Texas Pacific Land Trust
1700 Pacific Ave., Ste. 2770
Dallas, TX 75201
The Texas and Pacific Railway Company was the only railroad in Texas, and one of the few in the United States, to operate under a federal charter. Congress granted the charter March 3, 1871. With the end of the Civil War, the project to construct a southern transcontinental railroad was revived, and the Texas Pacific was given the right to build from Marshall, Texas, to San Diego, California. The company was granted a federal land grant of twenty sections of land per mile through California and forty sections through what are now Arizona and New Mexico and a state land grant of twenty sections in Texas.
Texas Pacific Land Trust was created in 1888 as a result of a reorganization of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company following receivership. Holders of Texas and Pacific Railway Company bonds received 3.5 million acres of land in Texas which had been earned by the railroad and pledged as security against bonds. The bondholders created the Trust and converted bonds to shares of proprietary interest in the Trust. The Trust was created to manage and sell the land. Today the Trust is one of the largest landowners in Texas with around 887,698 acres located in eighteen different counties. Texas Pacific Land Trust derives revenue from all avenues of managing the land, i.e. oil and gas royalties, grazing leases, easements, sundry and specialty leases, and land sales. The Trust has a perpetual oil and gas royalty interest in some 459,191 acres.
The Trust also owns a 1/128 nonparticipating perpetual oil and gas royalty interest under 85,414 acres of land and a 1/16 nonparticipating perpetual oil and gas royalty interest under 373,777 acres of land in the western part of Texas. Generally speaking, if the Trust sells the surface estate in real property with respect to which it holds a perpetual oil and gas royalty interest, that oil and gas royalty interest is excluded from the sale and retained by the Trust.