High Lonesome Ranch

The High Lonesome Ranch was one of five early ranches in Lea County. Below is a brief recap of how it got its start.

Two men named Dwight P. Atwood and Roswell A. Neal, along with other investors, had formed the Mallett Cattle Company in the state of Connecticut during 1883 with headquarters near Colorado City, Texas. At one point, their holdings had extended from West Texas on further north and west to into New Mexico, in Lea County, with total holdings of around ninety thousand acres. During the 1890s, due to various factors, the company’s fortunes had declined to the point where it was forced to take bankruptcy in 1893.

Bankruptcy receivers sold off assets to different individuals and companies. D. P. Earnest, a manager of one of the ranches, acquired some of the property in Howard and Mitchell counties of Texas. Two individuals out of San Antonio named Halff acquired more of the Texas property and incorporated it into their Quien Sabe Ranch. Another buyer in West Texas was Theodore Schuster who operated a livestock business there for a short time, but ultimately sold out to David DeVitt and John Scharbauer around 1895 who set up their own entity and called it the Mallet Ranch. Three people out of Midland, Texas were headed up by Allen C. Heard acquired the Lea County property and named it the High Lonesome Ranch.

It apparently took its name from the surrounding terrain, which included the highest point of the Llano Estacado between Midland and Roswell. In addition to A. C. Heard (1858 – 1944), other owners are believed to have been John Thomas White (1868 – 1926) and Jesse Heard (1845 – 1911).

Map attributed to J. W. Runyan, from Hobbs and Lea County by Max A. Clampitt

We have also occasionally seen the ranch referred to in newspaper articles as “Highlonesome,” without a dash or a space between the two words. We also see some references to a ghost town with the one word name but it is described as a one pump gas station, and exact location of it is currently unknown.

For more information about the entire Mallet Ranch that High Lonesome came from, see Mallet Ranch.


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