Financial problems persist for TL and Jo Ann Sloan
even after they sell their beloved Cow Creek Ranch
‘TIME TO LEAVE’
After the sale of the 17,000-acre Cow Creeek Ranch in 1976, TL and Jo Ann Sloan held onto a section along Orange Avenue Extension that contained a successful
grove operation. The section also had its own cow pens.
When T.L. “Tommy’’ and Jo
Ann Sloan in 1976 sold
17,000 acres that compromised
the heart of Cow
Creek Ranch, they were facing mortgages
totaling $4.5 million.
Poor business decisions and the freespending
habits of TL had put them in the
position of having to sell the ranch, which
was begun by Jo Ann’s grandfather, Frank
Raulerson, in 1923.
The purchase of a small section of land
that year enabled Raulerson to establish
a base of operations in the days of the
open range, where cattle roamed freely
and the state’s interior land, either swamp
or hard scrub, was seen as having little
value. A member of the state’s livestock
board and a former state senator, Raulerson
knew the days of the open range were
drawing to a close — Florida’s Fence Act
was implemented in 1949 — and began
purchasing other sections of property
around the headquarters to eventually
assemble a 23,000-acre ranch on the St.
Lucie-Okeechobee county line that became
known as Cow Creek. He also purchased
two other ranches, Dixie Ranch and Taylor
Creek, but later sold them.
At Cow Creek, which he considered
his home ranch, he builds a barn, home,
bunkhouse and various houses for his
ranch hands. The ranch was called Cow
Creek after the ever-expanding and >>
Frank Raulerson founded Cow Creek
Ranch about 1923, first buying a small
section of land to set up a base to run
cattle during the days of the open range.