o6 Ranch History
The Kokernot o6 Ranch has been operating continuously by the Kokernot family for more than a century. The o6 brand was acquired around 1837 by David L. Kokernot, landowner and scout for Sam Houston during the battle of San Jacinto. He was also instrumental in organizing the first Texas Navy. He established a mercantile business and a large ranch in Gonzales Co. His sons, Lee and John followed him into ranching, buying land in 1883 in the Davis Mountains in far West Texas which Lee's son, Herbert Lee, took over in 1897.
Herbert Lee Kokernot, in partnership with his uncle John Kokernot, jumped a herd of cattle, horses and cowboys off the train at Murphyville; present day Alpine. It was open range and the cattle grazed in the vast Alpine valley. A few years later they moved to Lubbock and ranched at what is now the site of Texas Tech University. Selling their holdings there and returning to the strong gramma grass of the Davis Mountains, Herbert Kokernot purchased land and established the Kokernot o6 Ranch in 1912, which eventually extended through Brewster, Jeff Davis, and Pecos counties. Running top quality Hereford cattle, he was quite successful as a rancher in the highland country.
Herbert Kokernot Sr. was elected president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the Texas Livestock Marketing Association, the National Finance Credit Corporation of Texas, and founded the First National Bank of Alpine. He also helped found Paisano Baptist Encampment and was an early supporter of Bloys Cowboy Camp Meeting in the Davis Mountains. His son Herbert Kokernot Jr., became a partner and later owner of the ranch. He was director of cattlemen's associations, ranch finance associations, livestock marketing, and banking.
Herbert Kokernot Jr. loved baseball and in 1946 started the Alpine Cowboys, a winning semi-pro team that went to the national finals nine times. One year, he had 14 "All-Southwest Conference" players on his team. "Mr. Herbert" as he was fondly referred to, built the famous Kokernot Field in Alpine for the Cowboys to play in; and in 1952 the National Baseball Congress named him as America's No. 1 sponsor of semi-pro baseball for the decade.
Herbert Kokernot Jr. served as County Commissioner of Jeff Davis County for 65 years, which was longer than any other elected official in Texas. He was a director of the Frost National Bank of San Antonio, the First National Bank at Alpine for 60 years as well as chairman of the board for many of those years. He was on the Texas A&M University board of directors for 12 years, a director of both the National Credit Finance and Texas Livestock Marketing associations, and in 1976 was made honorary vice-president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. H.L. Kokernot, Jr. and H.L. Kokernot, Sr. were inducted in the Texas Heritage Hall of Honor in 1996 for their significant contributions to the ranching heritage of Texas. Representing six generations in the ranching business.
Herbert Kokernot, Jr.'s grandson, Chris Lacy is now managing the o6 Ranch for his mother, Mary Ann kokernot Lacy; and his sisters, Elizabeth Winn, Ann Brown, and Golda Brown. Chris served as County Commissioner of Jeff Davis County for 12 years and is serving as a director of the TSCRA, the Texas Livestock Marketing Association, the Texas Hereford Association, and president of the Highland Hereford Breeders Association.
Chris Lacy has been dedicated to improving the ranch and quality of beef it produces (many of the o6 calves are selected for the Certified Hereford Beef Program), while still working cattle in the traditional way. Because of the vast mountainous terrain of the o6 it takes 16 cowboys and a remuda of over 100 horses for roundups twice a year. When the crew goes into the mountains, they do not come out until roundup is over, camping out in teepee tents and eating off the chuck wagon for about 3-4 weeks.
Chris and his wife Diane home schooled their two children, Kristin and Lance so they could grow up working on the ranch and not miss roundups. Lance represents the seventh generation in the family ranching business. His dream is to continue the tradition of running a reputation quality cow-calf operation; working cattle with a good crew of men, a chuck wagon, a large remuda of registered quarter horses, and still running the o6 brand.