True Center of Texas
The monument marking the heart of Texas still sits quietly tucked under the watchful protection of Live Oaks.

Ranch History

Located in the exact center of Texas, Heart of the Lonestar Ranch personifies a world-class big-game experience. It’s the ultimate environment: A Hill Country paradise where the great blue sky of the Southwest is born of cool night winds from the vast West Texas prairie and enriched by the remote serenity of the Edwards Plateau. Live oaks, native grasses and long growing seasons make it a grand country for game animals. Inarguably this is North America’s most superbly suited region for both native and non-native wildlife.
Heart of the Lonestar Ranch was carved out of land once inhabited by the diplomatic Tonkawa (translation: the people of the wolf) Indians. Artifacts found on the ranch, such as the incredibly prolific array of arrow heads, as well as a grouping of grinding mortars suggest frequent if not permanent residence of these great native people. Until sadly in the early seventeenth century, a wave of Apache and later Comanche drove the tribe well east of the Edwards Plateau. While stalking native or exotic game, there are times when you can feel the presence of theses ancient warriors all around, and every so often that feeling is confirmed by a fortunate downward glance. By chance you reveal a beautifully crafted arrowhead jutting from the terrain beneath your feet, rendered by the hands of a true native craftsman in the smoothest flint. Your boot sits centimeters from where it rested undisturbed for perhaps centuries.

The Ranch was once the cornerstone of the J.E. Henderson cattle and sheep ranching empire, which at its height spanned more than 25,000 acres. Though unconfirmed, it is speculated that J.E. Henderson and his wife, Cora, who later took over the Ranch’s operations after her husband’s death, may have supplied horses to the cavalry in Fort McKavett, a mere twenty-five minute drive south. The headwaters of the Burr Oak Springs reside on the ranch as well as a cemetery in its namesake with antique headstones dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.
Perhaps the most interesting geographic feature of Heart of the Lonestar Ranch can be found in the name. When you hunt Heart of the Lonestar Ranch, you are hunting the very heart of Texas. Many had their suspicions, and even in the 1930’s a group of men did a simple survey of the land with only a pad of paper, a pencil, and a mound of rocks to mark their findings. Their mission was to find the true heart of Texas, the exact center. They weren’t far off. Fast forward some sixty plus years to the 1990’s; a popular statewide television show called The Texas Country Reporter set out to answer a letter sent to them by a young Brady schoolgirl. Her question so reminiscent of the surveyors those many decades ago: Where exactly is the heart of Texas?

The television program enlisted the help of scientists from state universities and geographic societies who sprung into action in a caravan of vehicles trailing chalky dust down old county roads. They were in search of the spot that had unwittingly inspired June Hershey and Don Swander to write their spectacularly famous song “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” in 1941. After a rough preliminary geographic computer calculation performed off-site, the scientists had approximated that the exact geodetic (a measurement with the curvature of the Earth’s surface taken into account) center of Texas would lie somewhere on the unassuming acres of what would very soon be named Heart of the Lonestar Ranch.

Upon reaching the ranch house, a makeshift headquarters was erected. Several laptop computers equipped with high-powered navigational, mapping and geographic datum software whirred into action, instructing portable dishes to rendezvous with satellites orbiting Earth. Lasers were then used in the mapping to bounce from the dishes, off the satellites, and finally down to the exact geodetic center of Texas.

Soon after the discovery, a monument was dedicated, a ceremony held with past and future owners in attendance, and a cheerful report sent over the state’s television airwaves observing the occasion. The monument marking the heart of Texas still sits quietly tucked under the watchful protection of Live Oaks. And remarkably, only a short thirty yards away rests the rocky mound piled by none other than the first assured surveyors of the 1930’s who proudly showed such dedication and perseverance to the land that has been the object of curiosity and labor for generations of enduring Texans.

Whether your interests lay with Texas native Whitetail deer and Rio Grande turkeys, or in interacting with exotic Scimitar Horned Oryx, you’ll find the Heart of the Lonestar Ranch to be a premier destination where unsurpassed opportunities to relax and rejuvenate are what set us apart. When you experience our brand of Texas hospitality, we’re sure you’ll agree.