Newby Family Ranch
Rock Springs, TX | $16500000
Acreage | 14,317.19
Location | Rock Springs, TX
County | Edwards
Status | Available
Price | $16,500,000
Email | [email protected]
Office | 806.763.5331
Direct | 806.786.0313
We are extremely honored to offer for sale the Newby Family Ranch, which has been continuously owned and operated by the same family for over 110 years.
Ranch ownership has spanned five generations, and now, for the first time ever, the ranch is for sale.
The Newby Ranch is located in northwestern Edwards County, an area where the Edwards Plateau is transitioning with the Texas Hill Country. More precisely, the property is approximately 28 miles south of Sonora and 22 miles west of Rocksprings. This area has an average rainfall of around 22” and a typical growing season of 250 days.
The ranch is accessible by county roads from both State Highways 277 and 377. There are no access easements through the property, (save and except for electrical power lines and a small amount of gas production on the northern portion of the property) and all exterior gates can be locked for privacy.
The Newby Ranch is fenced and cross fenced into eleven main pastures and traps, and each pasture has a reliable water source. Topography is extremely diverse, and elevations range from around 2,000 feet to nearly 2,300 feet. As is typical of this region, large rolling hills make up much of the ranch, often lined with juniper and oak, and throughout much of the lower elevation, mesquite, varieties of oak and other hardwoods, lotebush, yucca, prickly pear and other forbs are common. The Newby Ranch has been void of grazing livestock for several years, and native grasses are generally in very good condition. Of interest, one of the largest live oak trees in Texas is located on the Newby Ranch. This magnificent live oak is estimated to be over five hundred years old, as per Texas A&M Forest Service.
The ranch is influenced by both Buffalo Draw and Wittenburg Draw in the southern portions of the property, along with many limestone and granite hills, steep rugged ridges and steep canyons throughout the property. Numerous seasonal creeks and drainages run through the property.
Approximately 50% of the soils are described as Ector Rock Outcrop with 10%-60% slopes. Eckrant Rock Outcrop, Mailtrail very gravelly clay loam and Rio Diablo silt clay make up the majority of the remainder.
The Newby Family Ranch ownership spans five generations, encompassing 111 years, but has been comprised of only eight family members. The first land purchase was made when Hi Eastland came to Texas from Forest, Mississippi in 1908. There he was a licensed pharmacist who owned one of several pharmacies founded by his family. The business had been quite successful and was widely known in the South for their manufactured product “Eastland’s Antiseptic” which reportedly was acquired by a manufacturer from New Orleans. Hi, his wife Emma and their six-year-old daughter, Amanda Caperton, moved to Texas followed by freight wagons hauling their family treasures and beautiful pieces of furniture dating from the 1800s. He purchased more than thirteen thousand acres of the vast Ed Jackson Estate Ranch in Edwards County, paying one dollar per acre. The ranch was run for many years as a successful sheep and goat operation, with cattle and horses as secondary livestock and abundant wildlife.
Ranching was tough in the early years, but Hi was enterprising. To make ends meet in the years leading up to World War I, he sold bat guano (a natural fertilizer high in nitrate and useful in the production of gunpowder for ammunition) out of a large cave located on the property. The bat guano was bagged, lifted by an A-Frame elevator from the bat cave, slid down a metal slide that traversed the hillside to waiting trucks that transported it to the railroad depot in Del Rio for shipment to Meridian, Mississippi where a fertilizer plant was owned by Hi’s “Uncle Seab” Eastland.
The Eastland’s soon built a home in Sonora, thirty miles to the north, so Amanda could attend public school. She later graduated with a degree in elementary education from Howard Payne College in Brownwood where she had also been crowned “Football Sweetheart” at the homecoming game. She began her teaching career in Rocksprings which put her at the scene of the devastating tornado that hit the town in April 1927. When the storm ended the town was in shambles with many of its citizens dead or injured and with no way to call other communities for help. Frightened but uninjured, Amanda discovered that her car had been destroyed beneath Fleischer’s garage. She found a student with a car and together they drove, in search of help, thirty miles to the Eastland’s ranch headquarters where they called Sonora and Del Rio to summon aid for Rocksprings.
While teaching in Rocksprings, she met a young, local banker, Byron Newby, from nearby Junction. They married on Valentine’s Day in 1928 and had one son, Hi Eastland Newby on December 8, 1929. The Eastland’s and Newby’s continued ranching operations over the years, and Hi Eastland Newby, M.D. returned to Del Rio and practiced medicine after graduating from Baylor College of Medicine. The land remains in the hands of the Newby Family members and additional property has been acquired over the years.
The ranch headquarters is located in a scenic setting, surrounded by high hills and rugged ridges. Improvements at the ranch headquarters include the ranch manager’s home, a bunkhouse, cook-shack, laundry/storage room and several sheds and outbuildings.
The ranch manager’s home, like most of the structural improvements on the ranch, has been well maintained. This home contains three bedrooms, a small office and two bathrooms. The bunkhouse is in good usable condition and contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This home has been used for family, friends, hunting trips, etc., and it’s not uncommon for groups of up to 10-12 to occupy this home on weekends. When large groups are on the ranch, everything centers around the cook-shack. Several memorable evenings have been spent watching wildlife under splendid sunsets while enjoying Hi Newby’s famous ribeye steaks.
As previously stated, the Newby Ranch is fenced into eleven main pastures and traps. Each pasture has access to adequate amounts of reliable water, and overall, the water infrastructure on the ranch appears to be in good condition. Four working windmills and four submersible electric water wells supply water to the property. A typical windmill or electric water well installation will include a large concrete/rock water storage supplying water to low lying sheep/goat concrete drinking troughs. There are several miles of poly waterline that supply water to more remote reaches of the property ensuring a good distribution of water through the property.
The ranch lies above the Edwards Aquifer, one of the most prolific artesian aquifers in the world, which extends across much of the southwestern part of the state. Most of the wells on the Newby Ranch are reported to be in the range of 200’-400’ in depth. According to the Texas Water Development Board website, water quality ranges from fresh to slightly saline. Water enters the Edwards Aquifer in two ways, either falling as precipitation and percolating directly into the aquifer, or as streamflow flowing through the Recharge Zone.
Hunting & Recreation
As with much of this region, wildlife flourishes on the Newby Ranch. Whitetail, axis, and fallow deer are all especially common, along with barbary sheep (commonly referred to as aoudad sheep), and Rio Grande Turkey. An elk herd migrates through much of the southern portion of the property.
The ranch has been under a wildlife management program. The ranch is not leased for hunting currently; however, the Newby Family continues supplementing wildlife at multiple locations throughout the property.
The Newby Ranch is rich in history, wildlife and natural resources and offers year-round recreational activities. Picture your family four wheeling, riding ATV’s or UTV’s, or stargazing with almost no light pollution, hunting for Indian artifacts and exploring the centuries old oak trees along the banks of many seasonal creeks and ephemeral streams. Imagine watching the sun set over the hills near the bat cave as tens of thousands of Mexican Bats emerge for their evening feeding or seeing the migration of the majestic monarch butterfly coming across the ridges.
In recent years exploration for natural gas in the area has yielded some new wells, all located on the northwestern portion of the Newby Ranch. These wells are located in the Adams Tank and No. 1 Pasture and all traffic associated with these wells is strictly monitored. The Newby Family reportedly owns all the minerals on and under the main body of the ranch (12,273 ± acres). While the ranch offering does not include minerals, the family has agreed that they are potentially willing to convey a portion of the minerals with an acceptable offer.
The ranch is very realistically priced at $16,500,000, or approximately $1,152.50 per acre. It is seldom that an offering such as the Newby Ranch becomes available in this part of the state. Property taxes are reasonable, being approximately $12,130 per year.
The Newby Family intends to use a portion of the proceeds from this sale to further its philanthropic efforts. Recent funding has been directed to the study of Alzheimer’s Disease at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in memory of Darlene Northcutt Newby.
Please contact Charlie Middleton at 806.786.0313 for more information or a private showing.