Marathon in Brewster County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Albion E. Shepard House
In 1883, completion occurred of the extension of tracks by the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway (G.H. & S.A. Ry.) Line located between El Paso and San Antonio. Retired sea captain Albion E. Shepard arrived in the region as a railroad surveyor. He acquired much land in the area, including Section 18, Block 4 of the G.H. & S.A. Railway survey. Tradition documents the naming of Marathon to Captain Shepard’s observations of the similarity of the valley and its encircling hills to Marathon, Greece, where the mountains meet the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. At this site, Captain Shepard applied for a post office in September 1882 where he became the first postmaster. He deeded Section 18 to his son Ben Shepard for the creation of the Marathon townsite on December 6, 1885 on an existing siding of the railroad.
Captain Shepard established “Iron Mountain Ranch” on 58 sections of ranchland bought from F. W. Folts on March 10, 1882, located in the Glass Mountains along the north line of the Marathon Basin. The ranch was stocked with as many as 25,000 sheep, managed by herders with no fences. Prior to 1887,
Erected 2013 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17696.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1883.
Location. 30° 12.46′ N, 103° 14.709′ W. Marker is in Marathon, Texas, in Brewster County. Marker is at the intersection of Avenue D and 2nd Street NE, on the right when traveling south on Avenue DTouch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Marathon TX 79842, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First School House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Gage Hotel (about 500 feet away); Chambers Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Marathon (approx. one mile away); Colonel Lewis Given Harman (approx. 2.8 miles away); Fort Peña Colorado (Red Rock) (approx. 4½ miles away); Los Caballos (approx. 9.9 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Gage Hotel - Captain Albion E. Shepard House. (Submitted on December 14, 2017.)
2. Captain Shepard's Inn (pdf file). The original Captain Shepard home is now known as the Captain Shepard’s Inn. It is operated as a part of the historic Gage Hotel, located in Marathon. The adobe building contains five bed rooms, a dining room with kitchen, several bath and rest rooms, a sitting room and the original carriage house. This historic structure is a tribute to the visions of those early pioneers that settled the southwest. (Submitted on December 14, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Marathon, Texas. The town was founded when the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway built across what was then part of Presidio County. A crew building east from El Paso reached the townsite in March 1882. Capt. Albion E. Shepard, bought land in the area on March 10, 1882, (Submitted on December 14, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway Company. On reaching the New Mexico-Texas boundary in May 1881, the construction forces continued eastward under provisions of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio charter. Work was done on two fronts-east from El Paso and west from San Antonio and track laying began at the latter point in late May. Construction was under way before all contracts were in place. Huntington officially acquired an interest in the company on July 1, 1881, and the contract with the construction company was approved on July 5. The two fronts met in January 1883, and on January 12 Peirce drove a silver spike at a point just west of the Pecos River to mark the completion of a new transcontinental route across Texas. (Submitted on December 14, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
5. Marathon, Texas. The railroad turned Marathon into a shipping and supply point for area ranchers. In 1884 local businesses included four livestock breeders, one sheep breeder (Shepard), and one saloon. At that time the principal products shipped from Marathon included livestock, wool, and large game animals, including deer, antelope, and bear. In that year Jim P. Wilson shipped an entire trainload of cattle to Marathon, then hired fourteen Mexicans to drive the herd, on foot, to his ranch in Green Valley, some sixty-five miles to the southwest. (Submitted on December 14, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 14, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 187 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 14, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.