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

Welcome to Historic Valentine

Welcome to Historic Valentine Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 9, 2020
1. Welcome to Historic Valentine Marker

Valentine was established in 1881 as a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Although legend suggests that the town received its name by being founded on Valentine's Day, it is more likely that it was named for Southern Pacific stockholder, John Valentine. In the early 20th century, Valentine developed as a railroad division point, with a roundhouse and a boarding house for train crews. A loading pen for cattle served local ranchers. During the border disturbances of 1910-1920, supplies were shipped by wagon and mule train from an army warehouse here to military posts along the Rio Grande. The population grew to 600 in 1930. The roundhouse was closed with the advent of diesel locomotives in 1950 and the crew change point was moved to Sanderson in 1984.

The engineer on the left of the Southern Pacific locomotive 89 poses with other railroad employees at the Valentine water tank about 1920.

The Valentine railroad depot, shown here about 1910, was the focal point of the community until daily passenger service was terminated in 1958.

The Valentine Mercantile Company, established in 1907, was the community's

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largest general store. It closed in the 1960s.

Hispanic families made up more than half of Valentine's households when this picture was taken in 1923 of the 16th of September celebration, which commemorates Mexico's Independence Day.

Valentine Mercantile Company owner C.E. Conring (far left) poses with the store's bookkeeper, Roy H. Bloys, the co-owner, S.E. Bunton, and the clerk, Bart Parker, in 1912.

The first school was established in Valentine in 1887, shortly before this picture was taken. A separate elementary school was maintained for Hispanic children until 1938. The Valentine elementary and high schools are still the heart of the community.

A Catholic church (above) was established as a mission in the 1890s and was served by priests from Fort Davis and Marfa. In 1945 the Mexican school was remodeled to become the present Sacred Heart Catholic Church. A non-denominational community church (right) was built in 1904 and is still in use.

Valentine residents, shown above, climb on a tractor during a flood in 1918. Heavy rainfall has caused several floods in Valentine and in 1931 a severe earthquake destroyed wells and adobe houses and toppled every chimney in town.

The Valentine Drug Store on Third Street was the gathering place for Valentine's youth in 1948, when this picture was taken. A meat market, grocery

Welcome to Historic Valentine Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 9, 2020
2. Welcome to Historic Valentine Marker
store, doctor's office, and post office occupied the rest of the block.

A train of U.S. Army supply wagons returning to the Valentine quartermaster depot from one of the army posts on the Rio Grande descends the Candelaria Rim about 1918.

Valentine has been surrounded by large ranches since the 1880s and the cattle industry is still important in this area. These Herefords were photographed in a pen on D.O. and Elizabeth Medley's Crow's Nest Ranch east of town in the 1920s.
Erected by Jeff Davis County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 30° 35.05′ N, 104° 29.733′ W. Marker is in Valentine, Texas, in Jeff Davis County. Marker is on California Avenue (U.S. 90), on the right when traveling north. The marker is on the grounds of the Kay Johnson Public Library. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Valentine TX 79854, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Valentine Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Porvenir Massacre (approx. 7.7 miles away).

Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 12, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 357 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 12, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 5, 2024