Fort Worth Westerners

Corral, Westerners International

The Corral meets the third Tuesday each month at 7 PM online via Zoom for a one-hour history presentation.

Topics include local, Texas, and Western history.
Speakers are members, local historians, and university professors.
Visitors are welcome.
If you would like to visit and need the Zoom login information, please use the contact form to request it.

Corral annual membership dues of $20/single and $30/couple are based on the calendar year and include the annual dues payable to our parent organization, Westerners International. Pay your dues online or by mailing us a check. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

The Fort Worth Westerners Corral was founded in 1965 and is the oldest of the eight active Corrals in Texas. Like the Westerners International organization, membership is open to anyone interested in Western history.

Bob Saul
Fort Worth Westerners' Sheriff
(does what a president does)

Phillip Williams
Fort Worth Westerners' Representative
(works as the representative for contacts with other Corrals, Posses, and the Home Ranch.)

Richard Robinson
Fort Worth Westerners' Keeper of the Chips
(does what a treasurer does)

July 19, 2022
Leland Turner, PhD

July 19, 2022: Leland Turner, PhD, "The King Ranch Down Under"

"The King Ranch Down Under"

1952 was a seminal year in King Ranch history. It was a year of centennial celebrations. The one-hundred-year legacy, however, was likely not as important as one other transformative event – in that year the King Ranch and its unique Santa Gertrudis cattle went international. In the early months of that year the ranch established operations first in Cuba and shortly thereafter in Australia. A journey across the expansive plains of Australia's Northern Territory and the Queensland Outback is an awe-inspiring experience, even for a veteran flatlander familiar with the vast American Southern Plains. It is not surprising the land beckoned to an American beef cattle entrepreneur. The Australian landscape promised possibilities beyond measure. Interpreted through the eyes of an expansion-minded international cattleman, it was a virtual beef factory, altogether underutilized and underdeveloped. Robert, or Bob, Kleberg, grandson to King Ranch founder Richard King, assumed management of the vast King Ranch empire. His ambitions were grand, and he directed the King Ranch international expansion. Kleberg believed the Australian grasslands harbored "immense and immeasurable possibilities for beef cattle production."

In 1989, following some thirty-seven years of relative success, the King Ranch, Australia ceased operations. That venture began in the earliest years of King Ranch international expansion and ended when the mighty ranch, facing hard economic realities on the home front, started a withdrawal from its international operations. Nonetheless, in the ensuing years the ranch and its distinct cattle—the Santa Gertrudis—transformed cattle production in the semi-arid and subtropical Australian grasslands. Those cattle, developed for the harsh grassland environs of Coastal and South Texas, prospered in difficult Outback environments. Despite a withdrawal to the coastal plains of Texas, the King Ranch demonstrated its international legacy through the prevalence of the Santa Gertrudis in marginal and environmentally challenging grasslands in Australia and across the globe.

Meet Leland Turner, PhD

Leland Turner is an Assistant Professor of History at Midwestern State University. He specializes in the history of the American West, Texas, Australia, and cattle ranching cultures. A 2007 Fulbright Fellowship to Australia allowed Turner to consider the international effect of American ranching culture through a transnational study of the cattle cultures and economies in Queensland, Australia and Texas. The resulting manuscript, "Outback by Southwest: King Ranch Cattle in the Australian Grasslands" is in progress and nearing completion. His work on cattle ranching in Trans-Pecos Texas and Northern Mexico expands on that interest in borderlands and transnational studies. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Conflict on the Border: Mexico's Revolution of 1910 and the Big Bend Country. The bulk of Turner's research considers the livestock industry and its attendant themes such as arid land environments, the diffusion of agricultural science and technology, and the influence of cattle raisers associations. His work on Murdo Mackenzie of the Matador Ranch and later the Brazil Land and Cattle Company is an example of such themes. Turner holds a BA from the University of Tulsa and the PhD in History from Texas Tech University.

Prior programs