Managing director of the XIT ranch in Texas which was the largest fenced ranch in the world, with 6,000 miles of fence and an estimated 150,000 head of cattle.
1862-1943 | Artist: Ossip Perelma (1876-1949); painting dated 1913
Impact & Accomplishments
One of the oldest paintings remaining in the Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Collection, this portrait of Walter Farwell was painted in 1913, but added to the collection sometime after the 1934 fire and before the printing of the 1948 inventory.
Charles B. and John V. Farwell, the father and uncle of Walter, launched one of the largest wholesale dry goods companies in the world in Chicago, JV Farwell & Company. Walter served as the company vice president.
In 1882, a three million acre tract in the Texas Panhandle was given to the elder Farwells and their investment partners by the state of Texas, to compensate them for building the state capitol in Austin. Walter Farwell became managing director of this XIT Ranch, moving to Texas in 1906. At the time, XIT was the largest fenced ranch in the world, with 6,000 miles of fence and an estimated 150,000 head of cattle. Walter, an ardent polo player, introduced the game to the ranch and bred many fine polo ponies there.
Did You Know?
The XIT Ranch in the 1880s was the largest range in the world under fence and it all laid in the Texas Panhandle. The ranch's three million acres sprawled from the old Yellow House headquarters, near what is now Lubbock, Texas, northward to the Oklahoma Panhandle, in an irregular strip that was roughly 30 miles wide. Photo credit: Pam Suggs.