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DULL'S RANCH, TEXAS
AKA Dulls Ranch or The Dull Ranch

Texas Ghost Town
La Salle County, South Texas
Most of NE LaSalle County -
including present-day Fowlerton and Los Angeles, Texas
Headquarters was about 15 Miles from Cotulla
Population: 0

Book Hotel Here > Cotulla Hotels

History in 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.
William Sydney Porter as a young man in Austin TX
The Future Writer as Fop
Wikimedia Commons

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.

William Sydney Porter
in a more dignified pose

Wikimedia Commons
La Salle County Dull's Ranch, TX  info
La Salle County Dull's Ranch, TX  1889 Postmark
Cover cancelled with Dull's Ranch, Texas 1889 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

See also: Dull, Texas

Dull's Ranch, Texas
Area Destinations:

Cotulla
San Antonio
Laredo
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