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Ferman Lopez

A large collection of documents related to Ferman’s life shows he once owned 15,000 to 16,000 acres.

Ferman Lopez

 

Ferman Lopez owned 15,000 to 16,000 acres of land in Loma Alta. It was a combination of mesquite flats, dry brush land, and caliche hills, covered with black-brush, guajillo, and cactus.  The Narciseno Creek traversed the ranch.  It was a dry watercourse that occasionally flooded a wide plain of sandy loam on the west side of the creek which ran along beside a fairly high caliche ridge.  On the east side the land rose steeply, and on top of the ridge sat the two-story Lopez home at the familiar Loma Alta ranch.  From his home on top of the caliche plateau overlooking the valley, Ferman could see a mile or so north and south, and he could see almost an equal distance toward the west.  There were rolling caliche hills bordering the flood plain that spread out from the hackberry, elm, and china trees that grew along the creek, bounty of the occasional creek runoff.  On the east side of the Narciseno, bordering the creek channel of the generally dry creek, there was a well of ‘sweet water’ that was lifted by a windmill and forced up a pipeline to a reservoir which served the household on top of Loma Alta.  Around the house grew some mulberry trees dependent on the slender water supply from the well.

 

Source: Duaine, Carl. With All Arms.Nortex Press. 1987. p. 1


Ferman Lopez was in charge of rounding up wild horses, mestenos.  He and his crew drove the horses to market in San Antonio, Monterrey, Corpus Christi, Mier, and surrounding towns. In those years, the land was open grassland with no fences.  Ferman started buying cattle for cattle drives to the stockyards in San Antonio and Houston.  He knew all the cattle trails.

After a few years of the hard drives, Ferman settled down to work the land. He bought a large amount of land around Rancho El Refugio and Loma Alta.  He also owned property in San Diego, Texas and many small ranches where people worked for him as sharecroppers. The sharecropper families had children, and, in the bad years of low yields, Ferman personally borrowed money from the bank for their support. He put his own land up as collateral. He helped many people. Over the years, Ferman lost most of his land, though he kept enough for his family.  He also left horses and city lots in the city of San Diego for them. A large collection of documents related to Ferman’s life shows he once owned 15,000 to 16,000 acres.  Ferman lived east of Rancho El Guajillo.  The area of land close to his ranch is called El Refugio.  Directly to the east stand the remains of the two-story house of his father-in-law, Rafael Gutierrez. Ferman built a ten-room ranch house.  Years later, he moved his home to Rancho Loma Alta, where he lived with his family.

 

Source: Andres Saenz, Early Tejano Ranching, Texas A&M Press, 1999, pages  36-37.


Linked toFERMAN LOPEZ-Sr.

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