Langtry in Val Verde County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Law West of the Pecos
The Judge's "Law Library" consisted of a single volume, an 1879 copy of the revised statutes of Texas. He seldom consulted it, however, calling instead on his own ideas about the brand of justice which should apply. This he effectively dispensed together with liberal quantities of bluff and bluster. Since Langtry had no jail, all offenses were deemed finable with Bean pocketing the fines. Drunken prisoners often were chained to mesquite trees in front of the building until they sobered up enough to stand trial.
Bean reached a peak of notoriety when, on February 21, 1896, he staged the banned Fitzsimmons-Maher heavyweight title fight on a
This building was named the "Jersey Lilly" for the famous English actress Lillie Langtry whom Bean admired and for whom he claimed to have named the town. His lamp frequently burned into the night as he composed letters to her, but he never saw her since her only visit to Langtry occurred in 1904, less than a year after Bean died.
Erected 1963 by Texas Highway Department. (Marker Number 3052.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce • Law Enforcement • Settlements & Settlers • Sports • Women. A significant historical date for this entry is February 21, 1896.
Location. 29° 48.556′ N, 101° 33.624′ W. Marker is in Langtry, Texas, in Val Verde County. Marker can be reached from Torres Avenue near Loop Texas Highway 25. The Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center contains some of Bean's personal items and more information. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Langtry TX 78871, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jersey Lily Saloon - - 1882 - 1903 (a few steps from this marker); Langtry (about William H. Dodd (about 400 feet away); The Torres Family (about 500 feet away); Langtry School (about 600 feet away); Fitzsimmons-Maher Prizefight (approx. 0.3 miles away); Robert Thomas Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Eagle’s Nest (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Langtry.
Also see . . . Roy Bean. Wikipedia entry:
Langtry did not have a jail – although it is reported that outside The Jersey Lilly was a large oak tree with a heavy log chain that served as a “jail” for those unable to pay their fines; all cases were settled by fines. Bean refused to send the state any part of the fines, and kept all of the money. In most cases the fines were made for the exact amount the accused person was carrying. ...(Submitted on February 18, 2023.)
When a young ranchman was fined $5 for fighting, he produced witness that he had not been fighting but had held the other person off. Bean remitted the fine but fined the other man $10 – who had skipped town. The ranchman was committed until the fine was paid; the ranchman paid the fine.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 19, 2023. It was originally submitted on February 29, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,158 times since then and 321 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week February 19, 2023. Photos: 1. submitted on February 29, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. 2. submitted on November 21, 2011, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 29, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. 7. submitted on November 21, 2011, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. 8. submitted on February 29, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. 9. submitted on October 20, 2010. 10. submitted on February 18, 2023, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.