Special Report

These People Own the Most Land in America

Source: The Westervelt Company via Facebook

20. Westervelt Heirs
> Land area: 518,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Half the size of Rhode Island

Herbert Westervelt started a paper company in the late 1800s. The company, now known as Westervelt Company, has operations in renewable energy, lumber, and wildlife services. Westervelt’s heirs own over half a million acres across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Source: Courtesy of Martin Sustainable Resources

19. Martin family
> Land area: 547,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Half the size of Anchorage, Alaska

The Martin family, owners of the nearly 100-year-old RoyOMartin Lumber Company, own over half a million acre of land, primarily in Louisiana.

Source: Stimson Lumber Company via Facebook

18. Stimson family
> Land area: 552,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: One-third the size of Delaware

Founded by Thomas Douglas Stimson, the Stimson Lumber Company, which today operates out of the Pacific Northwest, has remained in the family for six generations. Today, the Stimson family owns 552,000 acres, primarily in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

Source: Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

17. Thomas Peterffy
> Land area: 581,000 acres
> Roughly equal to: Twice the size of San Antonio, Texas

Thomas Peterffy arrived in the United States as a refugee from Hungary in 1965. Peterffy made a fortune as a successful investor and innovator on Wall Street. He became one of the largest landowners in the United States when he purchased 561,000 acres of land in northern Florida for $700 million in 2015. He bought more land recently.

Source: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0.

16. O’Connor family
> Land area: 587,800 acres
> Roughly equal to: Seven times the size of Philadelphia

Heirs of the late Thomas O’Connor, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland in the late 1800s, own over half a million acres, including the O’Connor Ranch in south Texas. The family patriarch owned half a million acres in Texas, and the family fortune grew considerably when his son discovered oil on family land.