|Oklahoma oilman, Waite Phillips, became interested in developing a ranch out of the old land grant in
1922. He eventually amassed over 300,000 acres of mountains, and plains in a ranch he named
Philmont (derived from his name and the Spanish word for mountain, monte).
The Philmont Ranch became a showplace. Immense herds of Hereford cows and Corriedale sheep
grazed its pastures. Phillips built a large Spanish Mediterranean home for his family at the
Headquarters, naming it the Villa Philmonte. He developed horse and hiking trails throughout the
scenic backcountry along with elaborate fishing and hunting cabins for his family and friends.
Waite Phillips believed in sharing his wealth with people outside his family. In this spirit, he offered
35,857 acres of his ranch to the Boy Scouts of America in 1938 to serve as a national wilderness
camping area. The area was named Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp (after Phillips name and the
BSA slogan, Do a Good Turn Daily). After observing the enthusiastic response of the first Scout
campers, Phillips augmented his original gift in 1941, with an addition including his best camping land,
the Villa Philmonte, and the headquarters farming and ranching operation. The second gift was made
so that many, rather than a few could enjoy his rich and beautiful land. The property, now totaling
127,395 acres was renamed Philmont Scout Ranch.
Phillips realized that the cost for maintenance and development of the property could not and should
not be derived entirely from camper fees. As an endowment he included in the gift his 23-story
Philtower Building in Tulsa, Oklahoma.