Each year, we celebrate Independence Day to remember the hot days and heated discussions during the summer of 1776 when our founding fathers seized the opportunity to create a new form of government that would more accurately represent the governed. Turns out, making it stick is the tough part. We still tend to engage in heated exchange about truths, rights, and even the pursuit of happiness, and this summer is no different. One unalienable truth is that democracy is messy, and it requires a great deal of work, thought, sacrifice, and compromise. As our founders no doubt knew but could only begin to articulate, we, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, must embrace change. To avoid it does not protect the past as much as it circumscribes the future. And we need a future as broad as a Texas sunrise.

After months of sheltering in place, we could also use a little independence, a little freedom to grapple with a new normal or examine with 2020 vision the frazzled edges of lives we’ve built and maybe taken for granted. King Ranch celebrates that independent spirit. It was handed down more than a century ago by Captain Richard King, who stepped off the deck of a successful steamboat enterprise to face the call of opportunity in the frontier reaches of a democratic experiment little more than a hundred years in the making.

This is the part of the story where opportunity and challenge share real estate, though, since the nearest market for King Ranch cattle was more than 1,000 miles away. Between 1869 and his death in 1885, and under the newly established—and now historically mysterious—Running W brand, King led more than 100,000 head of cattle from South Texas into the markets and ranges of an emerging American West. He drove cattle, but he also drove innovation, investing in necessary and promising infrastructure that allowed him to meet national demand for his product. Along the way, the American ranching industry was born.

While we’re not all ranchers, we can celebrate uniquely American independence of spirit and determination. It is the will to get things done, despite the odds and obstacles, that gives purpose to a declaration, function to a constitution, and birth to a nation. King Ranch lives into that spirit with every Texas sunrise. It’s part of our DNA. And that same independent spirit is woven into the American fabric, both the stars and stripes, and the eager faces and hard-working hands looking to build the future. Even after 244 years, the American Spirit should inspire us all. On Independence Day and every day, Let Freedom Ring.


  • Ravinder Talwar says:

    I am a great admirer of this country which is making us proud to make the Global world based on Mutual understanding and and Friendship.My sincerest best wishes would always remain with it.

  • Genell Hobbs says:

    An uplifting post for “our” 244th birthday!
    Thank you, Happy Independence Day, and God bless our great country! ??

  • Nathan Wallensnat says:

    Always great men like Capt king step forward to renew the spirit of our founding fathers.

  • Brenda Ellis Ogden says:

    My father was a cowboy and vet tech on the King Ranch from 1949-1955. I’ve grown up listening to his stories about working on the ranch, traveling on cattle boats to Brazil to help the vets keep the cattle healthy en route, and many others. While I’ve never visited, this ranch had been part of my world through my father. Thank you for keeping its integrity and spirit – it’s one of the biggest examples of the American Dream.

  • Cheri Wilson says:

    Well, said! God Bless America.

  • R. Rubio says:


  • Tom McCarran says:

    Thanks for the good words. We need more of them.

  • Raul Tellez says:

    Many Thanks to Captain King whose Vision, and with the “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” of all the current, and past “Kinenos” that helped make this the Greatest Ranch in the World. I am proud that I lived in Kingsville, Texas, and of being part of that “Legend”.

  • Raul Tellez says:

    Many Thanks to Captain King whose Vision, and with the “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” of all the current, and past “Kinenos” that helped make this the Greatest Ranch in the World. I am proud that I lived in Kingsville, Texas, and of being part of that “Legend”.

  • Well said, I also believe during this time of unrest and fear we need to look up and remember who Blessed this great land of ours. The founders bent their knee also and dedicated this grand Republic to our creator. In return God has Blessed so much that we have become content on just complaining about everything and everyone. As for me and my house, we will continue to trust the God that has sustained our family for more than 150 years. God is good and His Mercies endure forever.

  • Melinda G Morales says:

    Vaqueros are the hardest working men and women! We all need to spend a little time with them and understand the meaning of hard work God, Country and Family

  • Kathleen E Frank says:

    Well articulated. I found it quite moving.

  • william l shanklin says:

    This is a beautiful tribute. What a wonderful essay on Independence Day.

  • Grace Marie says:

    The photograph displayed in King Ranch’s 7/4/20 post is a beautiful shot of a cowboy riding his horse; and the description of American democracy is appropriate, and appreciated.

  • Wayne Smith says:

    Agree 100 percent!! Freedom is hard. You have to work hard to get it, understanding what it means, and be willing to die to keep it!! Freedom isn’t free. Thank you!!

  • Thanks again for all your Toil…
    OVER the Year’s..

    Best regards

    Mark GN Armstrong……
    Hexham Park…

  • Damon Arthur says:

    I really enjoy the KR blogs – keep them up!!!!


  • Hey there! I’ve been following your web site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

  • Judy A Windham says:

    Thank you for the history, The King Ranch keeps going .