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History of the Ranch

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Kassell History

The Kassell Ranch was established in 1883 by Fritz Carl Kassel the great-great-great grandfather of your host Cheryl Kepp. Fritz Kassel was an experience bricklayer and worked in the Llano area building houses and building before building his own.  The first house built was a log cabin and barn. The remains of the barn still stand.  The two story rock home was built a short time after.

In the mid-1950's the rock house burned with only the walls remaining of the structure. Joan Kassell Myers and Jim Myers, Cheryl's parents rebuilt the home in 1995. Cheryl's husband and your co-host Richard were in involved in the rebuilding process.  Joan Myers wanted to name the home  decided on the Phoenix Nest since like the Phoenix the home rose from the ashes.  

The Kassell ranch has been active in ranching even before the houses were built. Cows, sheep, hogs and mini donkeys have all been raised on the ranch. A herd of cows are still kept on the ranch. 


Needless to say, Richard and Cheryl have very strong feelings about their home. It has been a dream of theirs to move back to Llano and live at the ranch. In 2022, they felt called by God to open a retreat for pastors needing a break. Fortunately, one cabin is ready to go and and second cabin will be available early in the Summer of 2022. The Phoenix Nest is the perfect place to rejuvenate the spirit.

In many ways, the Ranch and Retreat at Phoenix Nest are untouched by time. While we are blessed with modern amenities such as running water and electricity, we are much removed from city life with the hustle and bustle and noise and confusion. At the Retreat at Phoenix Nest you will be able to tune out the busyness of life and tune in to God. It is really nice to remember what quiet sounds like.

We feel that the Phoenix Nest is a blessing from God and we want to share that gift with you. We hope to get to meet you soon.

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The ranch from family member to family member - 

Fritz Carl Kassel* 

     Frederick Carl Kassell

          Robert A. Kassell & Dorothea E. Kassell

               Joan Kassell Myers Reed

                    Cheryl Myers Kepp

                         Mason and Max Kepp

The ranch has a family cemetery. Feel free to visit the ancestors.

*Two stories exist regarding the change to the spelling of the last name. One the change was
made due to a printing error and there wasn't money to correct. The second story was the family thought the name looked better balanced with two s's and two l's.

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1415 County Road 405A, Llano, TX 78643


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