The Allen Ranch has been continuously owned and operated by the same family since 1884, serving primarily as an agriculture enterprise producing cattle and goats. We now exclusively raise Black Angus cattle, but with the abundant and varied wildlife that call the ranch home, we have implemented management programs to ensure sustainable habitats and numbers. The ranch was founded by great-grandfather, Wiley J. Everett. The below biography provides the unique story of his life and the history of how the Allen Ranch was formed.
Wiley James Reid Everett was born on his father’s farm in Hawkins County, Tennessee on September 12, 1851. He was the son of Orval and Louisa (Robinson) Everett. His father died in 1860 before the Civil War and his mother later married John Moore of Lexington, Kentucky.
Wiley left Tennessee at the age of fifteen to live with his uncle, Rev. John Robinson, a Baptist Evangelist, in Jefferson City, Missouri, so that he could attend school. That summer, he and his uncle went to see a herd of several hundred cattle being held for inspection and attended to by the foreman, Henry Leverett. Rev. Robinson and Mr. Leverett were very close friends. Wiley asked Mr. Leverett for a job as a cowboy, and he was immediately hired to go on the trail with him. He enjoyed the stories of the cowboys, and he had always loved cattle and horses. They drove herds for about two years from Missouri to the Indian Territory.
In January 1869, Wiley J. Everett came to Llano on horseback with Mr. Joe Leverett, who lived in Llano, accompanied by two wagons, cattle and horses. Llano was a mere trading-post with two stores, a black-smith shop, a post-office, and a few picket houses. They made their first camp three miles south of Llano, on the banks of Oatman Creek. At the time, there was probably not a fence in all of Central Texas and the currency used was silver and gold. The Civil War had been over a short time, and conditions in Texas and the South were marked by hard times.
In March of 1869, Wiley moved to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Miles Barler, who lived in a large two-story house in east Llano near the river on a large tract of land owned by Mr. Barler, known as Barler Flat. Wiley boarded with the Barlers for almost twelve years until his marriage. He worked with the cattle outfit Maberry, Oatman, and Leverett, and in the spring of 1870, made his first trip from Llano to Baxter Springs, Kansas with over 1,500 head of cattle. The cattle were held in quarantine for Texas Fever until fall and then driven to the Missouri River west of St. Louis. Wiley came back to Llano in the spring of 1871 to help herd to Abilene, Kansas, then the most notorious cow-town in the West.
In the spring of 1873, he made his third drive over the trail with a herd of cattle for George Miller to the Dakotas where he remained through the winter, returning to Llano in April of 1874.
After returning from the Dakotas, Al Roberts hired him to take a bunch of cattle to the Indian Territory; he soon returned and in the early fall of 1874, W.S. Carruthers of Austin hired him as trail boss. He worked for Mr. Carruthers six years. He became familiar with practically every one of the northern trails, taking herds as far as Wyoming and Idaho. The average number of cattle in the drives was four thousand head, but on one account two herds were combined in Kansas for a total of sixty-five hundred.
In the fall of 1874, a herd of cattle belonging to Mr. Carruthers was being held by Wiley Everett and his cowboys, one mile southeast of Llano, across Oatman Creek, when at about day break, a band of Comanche Indians made a raid. Later in the morning, a man of Hispanic heritage by the name of Pablo went to hunt for the horses, and when he did not return after an hour, the cowboys went to look for him and found him dead in some mesquite thickets. The cowboys saw the Indians running away and gave chase along the banks of Flag Creek. The Indians were last seen traveling southwest from Llano. An Indian Chief was found dead, rolled in a blanket, lying against a large log, near the banks of Flag Creek.
On September 12, 1880, Wiley J. Everett was united in marriage to Miss Malinda Louisa Kuykendall, better known as Lutie, daughter of Joseph Abner and Sallie Ann (Mickleborough) Kuykendall, whose parents were members of pioneer families of Texas. Joseph Abner Kuykendall was a pioneer stockman of Llano County. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Everett lived four miles north of Llano, at Wrights Creek.
In the fall of 1882, Wiley J. Everett and Suel H. Buchanan formed a partnership, leasing a large tract of land on the Llano River near Junction, Kimble County and moved their families there in January 1883. They had good luck with their cattle and returned to Llano with a profit of forty-five hundred dollars, each from the sale of their steers. When Wiley returned to Llano, he invested his money in land on the Llano River, two miles east of Llano on the north side of the river and established his ranch home. That land remains part of the Allen Ranch today and is commonly referred to as “The Hill”. The years 1885 and 1886 were unusually dry years and the winters were terribly cold. In the winter of 1886 most of the cattle died and those that survived almost starved. Wiley Everett moved his family from the ranch home into Llano on December 29, 1900, and in the spring of 1901, he bought a home in Barler Flat, where the family lived for thirty-one years.
In 1914, he bought a ranch known as the Bitting’s ranch, located 15 miles northeast of Llano, which today is part of the Allen Ranch and commonly referred to as “The Mountain”. Along with cattle, he ran 800 head of goats on this ranch. Wiley had three different brands for his cattle, the running W with a bar underneath, YLA brand and a single Y. He made trips up the trails until the early 1900s. He, like all other cattlemen, had his ups and downs, but managed to bring his cattle through hard times.
He was elected sheriff of Llano County in the summer of 1914, taking his office in January 1915 and serving until January 1921. Wiley became a member of the Masonic Lodge on February 4, 1893. He was a member of the Old Trail Driver’s Association of Texas, a trustee of the Llano Independent School District for ten years, alderman of the City of Llano for several terms, a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattlemen’s Association, and a Democrat in politics.
Mr. and Mrs. Everett became parents of eight children: Sara Ola, Mittie Lee, Zula M., Wiley Mae, W.J., Verda Clair, and twin daughters, Ira Maude and Iva Dawn. Iva became the wife of Thomas M. Allen of Llano County who became the parents to Patricia Lynn and Thomas Everett. Patricia Lynn lived only a short time. Mr. and Mrs. Everett also cared for several orphans in their home, taking care of them until they married and made homes of their own.
Wiley J. Everett was always active and interested in the cattle business until his death, which occurred at his home, June 29, 1930. Funeral services were conducted at his home, 6:30p.m., June 30th; afterward, the Masonic Lodge laid Wiley J. Everett to rest, with Masonic honors, in the Llano Cemetery.
Lutie Everett, his widow, continued to live at the homestead she shared with her husband in the trails and hardships of pioneer life. She was devoted to her family, friends and neighbors. She was loved and esteemed by those who knew her. She was a member of the First Christian Church and a member of the Eastern Star. After three years of illness, she passed away at her home, August 25, 1931 and was laid to rest by the grave of her husband in the Llano Cemetery.
The Allen Ranch is the only remaining land from Wiley Everett’s estate as all other family member’s either sold directly to Mrs. Iva Dawn Allen or adjacent neighbors. The ranch was most recently under the care of Iva and Thomas’s son, Thomas Everett Allen and is now managed directly by his son, Travis Evan Allen.