When the Texas State Capitol burned to the ground in 1881, Texas was land rich but cash poor. The state advertised 3,000,000 acres of land in the Panhandle of Texas for the price of a new state house.
John Farwell, a merchant from Chicago, seized the opportunity and made the deal; three million dollars for three million acres of West Texas, where only stray cattle and Indians occupied the land.
Farwell's Folly is the story of the development of that land into the XIT Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in the world, stretching across ten counties and requiring 6,000 miles of fencing.
It has been more than 30 years since a book has come out on the famous XIT ranch of Texas. Now Texas writer Dede Casad brings this mystique of this historic ranch out of the tumble weeds of West Texas into the modern age for readers who love to read about the often forgotten tales of early Texas.
Several earlier books chronicled the rise and fall of the XIT Ranch, but Casad has also roped in colorful stories of the first cowboys, cattle rustling and cattlemen as entrepreneurs, and tied them into the historical fiber of Texas.
The idea of a man who lived in Chicago purchasing three million acres of undeveloped territory in Texas, sight unseen, takes one's breath away, even in this day and time. Was it wise or as Casad suggests-folly? That's the story you don't want to miss.