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Martha (Reagan) Rabb (February 25, 1826-March 20, 1901)

Texas Historical Marker - Martha (Reagan) Rabb

Texas Historical Marker

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Martha Reagan moved with her parents from Tennessee to Fayette County, Texas where she met and married John Rabb (1825-1872). In 1857, John and Martha moved their family to Nueces County and settled near Banquete, where John pursued cattle ranching under the Bow and Arrow brand. Rabb raised far more cattle than his ranch land could support by running his herds on the open range. He became one of the most successful cattlemen in the area, owning more than 10,000 head of cattle when he died in 1872.

When Martha assumed control of the business, she took it in a dramatically different direction. Forseeing the end of the free-range era, she capitalized on the panic and flight caused by violent raids along the Nueces strip and aggressively began to buy land here in 1875. Within a year, she owned more than 43,000 acres, some of which she bought for as little as 37 cents per acre. Enclosed within 40 miles of fence, the Rabb Ranch included this site and stretched from north of Robstown south to Driscoll, and was bordered on the west by the Petronilla and Banquete Creeks and on the east by present-day Callicoate Road (FM 1694). She became known as a "Texas Cattle Queen. "

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