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Jeremy’s photographs of the Waggoner Ranch document many iconic aspects of the ranch.  Taken a year before the ranch sold to Stan Kroenke, they capture the ranch right before its historic change of hands, preserving a way of life for future generations. Some things have changed on the Waggoner since then, including the closing of the Waggoner Ranch cook shack. As time passes, this photographic history of the ranch becomes increasingly precious.

Debbie’s cooking philosophy was simple: “Lots of calories,” she laughs. None of it goes to waste. The cowboys filled their plates from the cafeteria-style line up of from-scratch comfort food. When the cook shack was open, Debbie made breakfast and lunch six days a week for the twenty-six cowboys.

You can see more photos of the Waggoner Ranch cook shack here, and what it looked like in the 1980s here.

Jeremy Enlow of Steel Shutter Photography photographed the cow camp at the Waggoner Ranch

It takes a lot of coffee to be a cowboy.

Debbie’s cooking was always mouthwateringly delicious and filling.

Weldon Hawley, right, is always the last to eat and the first to head to work.

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Everyday Grit

“I was shocked a ranch this size still existed with so many Cowboys still practicing cowboying the way it was done 100 years ago, with just their ropes and horses.  The land on the Waggoner is beautiful, but it’s the Cowboys on the ranch that make it a special place.” -Jeremy Enlow

The Waggoner Ranch cowboys work hard to keep the ranch’s cattle camp operations going. A work week is 5 and a half days long, averaging 10 hours per day.  “When I started thirty years ago, we had two vehicles,” says Weldon Hawley. “We rode in the camper in the back of the wagon boss’ truck. The chuck wagon was out (instead of cowboys driving in to eat at the cook shack). We have radios and cell phones and the helicopter. Everything else is about the same as it always has been.”

Cowboying this way is a hard, demanding way of life that requires a lot of grit. As predictable as their work is, any number of things – the weather, a startled horse, a debilitating accident, disease taking hold of the herd – can change everything in a moment. Cowboys are accustomed to uncertainty. They face each new day as it comes, making the best of it.

These are the cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch.

Jeremy Enlow of Steel Shutter photography documented the Waggoner Ranch in 2015

Waggoner Ranch near Vernon, TX photographed by Dallas advertising photographer Jeremy Enlow

Jeremy Enlow is a Dallas / Fort Worth advertising and media photographer

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Cowgirl of the Waggoner Ranch

In Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranchone cowgirl stands out. Cassidy “Butch” Chambliss lends a hand on the ranch during the summer. Well acquainted with the work at hand, she helps show the younger kids the ropes, too. The initiative modeled by the Waggoner cowboys is demonstrated in the way she works. Nobody has to tell her to hurry up or pay attention, the Waggoner work ethic having been instilled the previous summer. Not intimidated by the heat or the dust or the cattle, Butch hasn’t decided whether she wants to be a veterinarian or a cowgirl.

A Waggoner Ranch veteran, Butch Chambliss loves riding horses

Eleven-year-old Cassidy works with the cowboys during summer vacation. “Everybody calls me Butch,” she says. “I’ve been riding since I was two years old.” When Jeremy visited the ranch, she was happy to be riding her favorite horse, Romeo. “He likes to go fast!” she says with a grin.

You can see Cassidy riding Romeo in photos from Jeremy’s archives here.

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Merry Christmas, Y’all

‘Twas the week of Christmas, and all around the ranch all the cowboys were working the DDD brand. “The only weather we don’t work in is rain and lightning and when it’s too hot for the stock,” says ranch manager Weldon Hawley. Cowboys work ten hours a day, five and a half days a week. “There’s always enough cowboys around for an emergency, like fighting a grassfire or something,” says Jimbo Glover. “Somebody asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you get big?’ and I said, ‘I ain’t going to be a fireman, I’ll tell you.’”

 

Cowboys practice old-fashioned virtues. “Integrity is what the world’s missing now,” Weldon Hawley says. “There’s a lot of pride in their work, a bunch more so than anywhere else.”

Arriving at the pasture where they’ll work, the cowboys unload their horses and mount up in the faint glow of the moon and their vehicles’ lights.

“To do this, you just have to love it,” says Weldon Hawley. And the Waggoner cowboys do love their work; you can see it in every face as they ride out into the pasture. They are a living image of the American West. And this is an opportunity to see who they really are. These are the cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch.

 

Whether you’re reading from the city or the ranch, we hope you have a very merry Christmas. Don’t have a copy of Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch yet? There’s still time to get yours in time for Christmas. Just choose priority shipping by December 21st and it will get to you in time for the holiday!

Order by Dec. 21 for Christmas delivery!

Holiday Shipping

Help Santa out, Texas style. Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is made in Texas, by Texans, about Texans. With our new Priority shipping option, there’s plenty of time to order the book for everyone on your Christmas list.

Shipping Deadlines

In order to receive your book by Christmas, please order by the dates below

  • FREE SHIPPING | Order by December 15th
  • PRIORITY SHIPPING | Order by December 21st

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The Story as Old as Texas

“The book shows we’re still surviving, doing things like they did 100 years ago, the cowboy way.” –  Waggoner Ranch Manager Weldon Hawley quoted in Western Horseman, (March 2016).  Mr. Hawley has worked at the Waggoner since 1976. 

In 1849, Dan Waggoner began the ranch with 6 horses, 242 longhorns, and a bit of land in Wise County. Over time, the ranch grew and moved out towards Wichita Falls. It is now the largest ranch under one fence in the United States, spanning 6 counties. Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is proud to be a GO TEXAN product

Jeremy Enlow visited the Waggoner in 2015 to document the 26 cowboys working the ranch. The result is his inaugural book, Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch. Printed in North Texas, we’re proud that Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is a GO TEXAN product.

 

 

Made in Texas, by Texans

This Christmas, GO TEXAN and give everyone on your list a gift made in Texas, by Texans, about Texans. The largest ranch under one fence in the United States, the Waggoner Ranch is nearly as old as Texas. Texas native Jeremy Enlow spent five months photographing the 26 working cowboys who live there. The result is the award-winning Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch, a 140 page full color coffee table book printed right here in North Texas.  

GO TEXAN this Christmas when you order Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch

“Printing bids were much cheaper in Asia, but for this book not only did I want it to be printed in the United States but specifically in Texas,” says Jeremy Enlow. “It is important to me to know the working conditions are safe and people are being treated fairly.  Texans, myself included, are proud of their state.  I consider it a great achievement that this book was 100% made by Texans in Texas.

Texan from start to finish

Jeremy along with John Davidson (editor), Julie Enlow (producer), Jan Batts (copy), Yvette Bowling (design), Julie Hatch (Public Relations/Media) and Hunter Mills (Public Relations/Social Media) are all native Texans. Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch is proud to be a GO TEXAN product. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book benefits The Waggoner Ranch Cowboys Fund, giving back to some of Texas’ greatest living legends. 

“The book shows we’re still surviving, doing things like they did 100 years ago, the cowboy way.” –  Waggoner Ranch Manager Weldon Hawley quoted in Western Horseman, (March 2016).  Mr. Hawley has worked at the Waggoner since 1976.

Buy the book now and get FREE shipping in the United States!

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Never Before Seen Photographs of Waggoner Ranch Vol. 3

Good morning!

To celebrate Equus International Film Festival this week, we’re sharing 10 more previously unpublished photographs from Jeremy’s archives. If you enjoy seeing new photos of the ranch, follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we share new images every week. The photographs in Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch and Jeremy’s archives show a side of cowboy life that’s not often seen, as the reviewer below says:

“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 if 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)

We love this review of the book and are honored to show Texas cowboys in a way that honors them as the living legends they are.

 

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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. 

Happy 4th of July!

Whether you’re celebrating Independence Day on the ranch or in the city, we wish you a fun and relaxing holiday!

Happy 4th of July from Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch

 

Jeremy Enlow captured this red, white, and blue photograph of the Waggoner Ranch in April, 2015. The 26 cowboys who work the Cow Camp division of the ranch eat breakfast around 5 a.m. (in the cook shack before the sale of the ranch. Under the new owners, however, the cook shack is now closed). Once breakfast is over, they head off to work before the sun has risen over the horizon.

The American Legends of the Waggoner Ranch

Cowboys on the historic Waggoner Ranch, which is the largest ranch under one fence in the United States, work hard five and a half days a week. They are strong, quiet men who carry out their work in the same way they have for generations, save for the addition of a few trucks.

“The cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch are living legends, men who embody the attributes of the lean and dusty riders who braved the wild a century ago to make room for a herd. They ride the trails of their forebearers, living a life and practicing skills that have almost disappeared. They ride for the prestigious reversed triple D brand of the largest ranch within one fence in the United States.

It is important to record their lives before they shut the gate behind them the last time. This book is a tribute to those cowboys and a way of life is just a whisper on the wind.” -Jan Batts in Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch

You can learn more about these American legends in Jeremy Enlow’s award-winning book Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch. Limited copies are available, and books ship free in the United States.

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