Court to honor historic Griffin Ranch
From Staff Reports
Feb. 26, 2012 at 10 p.m.
The Griffin Ranch will be recognized by the Gregg County Local Heritage Site designation 10 a.m. Tuesday during the Gregg County Commissioners Court meeting.
The Griffin Ranch, on FM 349 between Kilgore and Longview, has been in operation since 1849 and is recognized as the county's oldest ranch.
The recognition was a recommendation of the Gregg County Historical Commission. The award acknowledges structures, landmark buildings, sites, cemeteries, events, individuals or entities significant to Gregg County history.
To qualify, the recipient must have been previously recognized by an official national or state historical group.
The Griffin Ranch received the Texas Agriculture Department Family Land Heritage Award in 1974 for "a century or more of continuous ownership and operation as a family agricultural enterprise." The ranch was also honored by the State of Texas in 2000 in the 150-year category.
Carlos Sr. and Margaret Griffin, along with sons Carlos Jr. and Paul are the present owners.
The Griffin Ranch was established in 1849 when Elbert Dickson bought 160 acres from William Roark. The land passed through descendants of the related families of Dickson, Wyche, Graybill, Cunyus, Magee, Howard and Griffin.
Five hundred acres were added to the ranch around 1940 by Porter Griffin. Carlos Griffin Jr. has added 2,000 acres since he assumed ownership in 1974.
Historically, the land was used to grow cotton, corn and sugar cane. After World War II, more cattle were added and the land use was changed to pasture, hay production, timber and wildlife.