In 1871, Col. George Fulton brought together drover Tom Coleman and cousins J.M. and Thomas Mathis to form what would become the area’s largest and most successful ranching empires. It would extend to 250,000 acres of land across five South Texas counties, and they profited greatly shipping hides and tallows from Rockport to New Orleans. Coleman’s cattle roamed freely in these parts before the company introduced some of the first fences to contain the animals in individual pastures. The ranch was eventually taken over by a lender from Ohio, who willed the land to his daughter. She married Charles P. Taft – for whom the ranch and the town were named.
The Blackland Museum is housed in the 1923 headquarters of Taft Ranch and features period photographs of the Coleman family and the Pasture Company’s original charter.