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    CHAPMAN RANCH, TEXAS

    Nueces County, Texas Gulf Coast
    Highway 286 and FM 70
    22 miles East of Bishop
    7 miles South of Corpus Christi

    Population: 100 (2000)

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    Post office in Chapman Ranch, Texas
    The Post Office at Chapman Ranch
    Photo by John Troesser

    History in 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.
    commissary building in Chapman Ranch
    The only remaining business in the huge "Commissary" building
    School dated 1925

    A 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

    Cotton Production in Nueces County

    cotton picker
    Cotton picker in action
    cotton picker and hopper
    Picker transferring cotton to hopper
    cotton compactor at work
    Hopper unloading cotton into compactor
    compressed bale
    The compressed bale after being compacted

    Photos by John Troesser
    Chapman Ranch, Texas Forum
  • Subject: 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

  • Subject: Chapman Ranch
    My father Wayne Carroll and mother Geneva Carroll, origionally from Waxahachie, TX, 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

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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
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