- TxAM-CRS 27
This collection consists mainly of correspondence, legal documents, a corporate minute book, and handwritten notes recording the litigation connected with ownership of a large tract of land (89,000 acres) in Hidalgo country known as the "Big Santa Rosa Pasture". Actual litigation took place from 1903-1910.
Individuals involved in the case were: Dillard Rucker Fant and his wife, Lucy Fant; Daniel J. Sullivan; J. C. Sullivan; James V. Upson; Wiliam R. Elliott; Conrad A. Goeth; James Webb; J. M. Chittim; Archie Parr; Kate V. Elliott; G. G. Clifford; A. E. Chavez; J. A. Galligher; W. M. Sanford; Fred Kelly; F. A. McGown; F. W. Church; H. R. Wood; F. Groos and his wife, Hulda Groos. Legal counsel involved in the proceedings were: James E. Webb and Conrad A. Goeth of Webb and Goeth, F. A. McGown of Denman, Franklin & McGown, and R. L. Ball, all based in San Antonio, Texas.
At the onset of the difficulties, D. R. Fant had leased the Big Santa Rosa Pasture to the cattle-raising partnership of Chittim and Parr. J. M. Chittim was a large rancher in South Texas and Archie Parr, was a State Senator popularly known as the Duke of Duval. Based on the large annual rent monies Fant had expected to collect from Chittim and Parr, he then also borrowed money from D. Sullivan of D. Sullivan and Company Bankers (founders and owners of the large South Texas Mariposa Ranch) and, using the same collateral, borrowed more money from the competing F. Groos and Company Bankers (later a founder of Wells Fargo Bank).
When it appears, that Chittim and Parr defaulted on their rent payment for the Big Santa Rosa Pasture to Fant, Fant was then forced to default on his own payments to both banking organizations from whom he had borrowed funds. The bankers, in return, sued and foreclosed on the Big Santa Rosa Pasture.
Through the Santa Rosa Ranch Papers extensive set of legal documents, attorneys' memoranda, telegrams, letters, and financial disclosures, the most absorbing story of Texas land politics unfolds.
Notable among the papers is the Santa Rosa Ranch Minute Book, a ledger volume with handwritten entries detailing the Articles of Incorporation, By-laws and minutes of the first stockholders' meeting of the Santa Rosa Ranch Company. Also present is a manuscript plat map in black and red ink on light blue linen, of the 1905 Maria Rodriguez survey, which has been encapsulated and is housed separately in a Map Case Drawer.