“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sheffield in Crockett County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Howard's Well

(19 Miles to the Southeast)

Howard's Well Marker image. Click for full size.
By William F Haenn, May 29, 2015
1. Howard's Well Marker
Inscription. First known to civilized men in the 18th century, when, according to legend, Franciscan Padre Alvarez prayed for water to ease his thirst, put down his staff, and saw a spring gush forth from the ground. This landmark of western travel was named for its rediscoverer, Richard A. Howard of San Antonio, an ex-Texas Ranger. Howard and other men, along with 15 Delaware Indian guides, made up an expedition sent out in 1848 under Col. John Coffee Hays to map a wagon road from San Antonio to El Paso. Although aided by the discovery of the well, the expedition failed, turning back in a state of near-starvation.

In 1849 the US Army made its maps of the route, with Howard along as a guide. Many forty-niners went this way to the California gold rush. In 1853 the first regular San Antonio to El Paso mail line was routed by way of the well. So were many later ventures. Although white travelers seldom caught sight of them, Indians frequented the well. There on April 20, 1872, Comanches and Kiowas surprised a large wagon train led by a man named Gonzales, and killed 16 persons. This was one of the events that led to the US Government's cancellation of hunting permits for reservation Indians.
Erected 1968 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2587.)
Marker series.
Howard's Well Marker on the right image. Click for full size.
By William F Haenn, May 29, 2015
2. Howard's Well Marker on the right
This marker is included in the San Antonio-El Paso Road marker series.
Location. 30° 40.703′ N, 101° 40.38′ W. Marker is near Sheffield, Texas, in Crockett County. Marker is on State Highway 290 8.8 miles south of Interstate 10, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. This marker was originally placed at the Fort Lancaster Visitor's Center. It was missing for several years and has now been installed at the State Hwy 280 TXDOT picnic area overlook. Marker is in this post office area: Sheffield TX 79781, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Chihuahua Trail and Escondido Water Hole (here, next to this marker); Old Government Road (a few steps from this marker); Ruins of Fort Lancaster (approx. 1.6 miles away); Laura and William Peery Hoover (approx. 14.2 miles away).
Regarding Howard's Well. The actual site of Howard's Well is miles away to the east, near Ozona.
Categories. ExplorationIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2015, by William F Haenn of Fort Clark (Brackettville), Texas. This page has been viewed 265 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 5, 2015, by William F Haenn of Fort Clark (Brackettville), Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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