V-8 Ranch

5706 East FM 835
Lubbock, TX 79404


Nestled into a small, shallow valley created by a bend in the north fork of the double mountain fork of the Brazos River, the 1,500-acre V-8 Ranch contains the headquarters of the vast Ioa ranch, which was a 14 by 30-mile contiguous block of land covering most of the southern half of Lubbock County. The Ioa was established in 1884-1886, just as the free-range cattle industry collapsed due to drought and economic conditions.
Beginning in 1893, the process to sell the ranch’s cattle began. Frank Wheelock, great nephew of principal stockholder Stillman Wheelock and later Lubbock’s first mayor, also started selling the ranch’s land, resulting in a series of lawsuits that culminated in a sheriff’s sale and acquisition by H.L. Kokernot in 1901.
In 1914, George Boles, a well-known south plains rancher, bought 5,000 acres from the Kokernots. Boles owned the property until it was lost to foreclosure in 1935.
A 3,400-acre portion of the Boles property was acquired by Sam C. Arnett, Sr., and George Benson in 1939. Benson and Arnett were business partners in many ventures, including Citizen’s National Bank, insurance and real estate investments, and a ford dealership. When they purchased this property, they renamed it V-8 ranch, in honor of the ford V-8 engine. As of 2017, the remaining acreage is owned by the Arnett family.
Numerous buildings on the property, including the stucco residence, are some of the oldest ranch structures in Lubbock County. They may have been built by sheep herder Zach Williams in 1877, the Ioa company in the 1880S, or George Boles between 1914 and 1935. In spite of the ranch’s close proximity to the city of Lubbock, the V-8 ranch still reflects the south plains’ vibrant ranching history.


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