From Revolutionists to Ranchers

The legacy of the 06 Ranch.
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The legacy of the 06 Ranch.
Credit: Peter Robbins

Credit: Peter Robbins

The Kokernot o6 Ranch in Alpine, Texas, can trace its origins to 1805, when David Kokernot was born in Amsterdam, Holland. David’s father moved the family to New Orleans in 1818, where young David married a German immigrant. In 1832, he sailed for Texas with a load of dry goods. Despite being shipwrecked, he saw promise in the new land and returned with his wife and son—eventually serving in the Texas Navy and becoming friends with Sam Houston.

After the revolution, David’s sons John W. and Lee M. turned toward ranching and David joined them. In 1872, John registered the o6 brand in honor of his father. 

“The brand is o6, which stands for Officer Six: the rank of captain,” says Chris Lacy, current ranch manager and descendant of David.

In 1883, the Kokernots moved to the Davis Mountains of Texas. 

“They moved the entire ranch on the rail,” Lacy says. “There was no station; they just dropped off the chuckwagon, cowboys, horses, and cattle off the boxcars in Murphyville—which is now Alpine—and started ranching right there.”

L.M. and his son, Herbert Lee, kept their Alpine holdings, but also bought a ranch in Lubbock. They were soon able to triple their money on the Lubbock property and moved back to Alpine where Herbert Lee and later, his son Herbert Lee Jr., began ranch expansion in earnest.

In the subsequent century, the ranch has been recognized by dozens of national and local organizations, and its owners have held important civic and industry leadership roles. 

Today, the ranch is “bigger than Rhode Island” and runs Hereford and Hereford-Angus cross cattle, raises Quarter Horses, and offers big game hunting. 

“It’s all family owned and operated,” Lacy says. In addition to Chris, the current o6 owners are Elizabeth Winn, Ann Brown, and Golda Brown. “Most of the money comes from beef and hunting. There’s no oil money.”

The grandchildren currently being raised on the ranch are the eighth generation of Kokernots in Texas