[NOTE: The King Ranch website, www.kingranch.com, can help with information for answers.]
The King Ranch is the largest ranch in North America. The four areas of the ranch are
Santa Gertrudis, original ranch, with headquarters
1. Draw a map of South Texas and outline and label each area of the ranch.
2. What is surprising about seeing these areas on the map?
Richard King’s first brand was an elaborate R with an arrow through it, but the brand that he registered first
was his wife’s connected initials, HK. Since 1869, nearly 150 years ago, the King Ranch has used the
Running W brand.
1. Draw a picture of the HK brand.
2. What are some good features of the Running W Brand?
3. What other name has been given to the Running W? Why?
4. Create a cattle brand for yourself and give it a name.
[Hint: cattle brands read left to right: J-J = J Bar J
and descriptive words come first : Rocking R, Lazy S.]
The King Ranch participated in many cattle drives in the late 1800s. Because of its size, the King Ranch
had enough longhorn cattle to make a drive without joining with other ranches for the trip north. [Historical
note: On cattle drives in the late 1800s when King Ranch had cattle of many colors, the cowboys rode
horses that matched the color of the herd – gray, red, or black.]
1. Draw a map of the major cattle trails that ran through Texas.
2. Who was Jessee Chisholm? Write a biographical sketch of him.
3. Trail drives had cowboys placed at specific places while the cattle were moving.
Draw a sketch of a cattle drive showing the different positions of riders and describe their jobs.
Pretend you are on a trail drive. Make journal entries each day describing your job that day.
Which did you like? Which did you not like?
4. The cook was one of the most important persons on a trail drive. Why?
Describe a chuck wagon. Did the inventor of the chuck wagon live near the King Ranch?
5. Learn a song about cowboys.
6. Cowboys all wore a bandana. Draw sketches showing five uses for a bandana.
Richard King carried large sums of money in a secret box built into his stage coach. Only his wife and
bookkeeper knew about it. He used the money to pay his workers. Kineños guarded him on his trips in the
1. Who are the Kineños and how did they come to live on the ranch?
2. Write a play in which King leaves home and robbers attack his stage coach.
Put on the play with some friends.
The King Ranch raises about 60,000 head of cattle today. The ranch developed the Santa Gertrudis
breed. In 1940 it was recognized as the first uniquely American breed of cattle.
1. Where did the name Santa Gertrudis come from?
2. What color are Santa Gertrudis cattle?
3. Write and illustrate a newspaper advertisement for these cattle, explaining their good quallities.
The original King Ranch land was called the Wild Horse Desert because mustangs lived there.
1. Find pictures of mustangs.
2. Where did they come from? How do they differ from regular horses?
Describe their color and characteristics.
3. Why are there so few of them today?
4. Write a letter to the newspaper explaining the need to save these horses.
Richard King liked fast horses. He developed prize quarter horses by combining mustangs with better
breeds. Quarter horses work on the ranch, which raises and sells both cattle and horses.
1. Where is the headquarters of the American Quarter Horse Association located?
Write them for information about quarter horses.
2. King Ranch quarter horses are the same color as King Ranch cattle. What color is that?
3. What qualities make a quarter horse good for working cattle?
4. With a friend, choose sides and debate which is the better horse, a quarter horse or a race horse.
King Ranch has raised race horses. One was a Triple Crown winner.
1. What is the Triple Crown? Explain its three parts.
2. Which King Ranch horse won the Triple Crown? What was unusual about this horse?
3. Find a outline picture of a horse and color it to match the King Ranch Triple Crown winner.
Or draw your own picture of the horse and color it accurately.
By the 1950s the abundant wild game on the ranch was almost gone because of too much hunting. Strict
rules were put in place, and now some areas have no hunting at all. The ranch has become a model for
restoring game to an area.
1. Find what wild animals live in the King Ranch preserve today.
2. Make a booklet with a picture and information about sic of these animals?
3. Are there any game preserves hear your home?
4. Write a story in which the main character is trying to get people to save an endangered animal.
Henrietta King was the daughter of a preacher. Her religion guided the way she did things.
1. Name at least three things she did to help others.
2. Write a thank-you letter to Henrietta King as if you were the first graduate of Kingsville High School.
3. What activities can you do to help your community be a better place to live?