(image credit: tshaonline.org)
The XIT was once one of the largest ranches in Texas, comprising 3 million acres along the Texas-New Mexico border in the Panhandle area of the state. In 1879, the State of Texas was looking for funds with which to build the Capitol building. The Texas Legislature appropriated the remote Panhandle acreage to a syndicate led by Illinois natives John and Charles Farwell in exchange for an agreement to build the Austin structure. The original cost of the Capitol building was projected to be $1,500,000 but wound up costing about $3.7 million with the syndicate funding all but about $500,000 that the state picked up.