Where the West Begins

Chisholm Trail
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 the area ranges to rest their cattle along their journey north.
Photo taken in 1888, courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.

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.

Quanah Parker Indian Chief
Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief, photographed in Clay County Texas in 1899.
In his role as the Tribe’s leader, he traveled across the nation extensively, making frequent stops in Clay County, Texas, trading with area merchants and ranchers.

Photo credit: Irwin, William E. courtesy of the Clay County Historical Society.

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.

Situated near the Red River in north Texas, the Wellborn 2R Ranch was established near the famous Chisholm Trail, a cattle trail that was active from 1867-1884. Most Kansas-bound cattle on the Chisholm Trail crossed
into Indian Territory at Red River Station in Montague County, Texas, just a few miles east of Wellborn 2R Ranch.

Cowboys at Red River Station. Here trail drivers would pay their taxes, have their cattle dipped and inspected, and bought supplies in nearby Spanish Fort. Here’s an outfit in the 1870s getting ready for the trip north.
Photograph from the UT Arlington Special Collection.

We are proud that the ranch has been such an integral part of Texas’
history. 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.

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