Coats Rose Helps the Historic XIT Ranch Come Home to Texas

HOUSTON – Coats Rose attorney Roger Scales represents The XIT Ranch.  The XIT Ranch was once the largest working cattle ranch in the world. It was one of the legendary ranches in Texas and mentioned in the same breath as the Waggoner Ranch, the 6666 (Four Sixes) Ranch, and the King Ranch. From its founding in 1885, the massive ranch covered over three million acres of land in over ten counties in the Texas Panhandle, stretching out for over 200 miles north to south and 30 miles east to west along the Texas – New Mexico border. That’s big, even by Texas standards!

The XIT acquired its land from the State of Texas in exchange for funding the construction of the current state capitol building in Austin. During the following years, the XIT conveyed portions of the ranch to others, and by the 1960’s, the last of the old XIT ranch holdings had been sold. It was seemingly the end of the XIT.

In the spring of 2022, 60 years after the XIT disappeared from the plains of the Texas panhandle, Drew Knowles, a Colorado rancher, and a descendant of the original owners of the old XIT Ranch, began to fulfill a life-long dream of re-acquiring some of the old XIT Ranch lands.

Drew identified an 11,500-acre ranch in Hartley County, Texas that was for sale, and most importantly, was once part of the old XIT Ranch. Drew recognized some issues with the mineral estate ownership and determined that he needed some expert assistance with that part of the transaction. He reached out to Coats Rose attorney Roger Scales, who not only has spent his entire career in the oil and gas business but has a family history of farming and ranching. It was a good match.

With Roger’s assistance, the mineral interest ownership of the land was clarified, a plan was developed for future detailed mineral title examination, and a variety of practical matters affecting the future ranching operation were negotiated with the seller and resolved. The near $14 million land sale successfully closed on May 5, 2022.

Roger and the team at Coats Rose are pleased to have played a role in bringing descendants of the Farwell family and the historic XIT brand back to Texas!

Welcome home, XIT!



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