History

Star Brand Ranch has a longstanding place in Texas history and tradition. William T. Nash was awarded the land which shortly became Star Brand Ranch in 1850 for his service in the Texas Revolution. Star Brand has since been a quiet retreat for seven generations, each keeping the legacy alive. Since its establishment, Star Brand Ranch has been the scene of many memorable events.

In 1926 Mama Adelaida Cuellar started making her famous tamales on the ranch and took them to the local county fair, where they were an immediate success. After opening a small restaurant in Kaufman, the family decided to expand into a larger market, opening the first El Chico Cafe in Dallas in 1940. El Chico has since become a Dallas staple, with restaurants now in many states, and even other countries.

The infamous Bonnie and Clyde hid out on the ranch in 1932. Bonnie Parker was captured while robbing a local hardware store, and had to spend a few months in the Kaufman County jail. While in the Kaufman jail, she penned the poem, “The Story of Suicide Sal.”

In order to assist in finding a cure for cancer through the American Cancer Society, the first Cattle Baron’s Ball was organized and held in the yard of the Big House at Star Brand Ranch in 1974, with Charlie Pride as the headliner. Tom Landry, coach of the Dallas Cowboys, among other notables were in attendance. Cattle Baron’s Ball has since gone on to become the American Cancer Society’s single largest fund-raiser in the U.S. for cancer research. While the venue is moved every year, Star Brand Ranch has also hosted this special event two more times with entertainers such as Willie Nelson, and, in 2009, Montgomery Gentry and Julianne Hough.

Star Brand Ranch has been host to world leaders, statesmen, and captains of industry. Authors and artists have sought out its peace and inspiration for short films, commercials, and even music videos. Religious groups have sought peace and enlightenment here.

You, too, can come, relax, and come away refreshed and renewed. Let us welcome you to our little oasis from the outside world and leave you, too, inspired.