Mathew Moss came
to Texas from Tennessee when quite young. He enlisted in Sherman's
Regiment during the Texas Revolution and served in the defeat
of Santa Anna at San Jacinto in 1836. For these services,
he received from the Republic of Texas a land grant located
in Llano County. In 1838, he married Mary Ann Boyce, daughter
of Aaron and Elizabeth Boyce of Missouri. Mathew and Mary
Ann Moss lived in Fayette County before settling on her sub-division
of her father's head-right in Travis County. They lived there
until 1857 when they sold her land. As part of the sale they
took in trade over 100 head of cattle branded for her. They moved
their family and the cattle from Travis County to land in
Llano County where Mathew believed there was a rich silver
mine near Bullhead Mountain. It was never found. They had
nine children. They were Julia, James, Charles, Stephen, William,
Mathew, John, Elizabeth and Aaron. Charles and Aaron became
the founders of the Heritage ranch being honored.
Aaron Furman Moss & Etta Passmore
Moss with their children: Luke, Mark, & Myrtle
Aaron F. Moss was born in
1864 on his father's land grant in Llano County. His mother
died when he was two and his father died in 1875. They were
buried in the Moss Cemetery at the old homestead. He was reared
by his oldest sister, Julia (Slator), and his older brother,
Charles, who was his legal guardian. In 1882 when Aaron was
18 years old, he joined his brother in purchasing from Mary
Maverick 30,000 acres which they added to their cattle ranching
operation. Originally they had Longhorns, then crossed them
with Durhams and later phased those out with Polled Herefords.
They continued adding land that ran into the thousands of
acres. Later, some of that land was sold in order to make
long-range improvements on the original land.
The brothers were plagued
by Indian raids. The climax of their troubles with Indians
came at the Packsaddle Indian Fight in which Aaron and Charles
fended off the attackers at home and protected the stock while
three of their brothers fought at Packsaddle Mountain.
The Mosses built their first
fences of rail or rock, which eventually proved too expensive.
As soon as barbed wire was invented, they built the first
fences made with wire in Llano County. Fence cutters, however,
continually cut the wire fences. The Mosses also built earthen
ponds by using teams and scrapers, and dug wells by hand for
In November of 1897, the Moss
Brothers effected a partition of their undivided one-half
interest in approximately 30,000 acres, except for 1,200 acres
occupied by the Enchanted Rock, which they held in common.
Aaron Moss bought 25,000 more acres in Kinney County, and
that land is the present site of Alamo Village. He later traded
that land to his brother-in-law, Damon Slator, and always
maintained that he "got the best of the deal" for
his 5,000 acres northwest of Llano. Aaron Moss was married
to Etta (Passmore), with whom he had three children, Mark,
Luke and Myrtle (Inks).
In 1946, Luke Moss received
title to 1,226 of his father's land and later added 1,161
more acres on which he raised Polled Herefords. While he was
still a boy, Luke Moss was given by his father the major responsibility
of moving more than 100 horses by horse-herding to the Kinney
County ranch. The round trip was made twice a year and took
many weeks to complete.
Luke Moss took an active part
in civic and community projects. He was an organizer and served
as president of the Hill Country Livestock Raisers Association.
He served on the Board of the Central Texas Electric Cooperative
and was chairman of the Board of the First Christian Church.
He also worked on the Texas Christian University Development
Board. Moss was also active in the Llano County Soil and Water
Conservation District and actively pursued brush control and
water development practices. He also was a contributor to
the Screw-worm Eradication Program. In addition to the land
he acquired and bought for his ranch, Luke Moss received by
partition 4,790 and bought 1,173 acres of other land that
is not part of Dutch Mountain Ranch. He owned a total of 8,350
acres. He was married to Maud (Kendrick) and they had two
daughters. They were Ann Etta (Hall) and Louise (Etheredge).
Because he was a well-known and highly-respected rancher,
the House of Representatives of the 59th Legislature set aside
a page in the Journal to pay tribute to Luke Moss and adjourned
that day in his memory.
Ann Etta (Moss) Hall acquired
title to 1,231 acres in 1958 and 1959. She and her family
continued to raise Polled Herefords and to use the brand just as her father and grandfather had.
Her two children are James Moss Hall, deceased, and Lugenia
"Gene" Hall. Ann Etta Moss Hall received awards
for being the Outstanding Wildlife Conservationist from the
Llano Soil and Water Conservation District and the Outstanding
Resident Conservation Rancher in Llano County. She also received
awards for Excellence in Grazing Management from the Texas
Section of the Society for Range Management and the Goodyear
Conservation Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Resource
Conservation. The conservation program at her ranch included
cross-fencing, rotational grazing, water development, brush
control and wildlife management.
Today the Dutch
Mountain Ranch is co-owned by Gene Hall and
her children, Deanne, Kip, Jill, and Kristen.
Gene also owns and operates
the Pecan Creek Ranch on which
she resides. In addition to her cattle operation, she added guest lodging on both ranches beginning in 1992.