King Ranch Headquarters

The 825,000-acre King Ranch covers nearly 1,300 square miles, an area larger than the entire state of Rhode Island, on four separate Divisions of land known as Santa Gertrudis, Laureles, Norias, and Encino. These four Divisions are located in six South Texas counties: Brooks, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, and Willacy. The Ranch had its beginning in 1852, when Richard King and Gideon K. Lewis set up a cattle camp on Santa Gertrudis Creek in South Texas. Formal purchase began in 1853, when they bought a Spanish land grant, Rincón de Santa Gertrudis, of 15,500 acres on Santa Gertrudis Creek in Nueces County. A short time later they purchased the Mexican land grant, Santa Gertrudis de la Garza grant, of 53,000 acres. During the mid-1850s, as partners, King and Lewis acquired more landholdings around the area of the creek. After Lewis died in April 1855, King acquired Lewis's half interest in the Rincón grant at a public sale. On December 5, 1860, Mifflin Kenedy, with whom King had been associated in a steam boating business, bought an interest in the Ranch. At that time all titles were put under the business name R. King and Company. King and Kenedy dissolved their partnership in 1868, and King retained Santa Gertrudis. That same year King fenced in a tract of his ranch that surrounded the Santa Gertrudis headquarters. During the rest of his life, King would purchase sixty additional pieces of land and amass vast land holdings throughout South Texas.

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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191 2014 Local Officials