Famed Waggoner Ranch on Texas Market for $725 Million

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Courtesy of Bernard UechtritzSome of the cowboys have worked on the ranch for decades and hope to continue handling the 7,500 head of cattle.
A huge chunk of Texas and one of the largest working ranches in the country is on the market for $725 million.

The W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch, a family ranch since 1849, covers 510,527 acres -- about 800 square miles -- spanning six counties of North Texas. It's being sold "as-is" with 7,500 head of cattle, 500 quarter horses, 1,000 working oil wells, wheat fields, and large populations of deer, turkey, quail, dove, water fowl and feral hogs. The cowboys, including some who have worked the ranch for 50 years, "would love to convey," says listing agent Bernard Uechtritz of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty.

The Waggoner Ranch and the King Ranch in South Texas are the two biggest ranching enterprises in the state. A family squabble among the heirs of W.T. "Tom" Waggoner is culminating in this court-ordered sale, a common end to family ranches and a unique part of the American landscape.

"We've had a lot of interest from people in agribusiness, oil, gas and cattle," says Uechtritz. It's also attractive to "people from faraway lands who want the anonymity of living in seclusion and privacy in the middle of Texas, which is in the middle of America."

Annual property taxes for the spread are about $1 million, but the ranch's multiple income streams and depreciability make it a profit-making venture, Uechtritz says. Perhaps its most untapped resource is the marketing potential of the Waggoner name.

Uechtritz says "Waggoner," which represents a rugged ranch spirit, is a licensing and intellectual goldmine. Electra Waggoner Biggs, an heir and Texas socialite, in 1959 allowed Buick to use her name on its luxury sedan -- the Electra.

"You can end up with a Waggoner Dodge truck, or Waggoner steak houses," Uechtritz said.

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