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Never Before Seen Photographs of Waggoner Ranch Vol. 2

Last week, we showed you never before seen photographs of the Waggoner Ranch from Jeremy’s archives. This week, we’re back with more. The images below come from Jeremy’s archive of more than 14,000 images from his five visits to the ranch. From behind the scenes shots of Jeremy at work to more photographs of that beautiful Texas sky, we think you’ll love the gallery.

Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more ranch life photos of these Texas cowboys. To see Jeremy’s current photography projects, follow him on Instagram @jeremyenlow.

 

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is now in its third printing, made right here in Texas. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to The Waggoner Ranch Cowboys Fund.

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Never Before Seen Photographs of Waggoner Ranch

During the making of Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch, Jeremy Enlow visited the ranch five times and captured more than 14,000 images. This week, we’ve gone through the archives and are excited to show you never before seen photographs of the Waggoner.

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch documents 26 cowboys on the largest ranch under one fence in the United States. Jeremy received exclusive access to photograph the ranching operations in the months preceding the sale of the ranch. Established in 1849 by Dan Waggoner, the ranch was family owned until its sale in February of this year.  We’re honored that Jeremy had the opportunity to photograph the ranch before it changed hands. He self-published and independently distributed the book, allowing him to tell the cowboys’ story just as he saw it.

“The cowboys, some whom have worked on the ranch for over 40 years, don’t have computers or four wheelers.  They cowboy the way it was done 50-75 years ago.  I wanted to document this way of life for younger generations before it disappears.” -Jeremy Enlow

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At 510,572 acres, the Waggoner is half the size of Rhode Island. The land is contiguous and contained behind one fence.

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A morning breakfast spread at the now closed cook shack. Just look at that gravy!

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Much of the Waggoner is wild and untamed. Rattle snakes, wild animals, and the dusty terrain don’t keep the cowboys from doing their job.

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Cassidy “Butch” Chambliss is considering becoming a veterinarian when she grows up. As it is, she’s already a seasoned cowgirl and does her fair share of work during spring branding.

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Waggoner Ranch cowboy Lane Sharp rides after the Remuda. The Waggoner stretches behind him as far as the eye can see.

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Bobby Daniel (left), Ricky Rios (center), and Luke Rios (right) enjoy a lighthearted conversation during their morning ride. Bobby Daniel started cowboying for the ranch in 1965, Ricky in 1982. Ricky’s son, Luke, is already skilled at lending a hand around the ranch.

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Jeremy’s youngest daughter, Clara, posed for test shots before Jeremy shot the cowboys’ portraits. We think she makes a pretty good cowgirl!

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Above, George Calvin Self multitasks, the cowboy way.

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Bobby Daniel retired this year after 51 years as Waggoner cowboy. You can see more of our favorite images of Mr. Daniel here.

 

See more photographs of this Texas icon

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be posting more never before seen images from Jeremy’s archives. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any. If you enjoy these photographs, be sure to order the Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch book. A limited number of copies are available, and books ship free in the United States!

 

“Being a life long Texan (and you’ll understand this if you’re one too), I have seen more than my fair share of “The Cowboy Life” portrayed in the worst way by some slick New York or Los Angeles artist/producer/photographer/journalist… In my travels, it never fails, that I am presented with some misconceived and ill informed lore of how Texas, Cowboys, and country life [is] portrayed elsewhere. So when I heard about this book – I was naturally skeptical, and fully expected some mockery and over zealous portrayal of country bumpkins, akin to another horrible Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland performance.. I was horribly, horribly WRONG.”  Amazon book review, (May 7, 2016)

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Jeremy Enlow on KFDX

In August, Jeremy Enlow visited Wichita Falls to attend the Texas Ranch Roundup. The Waggoner Ranch cowboys were present, cooking at the chuck wagon and competing in the rodeo. While there, he spoke with Samaria Terry of KFDX about recent changes on the Waggoner Ranch.

“Any new owners coming in, there’s going to be changes. But some of these changes going on are going to be hard for the cowboys and it’s hard for the communities around here. The Waggoner family was so instrumental in helping the communities. They were civic leaders and those are big shoes to fill.” – Jeremy Enlow, speaking with KFDX

Jeremy Enlow was interviewed on KFDX about recent changes on the Waggoner Ranch

Samaria Terry sat down with Jeremy Enlow for the story “What Lies Ahead for the Waggoner Ranch.” The interview aired on KFDX Texoma’s Homepage News

The interview took place shortly after news broke that Stan Kroenke was forcing Lake Diversion residents to vacate their homes.  This controversial decision has ignited passionate discussions about Kroenke’s new role at the ranch. Discussing what inspired him to make the book, Enlow said:

“I was hoping to preserve this way of life not only for future generations, but also for the new owner. To actually see the faces of the employees out there. To actually see the families and what they go through. And especially now I think that this is more important than ever, because decisions about the Waggoner Ranch are being made in Montana and Los Angeles.” 

You can read more about the KFDX interview here. To join in the discussion, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cowboys at The Modern

Are you in Fort Worth? Stop by The Modern and you’ll see Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch in the gift shop!

You can purchase the book at The Modern in Fort Worth

It’s an honor to have the book available in this museum. The Modern’s collection encompasses more than 2,600 post-WWII objects. The museum has played an important role in Fort Worth and has an internationally recognized collection. #TexasTrivia: The Modern was established in 1892 as the “Fort Worth Public Library and Art Gallery.” Over the years, the name and location have evolved. The current building was designed by Tadao Ando and is as remarkable as the collection inside. Jeremy had the pleasure of photographing Tadao Ando at the museum shortly before it opened.

You can find the book in the back of the gift shop, surrounded by other unique Texan and equestrian themed objects.

Local tip: admission is free every Sunday, so stop on by to view some great art and pick a copy of Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch!

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Texas Ranch Roundup Highlights

Thanks to everyone who came out to see Jeremy at the Texas Ranch Roundup! It was great to see so many of you, and spend time with the cowboys. Here are some snapshots of the event. How many Waggoner Cowboys  do you recognize?

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The Waggoner Ranch competed in the Texas Ranch Roundup Rodeo, which features historic ranches.

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Another favorite part of the event took place at the Waggoner Ranch chuck wagon. Here, George Calvin Self and his wife Teresa fixed up some good Texan food.

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We also ran into cowboy Randy Barnett. If you’ve been following the blog, you might recognize him from this post.

Waggoner Ranch cowboys competed in the rodeo at the Texas Ranch Roundup

Jeremy had a great time attending the rodeo!

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George Calvin Self and Jimbo Glover were two of the cowboys Jeremy saw at the chuck wagon. Before cowboys came into the cook shack, they used to eat off the chuck wagon!

Jeremy Enlow at the Texas Ranch Roundup

Jeremy’s daughter Libby attended the Ranch Roundup with him. It was great getting to see so many of you at the booth. We even ran out of books! Thanks for supporting Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch. A portion of your purchase benefits The Waggoner Ranch Cowboys Fund.

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Texas Ranch Roundup

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch will be at the Texas Ranch Roundup this week! We hope you’ll come out and see us. Jeremy will be signing books at the Ranch Roundup, and books will be available for purchase.

  • 3-7 p.m. Friday, August 19 in the Exhibit Hall at the Waggoner’s Boot Center booth
  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, August 20 in the Exhibit Hall at the Waggoner’s Boot Center booth

Jeremy Enlow will be signing books at the Texas Ranch Roundup

The Texas Ranch Roundup is celebrating its 36th year. The event will be “showcasing historic ranches, the hard work of true cowboys and every facet of ranch life.” This is your chance to see a great event, get a copy of the book, and meet Jeremy!

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch Gives Back

When you buy Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch, you’re giving back to Texas cowboys. A portion of the proceeds from every book sold benefits The Waggoner Ranch Cowboys Fund. This fund was set up by the woking cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch. In the past, these funds have been used for purchasing livestock from local kids participating in stock shows, scholarships, and medical expenses due to on the job injuries.

Every book sold benefits The Waggoner Ranch Cowboys Fund

Jeremy Enlow was inspired to make the book after visiting the ranch. “I wanted to document this way of life for younger generations before it disappears,” he says. He photographed and published the book independently to tell the cowboys’ stories. Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is not affiliated with the current or past owners of the ranch; the lack of affiliation let Jeremy tell the story just as he saw it.

A Changing Way of Life on the Ranch

We’re even more grateful Jeremy documented the ranch after Stan Kroenke’s controversial decision to force Lake Diversion residents out of their homes put the ranch in the news last week.  This book captures the final months of family ownership on the Waggoner Ranch — and a way of life that is rapidly changing. Earlier this year, the new owner closed the bunkhouse for single cowboys and the cook shack.

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch tells the story of the living legends who work on the largest ranch under one fence in the United States. As life on the ranch begins to change, we are proud to be able to give back to the cowboys who work so hard and inspire us.

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Waggoner Ranch in the News

The Waggoner Ranch made news Friday for a story that saddens us deeply. Texoma’s Homepage News reports that hundreds of Lake Diversion residents are being forced to leave their homes by the ranch’s new owner, Stan Kroenke.  This move by Kroenke, who purchased the ranch in February, is the latest in a string of changes on the ranch, which include closing the cook shack and bunkhouse.

Hundreds of Lake Diversion Residents are being forced to leave their homes by Stan Kroenke, the new owner of the Waggoner Ranch

Family ties on the Waggoner Ranch run deep. Many Lake Diversion residents have called the ranch their home for generations. According to Texoma’s Homepage News, the residents have received notice to vacate the premises and remove all property by January 31. You can watch NBC TV 3’s video coverage of this story here.

Lake Diversion residents own their homes but lease the land underneath. According to a GoFundMe page set up by a resident’s family member, homeowners were assured by the Waggoner family that any future owners would honor the lease. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

We are saddened by this news and will continue to follow the story closely. Our thoughts are with the many families facing the loss of their homes.

Updated August 11, 2016:

Outrage at Stan Kroenke’s decision to force out Lake Diversion residents has grown throughout the week. The Dallas Morning News picked up the story, saying, “Los Angeles Rams owner and billionaire Stan Kroenke is making people move again.” That’s right, again. Kroenke sparked the ire of St. Louis residents when he bought the St. Louis Rams then relocated them to Los Angeles. The team’s move inspired lawyer Terry Crouppen to take out a #SlamStan Super Bowl ad.  The ad aired exclusively in the St. Louis area.

Of course, losing your local football team is hard; but losing your family’s home creates hardships than seem nearly impossible to overcome. Annette McNeil, a Lake Diversion resident, contacted the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after seeing the notice requiring residents to leave by January 31. The article published by the paper reveals the real struggle these residents are facing:

“McNeil said a neighbor recently spent nearly $40,000 renovating his place. She said another finalized a cabin purchase just six months ago. She said another received sticker shock when he requested an estimate to move his small metal house: $10,000.”

The residents of Lake Diversion trusted the ranch owners to respect the history of the ranch and continue the land lease. As that situation changes, many elderly and fixed income residents are facing enormous financial hardship, as well as the emotional blow of losing their homes.

Follow us on Facebook for more updates as this story develops. 

Author’s note: Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is not affiliated with the past or current owners of the ranch in any way. This book was independently published to document the lives of the working cowboys on the ranch. 

See the Land Behind the Fence

At 510,572 acres, the land of the Waggoner Ranch is Texas-sized and beautiful. The terrain changes as you ride across it, reflecting its vast size. It sold this year in what The Land Report calls “the deal of the century,” yet many have never seen behind the ranch’s fence. Here are some of our favorite shots of the land that makes up this historic ranch:

The Waggoner Ranch sold this year in what is being called the deal of the century

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John Davidson, former Dallas Morning News Director of Photography, advised Jeremy to take aerial shots of the ranch while he was shooting the book. Jeremy heeded his advice, capturing stunning images from a helicopter that showcase the vast size of the Waggoner.

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The Waggoner Ranch is half the size of Rhode Island, and boasts livestock, oil, 26,000 acres in cultivation, and a lake that provides water to the city of Wichita Falls. It truly is a Texas wonder – particularly when you see it at sunrise (below).

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Much of the Waggoner Ranch is wild and untamed, home to horny toads and rattlesnakes alike. The cowboys who work here are accustomed to dealing with the elements and the wildlife that lives here.

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For more pictures of the Waggoner Ranch, order Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch. Books ship free in the United States!

“The land on the Waggoner is beautiful, but it’s the Cowboys on the ranch that make it a special place.” -Jeremy Enlow

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A Cowboy’s Best Friend

Cowboys on the Waggoner Ranch work hard, but they’re not the only ones. The cowboys rely on horses to get the job done as they travel across the wild expanses of the ranch. On the Waggoner, a single pasture can span 6,000-10,000 acres (small pens are often 300-400 acres!). The horses and cowboys work hard day in and day out tending to the cattle.

Waggoner Ranch cowboys and their horses

Daley Welch saddles up his horse on the Waggoner Ranch

Bobby Daniel, long time Waggoner Ranch cowboy, riding his horse

There’s no pecking order as the cowboys line up across the horse pen each morning. “It’s like church, sitting in the same pew every Sunday,” explains cowboy John Paul Welch. “Everybody just stands in the same place.” At Wagon Boss Jimbo Glover’s signal, the cowboys call out the name of a horse on their string they want to ride that day. Oftentimes, the horses don’t volunteer; instead, they turn their backs on Jimbo and Straw Boss Ryan Wells, who rope them for the cowboys.

Horses on the Waggoner Ranch have a rich history. Poco Bueno was born on the ranch in 1944, and many of the horses who live there come from his lineage. To see more photos of the incredible Waggoner Ranch horses, follow us on Pinterest.

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