a Pecan Shell
The expansive ranch
had formerly been known as Waugh's Rancho after William A.
Waugh, the first Anglo settler in La Salle County. It was also called
the Jahuey Ranch, after the nearby creek.
During the 1870s, Waugh's ranch headquarters was one of the stops
between Laredo and San
Antonio. A store was opened for the mutual benefit of travelers
and local residents. After the post office opened under the name Waugh's
Rancho, the spread was bought by two brothers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
in the 1880s.
The new owners, James J. and Andrew J. Dull had the name of the post
office changed to Dull's Ranch in 1889. The Dull Brothers sold
their holdings in 1901 although the post office remained open for
a few more years. Dull's Ranch ceased to be, even as the communities
of Los Angeles and
Fowlerton were being developed.
|The Future Writer
The most illustrious
resident (or working guest) of Dull's Ranch was the writer William
Sydney Porter, better known to millions worldwide as O. Henry. Licensed
as a pharmacist in North Carolina, a sickly young Porter was advised
to go west for his health. The man who suggested the journey was
Dr. James Hall, a close family friend. Some of Hall's relatives
managed portions of the Dull Ranch and soon Porter was employed
herding sheep. Mrs. Hall had an exceptional library for such a primitive
setting and over the next few years, young Porter read his way through
it. Left alone with his imagination and his dictionary (with few
demands from his sheep), Porter soaked up the details of Texas
ranch life like a thirsty sponge. His western-themed stories
were all influenced by his Dull experience.
The Halls moved to Williamson County in 1884 and Porter moved to
Austin where the photograph
above was taken.
in a more dignified pose
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact