Patrick Francis Dunn, the son of Irish immigrants Thomas and Catherine H. Dunn, was born October 10, 1858, in Corpus Christi. He married Clara J. Jones August 30, 1883.
In December 1883, Pat Dunn entered a partnership with his mother and brother, Thomas, to graze cattle on Padre Island, and as manager moved to the island in January 1884. Settling 20 miles down the coast. Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico served as natural fences; during roundup, ranch hands drove stock into several corrals scattered along the 110-mile island.
When his children reached school age, Dunn moved back to Corpus Christi and established headquarters at the north end of the island. In 1907, after buying his brother's interest, he built a 2-story house on Corpus Christi Pass (0. 5 mile east), using lumber washed ashore from shipwrecks. Much of the house and corrals were constructed of fine mahogany. The house was destroyed in the hurricane of 1916, the year of his mother's death, which left Dunn as sole owner of the ranch. Pat Dunn sold his Padre Island interests in 1926, retaining grazing rights, which he used until his death March 25, 1937. His son, Burton Dunn, continued ranching operations until his death Sept. 8, 1970, after which the last cattle were removed from Padre Island.