andrews, and Martin counties, and they own additional acreage in Culberson and Reeves counties,

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19 – Anne Marion – 345,000 acres

Alas, the Four Sixes Ranch does not trace its founding to a winning poker hand. Ranch founder Samuel Burk Burnett purchased a herd of cattle with the 6666 brand and eventually registered the mark as his own in 1875. His

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18 – East Family – 350,000 acres

Following the death of Richard King’s widow, a substantial number of heirs joined together to maintain the King Ranch legacy (see King Ranch Heirs). Alice Gertrudis Kleberg East, however, eventually cashed in her interests and received two ranches of her

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15 – D.M. O’Connor Heirs – 500,000 acres

The O’Connor family’s ties to cattle ranching in South Texas date back to the 1830s, when Thomas O’Connor arrived from Ireland. His son Dennis Martin joined the family business, and today, the descendants of D.M. O’Connor share ownership of an

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14 W.T. Waggoner Estate 520,000 acres

Texas boasts thousands of cattle operations, but none, not even King Ranch, can match the Waggoner’s brag: “the nation’s largest ranch under one fence.” Established in 1849 by Dan Waggoner, the contiguous parcel now encompasses more than 800 square miles.

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26 – Jones Heirs – 255,000 acres

The Joneses are tight-lipped about their South Texas landholdings, but previous reports show the family owning more than 250,000 acres. The accumulation of land started more than a century ago with William Whitby Jones, and now continues with A.C. Jones

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23 – Jeff Bezos – 290,000 acres

Amazon.com founder Bezos, 44, is a regular on the Forbes 400. His $8.7 billion fortune (Forbes’s 2008 estimate) enables him to fund a space flight company called Blue Origin. The company tested its first developmental vehicle in November 2006. The

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