Harold M. "Harry" Freeman, born in 1889, and his brother Joe were longtime philanthropists who made their fortunes in Texas cotton, oil, ranchland and Chevrolet dealerships. San Antonians will recognize their name from the Freeman Coliseum where the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo is held each year. The Freemans bought the first parcel of land that would become their ranch from Mr. E. J. Jameyson in 1941, adding several other parcels over the years. They were weekend ranchers who liked to get away from the San Antonio business world to enjoy leisure pursuits on the land, such as hunting and hiking, and they also held legendary poker games at the ranch house.
"Mr. Harry," as many people called Harold Freeman, bequeathed 3,485 acres of ranchland to Texas State University in 1981, to be held in a perpetual trust as the Harold M. Freeman Educational Foundation. The ranch was to be used by Texas State University for farm, ranch, game management, educational, and experimental purposes. The university officially took over managing the ranch in 1985 after Mr. Freeman's death. Joe Freeman's part of the ranch is managed by Frost National Bank and lies adjacent to the university managed land.