The LH7 Ranch in Houston's Shadow
The LH7 Ranch in Houston’s Shadow: The E.H. Marks’ Legacy From
Longhorns to the Salt Grass Trail is now available as a free e-book
at the UNT Digital Library and The Portal to Texas History.
“I lived in the days when Texas was young. I followed the chuckwagon and
rode bucking horses from ranch to ranch. But that was in those early
days, in the nineties, when I was young.” —E. H. Marks
The story of Emil Henry Marks and the LH7 Ranch he founded records not
only the history of a unique family but also tells something of the
cattle business on the coastal prairies of Texas when ranching was the
principal industry of the region, before Houston became a major
metropolitan center and industry became king. It also chronicles the
beginning of the Salt Grass Trail, one of Houston’s most enduring
Marks registered the LH7 brand in Harris County in 1898 and started the
ranch with 63 acres of grass west of Houston and a few Longhorn cattle.
By the early 1930s the LH7 was running 6,670 head on 36,000 acres. The
city’s shadow loomed over the LH7 in the 1940s and 1950s, and eventually
a big bite of the ranch was condemned to protect booming Houston from
flooding along Buffalo Bayou. At age seventy, Marks made the first Salt
Grass Trail ride in January, 1952, which is reenacted each February to
kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Printed on demand.