A native of Hopkins County in North Texas, William Thomas “Tom” Waggoner began building his ranch empire by joining his father in the cattle business at the age of 17. In 1870 he drove a heard of cattle to Abilene, Kansas. The profits he received became the foundation for holdings which spread across Wise, Wichita, and Wilbarger counties. Tom was a friend to Teddy Roosevelt and Will Rogers. While drilling for water, Waggoner accidentally struck oil and used his riches for civic contributions in his adopted hometown of Fort Worth.