These People Own the Most Land in America

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Source: Jim C. Hamer Company

15. Hamer family
> Land area: 600,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: The size of Luxembourg

The Hamer family owns some 600,000 acres of land, largely forest in West Virginia. The family has harvested hardwood timber from the land for five generations.

Source: tfoxfoto / Getty Images

14. Lykes heirs
> Land area: 615,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Three times the size of New York City

The Lykes heirs own in Florida a 337,000 acre ranch, which includes sugar cane and cattle operations, as well as a 264,555 acre ranch in west Texas. The owners of the land are heirs to the late Dr. Howell Tyson Lykes, who left a career in medicine to raise cattle and crow citrus.

Source: Texas State Library and Archives Commission

13. Briscoe heirs
> Land area: 640,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Three times the size of Dallas

The combined landholdings of former Texas governor, the late Dolph Briscoe Jr., heirs total 640,000 acres. Their holdings include the 100,000 acre Catarina Ranch in south Texas.

Source: FTS International

12. Wilks Brothers
> Land area: 702,367 acres
> Roughly equal to: Five times the size of Chicago

Brothers Farris and Dan Wilks launched Frac Tech, a natural gas extraction company in 2002, and sold it for $3.5 billion in 2011. Since then, they have been acquiring land. The largest landowners in both Montana and Idaho, the Wilks brothers also own ranches in Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas.

Source: mountinez / Getty Images

11. Pingree heirs
> Land area: 830,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Two and a half times the size of Phoenix

David Pingree, known as the Merchant Prince of Salem, built an empire that exceeded 1 million acres in the 1800s. Today, between his fifth, sixth, and seventh generation of descendants, Pingree’s heirs own some 830,000 acres mostly in Maine through Seven Islands Land Co., a lumber company.