Haggard Farm

At one corner of Park and Custer in Plano stands the familiar Walgreens. But the view of the opposite corner causes a lot of head scratching. What’s the story behind the llamas in the pasture, and how about all those campaign signs plastered to fences? Rodney Haggard recently gave Plano Magazine a tour to help answer such existential questions, and explain the property’s history.

An oak-lined lane loops up to Rodney’s boyhood home, built in the 1960s. Passing beneath the arched gatekeeper, one starts to feel it – that sense of drifting back in time when the town of Plano was tucked away neatly to the East. Farms dotted the landscape to the West of what is now US Highway 75.

Fairview was just such a farm when Clinton Shepard Haggard and wife Kate built their new house there in 1884. The land that now hosts a much smaller version of their homestead is sandwiched between Park Boulevard to the South and Custer Road to the West. New homes fill the northern pasture where cattle, horses and sheep once grazed. 

The previous Haggard family home, located where the current home sits at Custer and Park // courtesy Rodney Haggard

Rodney fondly recalled watching the crop dusters flying low over the surrounding fields, guided by flag men, impressing him with their aerobatic skills. His desire to become a pilot was inspired by such flights of fancy. He laughed, remembering the repeated confusion about his mother’s name. After marrying Walter O. Haggard Jr., the former Merle Anna Mayo became Merle Haggard. Rodney’s father, Walter, planted the trees along the drive and is the namesake of the largest library in Plano.

Homeowner Rodney Haggard on the farm at Custer and Park

Livestock seen from countless automobiles passing the farm has changed shape over the years. Herefords still nip the grass as they did a mere decade after Plano welcomed the railroad in 1872. The llamas in a separate pasture are a more recent anomaly. The South American natives were brought in to protect the sheep which were long raised on the farm. Coyotes preyed on the sheep relentlessly despite attempts to stop them, first using large dogs and then donkeys. But donkeys tend to pester sheep so the llamas were a last-ditch effort to foil the coyotes’ predation. Now they provide wool once sheared from ewes.

The previous gate at the home marked 1930, the year C. S. haggard passed away // courtesy Rodney Haggard
The current gate at Rodney Haggard’s home marks 1984, the year the farm received an award from the state for being in continuous operation for 100 years

Political signs blanket the fences from time to time, and not always with permission. As long as they get removed after campaigns end, the tradition of using the fence lines for free advertising will continue. Patting a faded red pickup truck, Rodney confirmed that the Aermotor windmill in his backyard still pumps water for the livestock, although its squeaky nature required a fix. “We didn’t realize how loud it was until the new neighbors complained. We’ll have it repaired and reconnect it.” 

Driving out between the rows of live oaks, the brick standards at the entry catch the eye. Engraved on one of two gray stones reads “C.S. and Kate Haggard Founders Residence 1884 – 1930.”  Time marches on, but the past is never far away at Fairview.

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  • The Haggard farm at Park & Custer is always a welcome breath of fresh air. My children and I have sung to the llamas for years as we pass by…and they are adults now, but we still sing. I have been a Plano resident for 38 years and the Haggard farm is a welcome constant with all the other changes that have happened in Plano….especially now as more and more high density apartments and such are being built and Plano loses so much of the small town feel it once had. Thank you Rodney and family for the daily reminder of Plano’s past!

  • Laura, my wife and I, would love to visit, tour this property but have not discovered a way. Do you give paid tours? Heritage Museum on 15th Street In Plano. We had a small group, a great time and the tour was outstanding.

  • Rodney:

    I am a volunteer for the Veterans Center of North Texas. We are an all volunteer non-profit organization that assists all veterans get the help they need in civilian life. I would like permission to put a small banner on the corner where the political signs are placed. I would remove it during election seasons. I would also be interested in a 30 day trial to see if it works for you and for us. It would be very simple, some thing like,

    Are you a veteran? Need Help? Call 214-600-2966 (my cell number is 972-998-9691

  • Hello there! My daughter loves llamas and a specific llama that is on your farm. This
    Llama (Liam the Llama)has given her good luck year after year. We pass by your farm pretty much every day on our way to cheer practice, to competitions, and other cheer events. All she wants is to meet Liam and get a few pictures with him/her. We have tried with no luck as traffic is always bad on Custer and the cross street. Can we meet Liam the Llama? He is the brown llama that is beige and has dark brown spots. This would mean so much to her.
    Thank you,
    Dianna Gentry

  • Hello. My name is Robbie Haggard Derden. I live in Navarro County, Texas. My father was James Hunter Haggard and he has family all around the Plano area. I would love to be able to obtain all of the articles concerning any of the Haggard family you may have. I lost my father in 1991 and there is only one living uncle and I’m not sure that he would be able to help trace our family line.

    If you can please assist me, that would be wonderful and very much appreciated. Thank you!

  • I always thought the name Haggard sounded familiar. Sure enough I looked at my family tree and share an ancestor through Cyrena Haggard, when she married my third great grandfather William Halford. Small world, eh. Retail development has destroyed these areas, including carrolton and frisco. sad

  • The frequent sirens on central expressway set off the coyotes tonight on the Haggard Farm. Fascinating how the ‘yotes and their cubs will sing in unison with the sirens. Makes the hair on your forearms sit up and take notice. Living 4 blocks away, it sounds like they’re in my backyard. Very eerie to say the least.

  • Is this farm haunted? I am a paranormal investigator. My number is 469-226-5917. Let me know and I will investigate to get answers from the afterlife.

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