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Where the West Begins

Where the West Begins

Longhorn herd of cattle resting on the Red River

Longhorn herd of cattle resting along the banks of the Red River in Clay County, Texas. The famous Chisholm Trail lies just a few miles east of the county line so cowboys would often use area ranges to rest the cattle along their journey north. (Photo taken in 1888, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.)

History of the Wellborn 2R Ranch

Wellborn 2R Ranch in Clay County, Texas is uniquely situated just a few miles west of the 98th Meridian, the line of longitude that separates the Eastern United States from the West. Our ranch is part of a large area identified as The Great Plains, and has centuries of history on it. Long before Clay County was settled, Comanche Indians dominated the area and buffalo grazed on the native grass prairies. Famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker was a frequent visitor to the area. Clay County was officially settled in 1857, but when soldiers withdrew from the area at the end of the Civil War, Indian attacks forced the early settlers out. They didn’t return until the early 1870s, setting up Henrietta as the county seat. We are proud that the ranch has been such an integral part of Texas’ history.

Quanah Parker

Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief, photographed in Clay County, Texas in 1888. In his role as the Tribal Leader, he traveled across the nation extensively, making frequent stops in Clay County to trade with area merchants and ranchers. (Photo credit William E. Irwin, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.)

We try to honor the generations that came before us on this land, and we work hard to preserve it’s western heritage, while being careful stewards to leave it in the best possible condition for the generations that come after us.

Cowboys at Dug Out house in Clay COunty Texas

 Cowboys and their horses at a dugout in Clay County, Texas. Remnants of old dugouts and early settle artifacts can be found at the ranch. (Photo taken in 1900, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.)

German immigrants, John Sanzenbacher and his nephew, Chris Sanzenbacher and wife Lucy, came to America in pursuit of gold during the California Gold Rush. When those dreams didn’t pan out, they came to Texas seeking cattle country and purchased what is now a portion of the Wellborn 2R Ranch in the early 1870s in a community then known as Cambridge.

Cambridge Texas

Horses and wagons parked at Virgil Johnson's Bridge in Cambridge, Texas. Portions of this area are now part of the Wellborn 2R Ranch. Located three miles northeast of Henrietta, Cambridge was an early Clay County settlement developed in the early 1820s. It was the county seat before the railroad was established in Clay County, securing it as the county seat. (Photo taken in 1890, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.)

They lived in a dugout while their house was being built. In 1875 Chris and Lucy had a baby, a girl they named Mamie. She is recorded as the first white child born in Clay County. John never had any children so at the time of his death in 1879 he left half of his land and inheritance to Mamie, the only living Sanzenbacher child at the time. Her parents managed her portion of ranch for her until she was old enough to do so.
Checking cows at Scheer Ranch in Clay County, Texas

Riding herd and checking cattle at the Sanzenbacher Ranch. (Photo taken in 1923, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.)

She married C.S. (Charlie) Scheer and they raised seven children on the ranch. After their passing, their middle son, Henry Scheer, took on ownership of the family ranch, with his son, Henry Junior, eventually taking over. Current owners, Chris and Joan Wellborn, purchased this historic family ranch from Henry Scheer, Jr. and his wife, Iris Dean.

 

Pitching hay at Sanzenbacher Ranch in Clay County Texas in 1900.

Pitching hay at the Sanzenbacher Ranch at the turn of the 20th century. (Photo taken in 1900, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.)

You can’t get any more “American” than the American Cowboy. And the number one place to find American cowboys is Texas. For 150 years, top hand cowboys have been riding the ranges of the Wellborn 2R Ranch and to this day, the ranch is home to some of the finest cowboys you will ever meet.

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