Information on:

X Bar Ranch

5 S Divide,

The town of Eldorado is located in the west central part of Texas. A small, rural community established in 1895, it was and remains the county seat of Schleicher County, and through the years has had the distinction of being the only community in the county.

The town provided a stopping place for some settlers in the early years of the ¨county’s history. The availability of water at the time was the determining ¨factor of a prospective settler’s desire to continue west, and some found Eldorado to be a desirable location to end their journey. In the late 1800′s unsettled land was plentiful and inexpensive.

The second person on the left is Frank Meador, Eldorado 1908

The second person on the left is Frank Meador, Eldorado 1908

The rolling hills, alive with various animals native to the area and the grassy plains that made up the “divide” whetted the appetite of many people with the dream of ranching. Wagons with teams of horses brought families and a few personal belongings to Eldorado from which they would venture out and stake their ownership claim to the land.

Once the claim was made and recorded, water wells were drilled, construction of ranch homes on the land began, livestock was purchased, and the ¨lifelong work of ranching began for the family.

The X Bar Ranch began in this manner. C.L. Meador (“Uncle Dink”), his wife Mattie, and four sons left Lampassas, Texas and arrived in Eldorado in the spring of 1903. The family set up “camp” under a large mesquite tree in the central part of town, and remained there for several months- enough time for Mr. Meador to purchase several tracts of land just North of Eldorado. ¨There he moved his family, and through the efforts of himself and his sons (C.L. Jr., Frank, Clyde and Cecil) established successful ranching operations in various locations of the county. As the sons grew, they in turn began to acquire property of their own along with what had been given them by their parents.

C.L. Meador Jr. & Edith 2nd Generation on X Bar Ranch

C.L. Meador Jr. & Edith 2nd Generation on X Bar Ranch

2nd Generation on X Bar Ranch

C.L. Meador, Jr. the eldest of the sons purchased several tracts of land from families who were also pioneers of the area. The Davises, the Nixes, and the McDonnell’s were among some of the families that had land adjacent to the Meadors’ in the southwest part of the county.

C.L. Meador, Jr. and his wife, Edith, had three children, Charles, Edward (“Two Bits”) and Edith Louise, all born on the ranch. They lived on the ranch during the 20′s until the late 30′s when the family moved to the town of Eldorado. Mr. Meador and his sons continued to operate the ranch until the boys attended college.

The typical cycles of weather and livestock prices through those years made the business of ranching a challenge, as they still do. Many times there would be extended periods of drought, sometimes as long as seven consecutive years, which would force many families in the area to sell their property. Closely tied to that consequence would be low livestock prices which made the business unprofitable. On occasions, Mr. Meador would temporarily move his livestock and family to other ranches west of Eldorado to “weather out” a drought.

Labor was difficult to find so families had to depend on each other to survive. Until the late 20′s and 30′s, when the railroads were built in the county, cattle drives were still the only way to get livestock to market. As methods of transportation improved, getting livestock to markets became easier.

Meador Family 1989

Meador Family 1989

When World War Two came to a close, Ed Meador, C.L. Meador, ¨ Jr.’s second son, returned to Eldorado and the ranch with his wife, Martha Lee.

Meador Family 2002

Meador Family 2009

Since that time ¨Ed has continued to operate X Bar Ranch. Ed and Martha Lee had three children, ¨ Lynn, Rusty and Claudia.

Although the property has remained under the ownership of Ed, his late brother Jack, and Edith, his sister, the management for the last 50+ years has been done by Ed and his son Lynn. In 1996, Lynn’s oldest son Stan and his wife Gloria moved home ¨from Spain (Gloria’s homeland) to start and manage the X Bar Ranch Nature Retreat.

A year and a half later his second son, Chris, returned to the ranch to officially mark the beginning

Ed, Lynn and Stan Meador 1997

Ed, Lynn and Stan Meador 1997

of his ranching career. Chris dedicates his time to the traditional agricultural production side of the X Bar operation. In 2001, the first two editions of the sixth generation appeared. Chris & Katy’s daughter Codee was born in August and Stan & Gloria’s daughter Andrea ¨came along in November. Codee welcomed baby brother, Cooper, and Andrea welcomed baby sister, Sofia, who were born two weeks apart in 2004. In October 2009, Codee and Cooper had another brother, Cole, join them.

Currently there are three generations of Meadors ¨working at the ranch, Ed, his son Lynn and his grandsons Stan and Chris.

Four Generations

The Ranch

The Ranch consists of approximately 7,100 acres (2,833 hectares) of land. It is comprised of the acreage that C.L. Meador and his son, C.L. Meador, Jr. acquired, and has been intact as a single block of land for over 75 years. While some of the original structures and the old homesteads have deteriorated and no longer exist, many new improvements on the ranch have been made.

The Headquarters house, ¨ built in 1933, is still used as the central location (headquarters) of ¨the ranch.

Headquarters 1935

Headquarters 1935

Nearby are the corrals and barns that serve as a main working ¨ area of the ranch. Chris and his family live next door. ¨ ¨ The Round House, located on the west part of the ranch was constructed in 1967 and serves a beautiful scene of the west Texas environment. A vacation site to get away to, the unique house provides many visitors with a serene and pleasurable time. ¨ ¨In 1991, additional land was acquired on the west side of the X Bar known as the Granger pasture. This additional land complements the beauty of that part of the ranch. Within that pasture the Live Oak Lodge and Cabins have been built to accommodate ¨visitors to the ranch.

The land offers much to people. The benefits of the grasses and vegetation still makes ranching a rewarding and attractive lifestyle. The wildlife provides people a contact with nature. The remote location gives a sense of solitude and renewal to all who visit. And the land, in its beauty is still the same as it was when those pioneers first came. The influence of the land on this family has been passed down through five generations of the Meador family- a family who has been its real beneficiaries.

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