WBS Ranch History
For 110 years or more prior to the mid-1800s, the southernmost band of Comanche Indians, the Penateka or “honey eaters”, wintered in an area of approximately 250 square miles (identified by early mappers as “Wau-Ban-See Springs”) that is located in the Heart of Texas. Wau-Ban-See Ranch is near the northeastern corner of this area on property located approximately 1-2 miles South and West of the confluence of the San Saba River and Katemcy Creek. During this time period, the Wau-Ban-See Springs area (the majority of which is in Southern part of McCulloch County, Texas) was noted for the numerous seeps and flowing springs, the largest of which is present on our property. The ranch property was originally deeded to a group of New Orleans investors in 1854 (revenue to support frontier mounted volunteer units, called “Rangers” was a prime use of such funds). In the Spring and Summer of 1860, a “Ranger” unit built the original buildings overlooking the main spring on our ranch.
These buildings were abandoned shortly thereafter when Texas Confederate Army forces built Camp San Saba, midway between these buildings and the San Saba River. Near the end of the Civil War, much of present day Wau-Ban-See Ranch property was purchased by William Turner, a horse and sheep raiser, who probably was one of the “Rangers” that had built the buildings in 1860. During the early years of his ownership (i.e. prior to the invention of barbed wire) extensive dry stacked rock fences of 4 feet in height were constructed. Sometime in the mid-1870s, the construction of the main ranch house had been completed, a time during which the nearest frontier defense outpost was Fort Mason, approximately 18 miles to the South. From settlement by the Turner family until the latter 1870s the property was exposed to marauding Comanches and other tribes. The resumption of treaty-making with the Comanche tribe in the mid-to-late 1870s brought about an end to the threat of Indian raids in this area of Texas. The ranch house and the attached original buildings are among the oldest original structures that remain intact within McCulloch County.
Jacqueline & Kinnan Golemon purchased the main headquarters tract of Wau-Ban-See Ranch located near Camp San Saba, McCulloch County Texas and some adjoining acres in 1977. Since that time, they have worked to insure that this historic property has been maintained and improved, while also establishing a successful ranching operation.