Ranch founder, Ralph S. "Rafe" Franklin, was born in Louisiana, April 4, 1848. He came to McMullen County in the early 1860's with his family. He started this ranch about 1870, building it up until he owned 40,000 acres, one of the largest holdings in this area. On Nov. 4, 1870, he married Minerva Holland; their children were: Murray; Buddy; R. S. Jr. ; Green; Felix; Chapman; Amy; Claude; Tom; John; Margaret; Sam; Julius. The ranch headquartered on San Miguel Creek.
In 1913, the present ranch home was built at the same location. It was a travelers' refuge; relatives and friends from near and far visited oftent to attend parties, dances, picnics and other social gatherings. For a short time Franklin ran sheep and goats but changed to cattle. In 1902, he purchased a herd of black angus, the first in this part of the country. The old "San Antonio-Laredo Stage Road" traverses ranch, crossing San Miguel Creek below ranch home. During the Civil War much cotton passed over this road headed for the Mexican border. The Franklins were pioneers in truest sense--few were more dynamic than they in early McMullen County development. "Rafe" Franklin died March 14, 1913.