George's Legacy

Geo. Wilkins Kendall

1809 – 1867

Discover the enduring legacy of George Wilkins Kendall (1809–1867), a Texas icon whose name graces Kendall County. Renowned as a Texas Ranger, daring adventurer, war correspondent, and esteemed author, Kendall epitomized the spirit of the Lone Star State. At George’s Ranch, we celebrate Kendall’s storied heritage and proudly uphold Texas history by preserving the myriad historical sites nestled within our property. Join us in honoring the indomitable spirit of Texas through our dedication to its vibrant past.
George Wilkins Kendall played a crucial role in the history of The New Orleans Picayune, a prominent newspaper of its time. In the 1830s, Kendall worked as a reporter for the Picayune and later became one of its owners. Under his editorial guidance, the newspaper gained recognition and became one of the leading journals in the South.
Kendall’s tenure at The New Orleans Picayune allowed him to showcase his skills as a journalist and editor. His commitment to reporting and his ability to cover a wide range of topics contributed to the newspaper’s success. The Picayune, under Kendall’s influence, became known for its coverage of political, social, and cultural events in the region.
Kendall was one of the earliest war correspondents and is considered a pioneer in this field. Kendall reported on the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), providing vivid and detailed accounts of the battles and life on the front lines. His dispatches were influential in shaping public perception of the conflict.
Kendall also wrote several books, including “Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition” and “The War between the United States and Mexico Illustrated.” His writings not only chronicled his experiences but also provided valuable historical insights into the period, contributing to the understanding of Texas history and the Mexican-American War.
Kendall ventured into ranching after the war and became a key figure in the development of the Texas livestock industry. Kendall established this very ranch, known at the time as the “Post Oak Springs” in the mid-1850s. The ideal location along the Cibolo Creek provided access to water—a crucial element for ranching throughout the region.
On the ranch, Kendall implemented innovative ranching techniques and practices. He experimented with different breeds of livestock, including sheep and cattle, and introduced new methods for herding and managing the animals. Kendall is often referred to as the “Father of the Texas Sheep Industry” due to his significant contributions to the development of the sheep business in Texas. His efforts helped to establish more efficient and productive ranching practices in the region.
Life on the Texas frontier during the mid-19th century was fraught with challenges, and ranchers often had to contend with Native American tribes seeking to protect their territories. Kendall and other settlers in the Boerne area faced attacks, prompting them to be vigilant and resourceful in safeguarding their livelihoods and families.

George W. Kendall and his artistic wife, Adeline de Valcourt, first began their courtship in the romantic city of Paris. Despite facing the challenges of distance and societal expectations, their love endured, growing stronger with each passing obstacle. Eventually, the couple tied the knot in a fairy-tale ceremony, surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Provence.

Following their nuptials, George and Adeline sailed back to America to raise a family. Together on their ranch in the Texas Hill Country, they battled blizzards, disease, and grass fires, all the while building their family and ranching empire.

Kendall and Adeline had four children: Georgina, George William, Caroline Louise, and Henry Fletcher. Following Kendall’s passing, their oldest, Georgina, assumed the responsibility of safeguarding her father’s records. She endeavored to publish Kendall’s manuscript, “The War Between the United States and Mexico.” In addition to George’s, Georgina meticulously preserved the records of her other family members, providing comprehensive documentation of their lives on the ranch in Boerne.

George Wilkins Kendall’s multifaceted contributions to Texas left an indelible mark on the state’s history, earning him the distinct honor of having Kendall County named after him. Established in 1862, Kendall County pays homage to a man whose influence extended across various spheres crucial to the development of Texas.
Recognizing Kendall’s comprehensive contributions to Texas, Kendall County was named as a lasting tribute to his legacy. The establishment of the county was not merely a geographical designation but a symbolic acknowledgment of Kendall’s enduring impact on the region.

Kendall County will continue to serve as a reminder of the rich tapestry of Texas history and Kendall’s pivotal roles in shaping its trajectory. His name, etched into the county’s identity, continues to resonate as a testament to his enduring legacy as a journalist, rancher, and innovator in the livestock industry, contributing significantly to the growth and progress of the Lone Star State.

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