As you may have heard this week, our next Secretary of State, if approved by Congress, could be Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson. He is the head honcho at the Irving-based multi-national oil and gas corporation, but he lives in Bartonville. His recommendation is said to have come from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice and Gates have a consulting firm that works with Exxon.
Bartonville is north of DFW International Airport, bordering Lantana, part of that loamy-soil rich horse country near Argyle and Pilot Point dotted with huge horse farms, like this Ebby listing for Mustang Ranch where I was kissing a fabulous horse.
The area was settled in 1878 and was named for T. Bent Barton. In 1886 there was only a post office, by 1906 there no longer was a post office but a population of about 100. Families love the quiet, country atmosphere and great Argyle public schools. Getting from Irving to Bartonville is about a 30 minute limo ride.
“Everyone in Argyle wants acreage,” says Marilyn Hoffman, Hoffman International Realty, “there are probably more equestrian spreads there and in Bartonville, than anywhere else in Texas.”
She should know: Hoffman listed the ranch the Tillersons bought from the late Charles Wyly which was called, at the time, Stargate Sport Horse Farm. The name was changed to Bar RR Ranches (Rex and Renda). She had it listed for two years at an asking price of $12 million. After her listing agreement expired, Tillerson and his wife bought the spread in September of 2009 for way less than what Wyly had been asking.
Charles Wyly acquired the land back in 2001 and built the facilities for his daughter, who lived in Highland Park, and was an accomplished dressage rider. (A 4,000 square foot home is on the property for a ranch manager.) The ranch was also once the site of The Cowtown Ball, Fort Worth’s equivalent of Dallas’ Cattle Baron’s Ball, in the huge indoor arena, when owned by Charles Wyly. Marilyn even donated an Arabian stallion to the event.
Marilyn is an accomplished equestrian. She raises Arabians at her ranch in Mineola, which had been owned by the late Malcolm Brachman, once partner with George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers and a brilliant bridge player. Hoffman regularly sells horse ranches and large estates to billionaires. She recently sold a large equestrian estate in Argyle on Hilltop Road with a 12,000 square foot home, listed at $11 million (sold for $10,875,000) to a Toyota North America exec.
Tillerson is said to be extremely nice, down to earth, and self-made: he was an Eagle Scout, and his parents met because of scouting. His family is very into the horsey set, and they raise and breed cutting horses, and Marilyn has run across them several times at horse shows. In 2012, Renda Tillerson was awarded the “Fern Sawyer Award” by the the Cowgirl Museum for her contributions to the Cowgirl lifestyle. (Fern Sawyer was a champion cowgirl from the 1970s). Marilyn’s company showed the Tillersons ranches all over Texas, including 12780 Hilltop Road, before they decided on this one. The Bar RR is a state of the art facility for not just showing and training, but also for breeding horses. It has an on-site breeding and collection facility where semen is collected, processed and shipped to customers as fresh as possible.
The Tillersons live less than a mile from the ranch at 624 Dove Creek Road, on a secluded 18 acres that includes a 4200 square foot home and several porches, barns, and an arena. They bought this home in 2001.
In 2014, Tillerson was named a hypocrite by environmentalists when he joined a lawsuit to try to stop the construction of a hydraulic fracking water tower close to his ranch, fearing increased truck traffic and noise. His family dropped out of the lawsuit after a judge dismissed their claim.
Tillerson, Rick Perry, who else from Texas? Marilyn says another potential Trump nominee is looking at her amazing property in Marshall in East Texas. We can hardly wait…