Learn about the proud history of heroes devoted to helping Texas at Bradley Oaks Ranch.
Texas founding father Sam Houston grants a third of a league of land to Captain John Lawrence Hall for his service in the Texas Independence and Republican armies and the Mexican War.
Hall clears the uninhabited tract of wilderness, traveling 50+ miles by horse between his farm and his hotel in Crockett, Texas.
Farming begins, launching 160+ years of farming and ranching work here, making it one of the longest continuously operating agricultural concerns in Texas.
Colonel Richard A.R. Hallum of South Carolina buys the property to grow cotton, planting its signature Oak Alley and naming the place “The Oaks.”
The Barnes family take ownership and add a dairy, run by matriarch Nannie Barnes.
Texas oil and real estate tycoons the Murchison Brothers, one of whom owns the Dallas Cowboys, re-name the property “Glad Oaks,” turn it into a ranch, and let the Cowboys practice here.
The Heppner Family, now calling the property “Bradley Oaks Ranch,” make its resources available to university researchers in the HERO program focused on improving life for all Texans.
Bradley Oaks Ranch has a range of facilities that make it an ideal campus for HERO researchers, both students and professors, to learn, conduct fieldwork and implement programs that apply their research to a wildlife habitat and working Texas ranch. It’s also a great place to gather together to share knowledge between all of the HERO University Members. In short, it’s a place that’s both for collaboration and use as a laboratory – a sort of Ranch Collaboratory.
Art & Potters Studio
Equine Facility – rodeo, game fields & racing tracks
Riding & Party Barn
5+ miles of horse trails, nature paths and biking courses
Multiple spaces for conferences and gatherings
Bradley Oaks Ranch includes a wildlife education center that allows visitors to learn about and observe animals and plants found only in East Texas and promotes the importance of conserving and maintaining native wildlife and the environment. In 2014, two American bald eagle nests were discovered on the property. Since then, it has served as a site for research on bald eagles, contributing data to the Texas Natural Diversity Database.
The Ranch has implemented a wildlife management program to operate seamlessly with the ranch and farming operations. The primary interests include attracting local game including white-tailed deer, turkeys, doves and waterfowl. Secondary target species include encouragement of quail, all non-game birds and songbirds. The Ranch habitat provides food and cover for additional species including bobcats, coyotes, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossum, armadillo, eagles, owls, hawks, woodpeckers, water birds, and various rodent, reptile and amphibian species.