Sunday, August 2, 2015

XIT Ranch

This is an interesting picture of a Cowboy Camp on the XIT ranch in Texas. The picture was taken in 1902. The story of the XIT is an interesting one. In the 1800's, Texas needed a new capital building. The building they wanted to build would cost $3,000,000, which at the time was a fortune. To raise money for the building, the state sold a tract of 3,000,000 acres to a group of investors. I have read that there were ten investors, so the X stands for ten . . . XIT stands for Ten In Texas. This ranch became one of the largest ranches in the country.

The rules for cowboys working the XIT were strict, including:
  • No employee was allowed to carry any weapons for offense or self-defense.
  • Gambling or card-playing of any description was strictly prohibited.
  • No liquor or intoxicating beverages were allowed to employees during their time of service.
  • No employees were allowed to hunt wild game on any of the XIT horses.
  • Employees were not allowed to own any of the horses or cattle on the ranch.
I have read some analysis that indicates that if you look at the value of the land that was given for the XIT, including oil and other mineral revenue, it makes the Texas Capitol the most expensive building in the world. Even if this is the case, the Texas Capitol is a beautiful building that we are still quiet proud of.


  1. Very interesting info.

  2. With rules that strict, how did they get cowboys to sign up? Or was it *because* the rules were so strict? I'm just reading about Alaskan history, and a lot of the violence there was between the wild men and those used to a strict way of life. Rules such as those working and living on the XIT would mean everyone was living the same way of life. I guess that would appeal to some men. Looks like it worked, for the most part, since the investors got their building.

    1. MY great uncle worked the Llano Estacado. He was a very intelligent strictly Baptist man. In some of his published stories he made it very clear that most of the men he worked with were very respectable. indeed most of the men were "good guys". it's the movies that make it look like they were all a bunch of hooligans and outlaws.

  3. The XIT did not stand for Ten In Texas, That brand was made up to prevent rustlers from overbrandind it.


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