"It is a ranch. It is owned by one of your countrymen, a señor Hearst."
George Hearst (1820-1891)
Public DomainGeorge Hearst (1820-1891) - Credit: Edouart & Cobb
William Randolph Hearst (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951)
Public DomainWilliam Randolph Hearst (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) - Credit: J.E. Purdy

La Babícora was the name of a huge ranch owned by William Randolph Hearst, the influential American newspaper magnate and inspiration for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. The Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation estimates its size having been one million acres, although some accounts claim the ranch was around 3.4 million acres in size.

The lands in Chihuahua had been acquired by Hearst’s father, U.S. Senator George Hearst, after he received advance notice that Geronimo – who had terrorized settlers in the region – had surrendered. Hearst was able to buy hundreds of acres for next to nothing because only he knew that they had become much more secure. The younger Hearst was in Mexico as early as 1886, when he wrote to his mother that ‘I really don't see what is to prevent us from owning all of Mexico and running it to suit ourselves.’


Click here for James B. Barker's account of working upon the Babicora ranch, which also includes some fascinating detail on the Mexican Revolution.