El Sordo

El Sordo Ranch, off Highway 16 twelve miles southwest of Hebbronville in north central Jim Hogg County, was started in 1848. The land was part of the Agostadero del Sordo ("Summer Pasture of the Mute [or Deaf] One") grant from Mexico to Luis Vela. The present ranch known as El Sordo was part of the 23,400 acres purchased by William A. Waugh in 1883 from J. H. McLeary. The headquarters was on an additional 693 acres that Waugh bought from C. W. Earnest. Waugh was one of the first Anglo settlers in Jim Hogg County. He and his wife, Angelita María (Serña), had three daughters. In 1895 Florence, one of the daughters, and her husband, Henry C. Yeager, acquired the ranch headquarters and began raising red Durham cattle. Henry Yeager was known for refusing to foreclose on ranchers with delinquent loans. In 1906, at his death, part of the 14,000 acres of his land went to his daughter Martha Josephine Armstrong. Included in that bequest was El Sordo Ranch. Martha, with her husband, E. L. Armstrong, added 2,280 acres to their holdings and raised cotton, horses, and Hereford cattle. The ranch headquarters burned in 1934 and had to be completely rebuilt. The Armstrongs established a school for their children and the children of the ranchhands. Earnest Roberts Armstrong, who inherited the remaining 693 acres of the ranch, added improved pastures and watermelon fields to his cattle and horse raising. The original ranchhouse was remodeled in 1968 and continued in 1992 to be inhabited by the owners. El Sordo Ranch has served as ranch headquarters, post office, and way station for travelers.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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