The original 5000-acre Fair Oaks Ranch was formed by putting together several land purchases during the 1930's by oil man Ralph E. Fair, Sr. Mr. Fair was a very successful and well known oil man with activities in California, Africa, Romania, and East Texas. He worked with the government of Romania to develop the world famous Ploesti Oil Fields.
When Mr. Fair, Sr. first acquired the ranch, his hobby was race horses, which were then quartered at the stables -- now used as the golf course maintenance headquarters. In the 1940's when Texas law changed in regard to horse racing, Mr. Fair turned his attention to the raising of registered cattle and developed his own strain of Herefords from the "Battle Intense" blood line. The ranch became one of the first to be involved in an artificial insemination program. The original laboratory buildings remain in place at the equestrian center (C. D. P. Stables). The very large stone barn at that location was originally used as a pavilion in which to display show cattle. Buyers came from all over the world for the cattle auctions. The sales were business/social occasions and a focal point for San Antonio for many years. So renowned was the program's primary bull that a monument in his honor once stood on the ranch. A plaque still marks his grave, and today the annual golf tournament bears his name "Battle Intense".
After the deaths of Mr. & Mrs. Fair in 1967 and 1969, the family members began studying the feasibility of developing the ranch. Originally, ranchettes of 10 to 12 acres were offered in the north part of the ranch. Tracts of 5 acres were offered in the south end of the ranch. Throughout the entire development process, great care was taken to maintain the beauty and tranquility of the original ranch. The first office for the sale of land was opened at the dairy headquarters at the corner of Ralph Fair Road and Dietz Elkhorn. These buildings served as the City offices for many years and now serve as the Police and Homeowners Assocaition offices.
In 1975, the residents formed a Homeowner's Association and elected Boots Gaubatz President. The Homeowner's Board was organized on a functional basis and provides many valuable services to the residents. It is an active organization whose lean and mean operation keeps dues to only $3.00 a month.
In 1977 togive the ranch a focal point, a tennis club was brought into being. As the ranch developed, it was a natural progression to consider a full county club project. Fair Oaks Ranch Golf and Country Clubopened in 1978, utilizing the original Ralph Fair home as the Country Club. The 14,000 square foot home became the center of activities on the ranch. An additional 6,000 square feet was added to the main home, with minimal remodeling to preserve the beauty of the home. Most recently, a beautiful Banquet Hall designed to complement the original Fair Oaks Club House has been built. In addition to thirteen tennis courts, three swimming pools, riding trails, and walking paths, there are 36 holes of golf laid out by Gary Player, Denis Grifiths, and Ron Kirby. With these changes, emphasis has been on preserving the integrity and ambience of the original Fair family home.
Fair Oaks Ranch spreads into three counties covering one of the most scenic areas of Texas. It offers a wide variety of life styles to appeal to everyone. Now containing more than 2,000 homes and a population of over 5,000 people. With as many as 500 homes yet to be built, the future population of the city should peak at about 6,500.
To continue on the path of preserving the beauty of the area, insuring the quality of life, maintaining home rule, and controlling their own taxes, the Homeowner's Association, under the leadership of 'Boots" Gaubatz, assigned Don King, as Director of Planning, the task of determining the feasibility of forming a city. After many meetings which began in 1985, Don King and his committee of 10 recommended the Ranch should seek to become a City. According to the Texas State Laws there would have to be two cities formed due to restrictions concerning population density and the size of the proposed city. Therefore, the cities of Fair Oaks North and Fair Oaks South were incorporated. This was accomplished through the hard and persistent work of Don King, who became Mayor of Fair Oaks North, Boots Gaubatz, who became Mayor of Fair Oaks South, and Robert L. Herring, a key Homeowner's Association Board member. These men are considered the Founding Fathers of Fair Oaks Ranch with many others who helped make the City a reality. On January 21, 1988, the North and South cities were combined and named Fair Oaks. Boots Gaubatz was elected Mayor of the new City and he continues to serve in this capacity today. Some time later, the residents voted to name the City Fair Oaks Ranch.
Since that time, the City has made considerable progress and is an outstanding example of how a cooperative spirit and volunteer support can overcome the weaknesses of big government.The school system is part of the Boerne Independent School District. The Ranch has a lovely new Fair Oaks Ranch elementary school with grades K through 6. The City now has its own Police Force, EMS, and is protected by the Leon Springs Volunteer Fire Department with two fire stations within the city limits.
The 'Founders' had a vision and it has come to be. Fair Oaks Ranch is a model City that many other should emulate.
Visit Fair Oaks Ranch Website: http://www.ci.fair-oaks-ranch.tx.us/