Post Office at Chapman Ranch
Photo by John Troesser
a Cotton Boll
In 1919, The King
Ranch sold off over 34,000 acres to Mr. Phillip Chapman. Chapman was
already a landholder in Oklahoma and East Texas. His son J.O. Chapman
managed "Nueces Farms" as the tract was then called.
After dividing the land into 160 acre parcels, the land was leased
to tenant farmers. In 1924 Nueces Farms became Chapman Ranch.
With 20,000 acres in cultivation, the Ranch was billed as the world's
largest mechanized farm. Experiments were conducted with both crops
and machinery. Implements were introduced for improved cotton
production and even a specific strain of cotton
was developed on the ranch.
The schools were consolidated with those in nearby Corpus
Christi. The heirs of the Chapman family continue to run the ranch
and cotton is still the main
crop. As Corpus
Christi continues to expand closer to the ranch, it remains a
distinct and separate town, however a very sparsely populated town.
The idea behind Chapman Ranch as a stand-alone co-operative operation
- would've perhaps worked well in other cotton
producing parts of the state.
only remaining business in the huge "Commissary" building
comically large building that once held an automobile agency, grocery,
post office, barber shop, hardware and other stores, today contains
only the post office.
The date 1925 can still be seen in the decorative details of the
two schools that stand solidly today.
Photo by John Troesser
Production in Nueces County
transferring cotton to hopper
unloading cotton into compactor
compressed bale after being compacted
Photos by John Troesser
Chapman Ranch History
I was doing some casual web browsing around Corpus Christi when
I came across Chapman Ranch. One of the first photos I saw on your
site was the old Post Office.
My motherís older sister, Eunice Brown, was the post master and
I remember as a child and teenager going out to visit her many times
in that building. Her husband and son, Arthur Brown and Arthur ďRedĒ
Brown Jr. use to farm land there for several years. Some of my earliest
memories of Chapman Ranch were that my father and mother wanted
me to have a sense of the value or hard work; so they sent me out
to my cousinís, Arthur Brown Jr., to do some work on the farm. After
hand-picking some cotton, scraping and repainting cotton trailers,
storing hay bales in the barn and finally cleaning off cotton fibers
that accumulated around the spindles on the cotton pickers, I soon
realized that this much hard work wasnít for me. It was a lesson
well learned for a teenager who wasnít so fond of school.
Thank you for preserving our small town histories. Iím going to
forward this link to my cousin, who now lives in Boerne, Tx. Iím
sure he it will bring back lots of memories. - Rodger Olson,
Sugar Land, Texas, October 07, 2011
My father Wayne Carroll and mother Geneva Carroll, origionally from
moved to the Ranch in November 1949. My father was a farmer farming
Mrs. Berta C Cunningham's land. Many of the farmers came from the
north Texas areas where the Chapman's already owned land. E. H.
Kirkpatrick was one of the earliest farmers to the ranch, along
with the Rackley's. More from the north Texas area were Roland Barns
and Winston Johnston, Euel Prince, Max Gattling, and the Flyin'
Dutchman Dutch Kirkpatrick. One of the Post Masters for the Ranch
was Mrs. Brown back in the 50's. Mrs. Cunningham was the daughter
of Mr. Chapman. Mrs. Cunningham had one child Leita May Hight which
in turn had two children Roger Hight and Roxanna Hight. Most of
the old timers are now gone. We lost Mr. Kirkpatrick is December
2004 and Harry Lee White in February 2005.
The ranch has changed forever but it's still home even I don't live
there any longer. For more history on the ranch, please visit the
Ranch Post Office where many newspaper articles are posted on the
walls of its history and residents. Also contact John Chapman, one
of the heirs of the ranch. - Martha Sue Carroll, February 16, 2005
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact