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O.B. Ranch

1,700 Acres    ·    Wharton County, Wharton, TX    ·    $8,500,000 (Asking Price) - SOLD

Less than 50 miles southwest of Houston, the famous O.B. Ranch is a premier cattle operation capable of carrying an animal unit for every two acres on the low end. The ranch boasts scenic views, with scattered timber consisting of oaks and pecans on approximately 700 acres of the property. Recreational potential is enhanced by two timber-lined creeks that tie back into the Colorado River bottom, an area rich in wildlife. First class working pens, cross-fencing, well distributed water, all-weather roads, and a classic recently re-modeled ranch style owner’s home make this a turn-key opportunity.   This investment’s long term value is enhanced by over a mile of freeway frontage on U.S. 59/Future I-69 and the adjacent Kansas City Southern rail line.

Location:    The ranch is located at Mackay, 3.5 miles southwest of downtown Wharton, just west of the Colorado River. Entry to the ranch is from the northwestern border, which fronts the south line of U.S. 59 and the Kansas City Southern rail line for over a mile. The Wharton Regional Airport neighbors the ranch on the west (5,004’ asphalt runway). The ranch has approximately 4,760 feet of frontage on County Road 448 which parallels the Union Pacific Railroad and US Highway 59.

Habitat:   Approximately 800 acres of the O.B. Ranch are planted primarily in improved jiggs bermuda, with the balance of the grazing pastures in native grasses and coastal bermuda. Very fertile soils typical of Colorado River bottomland are found on the ranch, consisting of the highly productive Lake Charles Clay and Edna Fine Sandy Loam.   There are several fields exclusively for cutting hay and typically roll 2,000 – 2,500 round hay bales annually. Much of this property was historically used for rice production.

Hardwood timber, dominated by hundreds of mature pecans and live oaks, are found on the remaining 700 acres. This area provides a corridor to the timbered draws on the ranch and excellent deer and hog habitat. This area also has excellent grasses for further grazing opportunities.

The topography is generally flat, draining from northwest towards the Colorado River to the south and east. Elevation is approximately 90 – 95 feet. Two small creeks/draws traverse the ranch. The majority of the ranch is in the 100 year floodplain but is considered a low velocity hazard. The main structures are out of the 100 year floodplain. A very small piece of the property is found in the floodway.

Cattle:   The O.B. Ranch is a purebred cattle operation. As of this writing, the herd consists of 470 Registered Red Brangus. There is excellent infrastructure with respect to a rotational grazing program with over 40 pastures and several lanes throughout the ranch allowing for movement with minimal labor.

If the herd is desired, they can be purchased separately, but are not included in the ranch’s asking price. Further information about the herd is available to interested parties.

Wildlife:   Native game on the ranch include an excellent deer herd. Although rarely hunted in past, the deer are abundant in the hardwoods and brush areas of the ranch. The back of the ranch is located next to the heavily wooded Colorado River bottom which holds a high number of deer.

In addition there are numerous hogs, turkey, dove and quail to be found on the ranch for further hunting opportunities.

This area is known for excellent waterfowl hunting, and with some additions of wetland units, would make an excellent duck and goose property during the winter months.


The main home on the ranch is a recently re-modeled (new roof and paint) ranch style home built in the 1960’s by Oscar Griffin. The home has 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, with large living spaces, pool and spa room. The main structure is 6,940 square feet. The entire compound is beautifully landscaped and overlooks a two acre pond.

The Cattle working facilities are first class and include centralized working corrals, multiple traps with covered sheds, covered pipe pens, and show barn.

There is a mobile ranch office and a ranch foreman house located near the centralized cattle facility. There are also two smaller homes for housing cowboys.

Multiple barns, sheds and equipment barns are located on the property.

There is a historic “hacienda” style home built in the early part of the 20th century located on the property. Although it has fallen into disrepair, it would be an excellent candidate for restoration as the bones are all still there along with the landscaping and towering palm trees.

Water:    There are 4 working domestic wells and 2 windmills for cattle and homes. There are three rice irrigation wells no longer in service, and while the current owners do not know the shape of the casing, there is high volume groundwater available here. Bosque Slough bisects the ranch for approximately 2.75 miles and generally holds water year round and is excellent wildlife attractant.

Electricity:    Electricity is found throughout the ranch.

Minerals:    Currently, there are two producing wells, both located near the northern boundary of the ranch, and un-intrusive on the bulk of the property.

Sellers have significant mineral ownership and they are negotiable with the sale of the ranch.

History:     The O.B. Ranch has a rich history. It was once owned by wildcatter Johnny B. Ferguson, who was a race horse breeder. The ranch was home to Top Deck and three time world champion Go-Man-Go (1956,’57,’58), who along with Mr. Ferguson, were inducted into the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

In 1959, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson arranged a tour for a man viewed as likely to become a good, democracy supporting ally in the Caribbean. A barbecue was held, and this potential ally was presented with a prize racehorse from the ranch by Mr. Ferguson before his return to his home country. Unfortunately, the U.S. had misread the situation, and the man, Fidel Castro, went on to become the Communist Dictator of Cuba.

Price:   Asking $8,500,000 or $5,000/acre.



Agent(s): Jeff Boswell
713 304-8186
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