"Sauz" is a Spanish word for the native black willow tree (Salix nigra) found in alluvial soils and other wet areas in the eastern two-thirds of Texas.

El Sauz Ranch was established in 1792 when Jose Narciso Cavazos purchased the San Juan de Carricitos land grant from the Spanish government and stocked it with cattle. Encompassing more than 584,000 acres, this was the largest Spanish land grant in south Texas.

Captains Richard King and Mifflin Kenedy eventually bought much of the land in the grant, and in 1874 Edward B. Raymond was hired to manage the El Sauz Division of King Ranch.

A ranch house was built in 1884. The Brownsville to Alice stage-line began to use it as a stopover, and it developed into a small community with Raymond serving as telegraph operator and postmaster, a schoolhouse and a commissary.

The post office operated from 1893 to 1915. The El Sauz School District was established on March 6, 1925 and operated until the mid-1950s. The ranch house withstood numerous hurricanes but was ultimately demolished in 1980 after almost 100 years of service.

George Durham, the famous Texas Ranger, succeeded Raymond as foreman of El Sauz. Duhram rode with a special force of Texas Rangers led by Captain L. H. McNelly. These Rangers were dispatched to restore order to the Nueces Strip, the untamed country along the Texas/Mexico border. A thrilling account of their adventures is available in his book, Taming The Nueces Strip – The Story of McNelly's Rangers. After the force was disbanded, Durham served as Captain King's bodyguard for some time before marrying Caroline Chamberlain and moving to El Sauz. He was succeeded by two of his sons (George Durham, Jr. and Bland Durham) and a nephew (Beto Durham).


Map and Directions

El Sauz Ranch Headquarters is Located approximately 13 miles east of Raymondville, TX. Port Mansfield is literally right across the fence!

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge forms our Southern Border.

(Clink on map to enlarge)


El Sauz is no longer part of King Ranch. It was partitioned in recent history and is now owned and operated independently of King Ranch, Inc.

Copyright © 2011Horn, Fin and Feather