As a young boy Jay Wolf discovered creative ways to make money. At the age of five he earned his first dollar for finding the family’s “prize milk cow” which had disappeared on his family’s ranch along the Pedernales River in Johnson City, Texas. Jay trapped rats and mice in the barn making two cents for each mouse and five cents for each rat, earning 15 or 20 cents a day–enough to buy school supplies. He earned money hunting and trapping horned toads, crows, squirrels, raccoons, armadillos, and skunks. He found arrowheads and sold them to Arrowhead Drug Store.
After graduating from high school in 1938, Jay took a job making 30 cents per hour doing backbreaking work as a cedar cutter, clearing right-of-way to build electric lines. He saved his money and two years later at age 19 purchased a Sinclair Gas Station in Johnson City fulfilling his dream of becoming an independent businessman.
After faithfully serving his country during World War II, Jay Wolf packed everything he owned in a homemade trailer and moved to Georgetown in 1949 with his wife Bettie and children, Judy and Jane. He enrolled as a student at Southwestern University and with money he saved after the war, started a new business called Wolf’s Wool and Mohair. To make ends meet he also ran a dairy where he milked cows every morning at 5:00 AM before school and again at 5:00 PM after school. The family almost starved to death that first year, but the next year, in 1950, his hard work and perseverance enabled him to scrape together enough money to buy 160 acres of land, where the first phase of Wolf Ranch Georgetown is located today.
In 1953 Jay graduated from Southwestern and continued growing his family adding children Jay, Jr., Iva, and James. In 1956 he became a Gulf Oil jobber—a wholesale distributor of oil and gasoline. He founded Wolf's Gulf Agency that later became Wolf’s Chevron—consisting of many service stations and convenience stores throughout Williamson County. In 1966 he built an HEB, the first modern grocery store in Georgetown. Jay Wolf’s desire to benefit his community led him to serve as a trustee on the Georgetown School Board, an Election Judge, the Captain of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Posse, and an active member of First Baptist Church Georgetown.
Over several years he purchased the rest of the land that is now Wolf Ranch Town Center and land that would eventually become the 755-acre master-planned residential development, Wolf Ranch Georgetown. As a lifetime rancher Jay Wolf had a passion for land. He loved living on the land, raising cattle, hunting, and fishing on the land.
The rugged environment of Jay Wolf’s childhood, the challenges of the Great Depression, the ravages of World War II, and his strong Christian faith all converged to forge his character and determination. Throughout his life he chose to be a good steward of his blessings. After investing his life in Georgetown for almost 47 years, Jay Wolf died on September 11, 1996 at the age of 75 leaving a legacy of faith and a legacy of land. The Wolf family has worked closely with Hillwood Communities to ensure that the land Jay Wolf loved and worked so hard to acquire will be utilized to the best potential—the culmination of that work is Wolf Ranch.