The Stuart Ranch is well located in western Palo Pinto County, with a small portion of the ranch extending into eastern Stephens County.
The Stuart Ranch was purchased by James Nesbit Stuart in the mid 1870's. The property has never, until now, been offered for sale. Mr. Stuart was an old-time cattleman, merchant, capitalist and early day settler. He and his young bride moved from Tennessee to Palo Pinto County in 1859. He started purchasing land and, over time became one of the largest landowners in the area. Besides being in the cattle business, he was actively involved in a lumber business, mercantile store, drug store, lumber yard, grocery store, and later, a hardware and feed trade business.
The topography of the Stuart Ranch is extremely diverse. The upland mesas have elevations ranging from 1,400 feet to 1,475 feet. These fairly level mesas have limestone rock side slopes descending to level and gently rolling live oak prairies. This productive prairie land then descends to scenic creek bottom areas with elevations ranging from 1,100 feet to 1,300 feet. Most of the side slopes and ridges throughout the Stuart Ranch have large fractured limestone boulder facings along the edges of the escarpments.
The main body of the ranch, which is located north of the highway, contains approximately 9,373 acres. The smaller portion of the ranch, to the south of the highway, contains approximately 2,285 acres.
Several major drainages run through the ranch. Bill's Creek and South Bill's Creek drain the southern one-third (1/3) of the property. The centerpiece of the Stuart Ranch is Ioni Creek. This very scenic creek and its numerous tributaries flows through the northern one-third (1/3) of the ranch for a distance of approximately 6 miles. With normal rainfall, these major drainages will have crystal clear flowing water for much of the year, especially during the cooler months. During the summer water flow decreases substantially, and during the hottest portion of the year these creeks may cease to flow but will still have large intermittent holes of water throughout.
A remote, but very picturesque area of the Stuart Ranch should be viewed by any serious prospect. This "must see" unique setting is only accessible by foot, but well worth the walk. Cool crystal clear spring water surfaces from a large fractured rock crevice in the limestone side slopes above Ioni Creek. As this flowing spring water exits the crevice, it immediately spreads throughout the tree covered rocky side slopes, creating numerous small water falls which ultimately splash into the creek. At times, it is estimated these springs run a couple of thousand gallons per minute, but decrease substantially during the hot summer. The water from these springs is cool and refreshing and nearby holes of water along Ioni Creek are typically 6-8 feet deep, offering a great place for summertime swimming. It was reported to the broker that these springs continued to flow throughout the recent 100 year drought of 2011-2014. Other smaller springs are scattered throughout the ranch. It is very common to view bass, perch, catfish and baitfish in the deeper, clear water holes along Ioni Creek and various tributaries.
The abundance of clear flowing water, rugged limestone rock outcrops and diverse topography give major portions of this ranch a scenic "Hill Country" appearance. When compared to the typical ranch in this area of Texas, the Stuart Ranch is considered somewhat unique, considerably more scenic and diverse. Besides the excellent live water features found on the property, other water sources include electric submersible water wells, waterlines with drinking troughs and a number of good dependable earthen ponds.
Access is provided by paved highway frontage.
The Stuart Ranch is modestly improved. Improvements include an older frame headquarters house which contains three-bedrooms and two-baths, a metal shop/barn, overhead supplement feed bin, pipe shipping pens with scales near the headquarters, and another large set of pipe pens located on the extreme south end of the ranch, south of the highway.
The ranch has historically been operated as a cow/calf ranching unit and the hunting rights are currently leased for the season. Historic stocking rates are in the neighborhood of 600 animal units. The ranch offers excellent hunting in the form of whitetail deer, turkey, quail and dove. Feral hogs also roam this area.
This long term ownership ranch is now on the market for the first time ever. The property is located in a desirable area and the topography, live water features and scenic views make the Stuart Ranch a property that anyone would be proud to own, operate and enjoy.
$1,500 per acre
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