LUBBOCK, Texas — The sprawling ranch of the late T. Boone Pickens is for sale by a Lubbock native with a close relationship to the billionaire oil magnate.
According to his estate, Pickens passed away Wednesday, September 11. He was 91.
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Sam Middleton, owner of Chas S. Middleton and Son, said he had his first business encounter with Pickens 20 years ago, when Middleton sold a portion of the famous 6666 Ranch to him.
Pickens, Middleton said, immediately approached him with another business request: the ranch realtor was to divide the land up into smaller pieces and double his money.
“That’s a pretty big charge,” Middleton said. “But we had everything closed out in 15 months, and more than doubled his money.”
Middleton said Pickens had seen the coming of the recreational hunting market in West Texas, and had capitalized on it.
“Boone was such a visionary,” he said.
Middleton said Pickens eventually asked him to begin expanding a ranch the businessman owned near Pampa, Texas: the Mesa Vista ranch.
According to the ranch listing by Chas S. Middleton and Son, Pickens first purchased 2,900 acres of the land in 1971.
The ranch is now more than 64,000 acres (more than 100 square miles).
“He probably has about $400 million in this ranch,” he said.
Middleton said he knew that it would be a challenge to find the right buyer for the ranch.
“And, I told him, I said, ‘you know, you’ve got to view this ranch — you’ll never get your money back — you’ve got to view this property from the standpoint of the enjoyment that you had in owning this,” he said.
Middleton said when Pickens approached him two years ago to sell the ranch, his health had begun to rapidly decline, and that he had run into a lot of issues in the weeks leading up to his passing.
“He is probably the smartest man I was ever around in my life, and he was probably the most generous person I ever knew,” Middleton said. “He gave away over a billion dollars in his lifetime, and he was a true visionary.”
Middleton told Bloomberg that Pickens’ death probably won’t change plans to sell the ranch.
A memorial service for Pickens was announced and will be held Thursday, September 14 in Dallas, according to his estate. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are among those who will be speaking at the event.