Matador Land and Cattle Company Records, 1874-1960

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Biographical Sketch

Established in 1879 by Alfred Markham Britton, Henry Harrison Campbell, and associates, the ranch covered one and a half million acres in Motley, Cottle, Floyd, and Dickens counties of Texas. In 1882 the founders sold their cattle and range rights to a syndicate based in Dundee, Scotland. Additional acreage was leased in south central Kansas, the Texas Panhandle, Canada, South Dakota, and Montana, and by 1933, the Matador's Texas holdings totaled nearly 900,000 acres. With rare exceptions, during periods of drought, substantial dividends were paid annually. Company stock increased from an original $0.70 to $23.70 per share in 1961, when the stockholders sold their shares to Lazard Brothers and Company. Principals in the ranches' operations included manager Murdo Mackenzie, and the company secretary in Scotland, Alexander Mackay.

A complete finding aid of these records can be found at

The Handbook of Texas has published more in-depth online biographies of the Matador Ranch, the Matador Land and Cattle Company, and Murdo Mackenzie at

Scope and Contents

The collection includes financial and legal materials, land records, payrolls, herd books, range diaries, Board of Director's minutes, correspondence between the Dundee, Scotland office and American offices and ranches, and correspondence among the British Investors. Correspondence between the managers and division superintendents includes: Murdo Mackenzie, Alexander Mackay, Alfred Markham Britton, Henry Harrison Campbell, William Sommerville, Arthur B. Ligertwood, John MacBain, J. M. Jackson, John Mackenzie, Maurice J. Reilly, Lewis F. Robertson and John V. Stevens. Also included is Murdo Mackenzie's correspondence from Brazil when he served as manager of the Brazil Land, Cattle, and Packing Company from 1912 to 1917.


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Preferred Citation

Matador Land and Cattle Company Records, 1874-1960, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas