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Rail X Ranch

Rail X Ranch Estates
Monkey Springs
Rail-X Ranch
Patagonia – Arizona

Colored photographs and selected history narratives
were made available with my sincere appreciation
by Ferdinand Otto Van Galen

THE RAIL X RANCH traces its history back to the late 1800’s.  When Thomas Hughes founded what was then called Monkey Springs Ranch, because of the numerous Coatimundi (Raccoon like animal) called the Mexican Monkey because of their long ring-striped tails.  They played along a natural hot-springs-pool located on the ranch property.   In 1883 Hughes sold the property to Rollin Richardson, a wealthy investor from Pennsylvania.  Rollin Richardson renamed the ranch “Pennsylvania Ranch” – presumably home-sick.  Richardson never did take to the ranch life and swore he would never return to Arizona again!  In 1901 Richardson sold the property to Walter Vail, a neighbor & rancher, who owned the largest cattle ranch in Arizona - The Empire Ranch.

At the same time in the early 1900’s Oscar Ashburn was looking to start a new life with his new wife Minnie (Perry) Ashburn and their three stepsons. With the financial help of his partner Walter Vail, Oscar Ashburn bought the Rail X ranch with over 5000 acres including structures and livestock.  Rollins Richardson kept 500 acres for himself and founded the nearby town of Patagonia, Arizona.


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