Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission



















Fant City was built on property first owned by Dillard R. Fant. Fant is also the primary person George Washington West bought his Live Oak County property from. Photo courtesy of Armantrout Museum.


Fant School Bus, first school bus in Live Oak County. The principal drove the bus.

Photo from Live Oak County Historical Commission scrapbook donated by Charlie Reagan Brown to Armantrout Museum, George West, Texas.


                                                Fant City


     The May 21, 1914, issue of the Beeville Picayune reported that L.S. Elwell owned a large amount of land on what used to be the Fant Ranch. Much of the land was improved, and for demonstration purposes he grew alfalfa, asparagus, bur clover, onions, strawberries, pecans, corn, cane, milo, cotton, and "almost everything you can think of ... (it is) one of the prettiest places they ever saw-way out there in the wilds of Live Oak

     The details of the Fant City scheme are hazy, perhaps because few local people knew what was going on, and few of the buyers stayed. The Fant ranch at this time was owned by a land company, probably with Elwell as the manager. A plan very similar to Simmons
City was advertised around the country-but not in South Texas. For what was said to be an outrageous price when compared with local land prices, each buyer would receive a city lot and a small farm.

     Elwell drilled a well about 3600 feet deep to irrigate the crops he grew for demonstration purposes. Much of the ranch consisted of shallow soil atop caliche, and the
dry winds and low moisture did not make for easy farming. Most of that land even today is still in brush. Many of the buyers were from Minnesota and other northern states. Not all of them came to see their new property, and few of those who did stayed. There were
many law suits, and eventually the land company went broke-although the owners may have left with their pockets jingling. Most of that land is now owned by the Albert Huegler
estate and the Dobie Cattle Company. There are still a few legal problems, including the fact that a share of mineral rights is still owned by descendants of the land company owners.


From Sparkman, Ervin L. The People's History of Live Oak County, Texas. Mesquite, Ide House. 234-235.


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