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

Old Tascosa

 
 
Old Tascosa Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
1. Old Tascosa Marker
Inscription. Old Tascosa, cowboy capital of the plains, lay one-half mile northeast. In its brief span it became the center of the open-range world. Stomping ground for some of the West's most notorious bad men and focal point for cattle thieves and ranchmen.

Because of the easy crossing of the Canadian River at the site, it early became a meeting place where Indians and Mexican traders (Comancheros) exchanged contraband goods, including women and children. With the passing of the buffalo came the first permanent settlement, made by Mexican sheepherders in 1876. Charles Goodnight and Thomas S. Bugbee brought the first cattle to the free-grass empire the same year. Smaller ranchmen and nesters followed and the boom was on.

Hundreds of miles from the general line of settlement, Tascosa lured the lawless and the lawmen: Billy the Kids and Pat Garretts. To accommodate those who died with their boots on in growing gunfights, a cemetery was set aside in 1879. It was named for the famed 'Boot Hill' in Dodge City, Kansas, to which Tascosa was tied by cattle and freight trail. Heaviest toll in a single shoot out occurred March 21, 1886, when three cowboys and a restaurant owner died in a five-minute duel. All went to Boot Hill.

The cattle trails, Tascosa's lifeblood, began to be pinched off with the coming of barbed wire, first
Old Tascosa Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
2. Old Tascosa Marker
Old Tascosa Marker is second from the right. The other markers are: Oldham County, The Historic LS and Blue Star Memorial Highway.
commercial use of which was on the nearby Frying Pan Ranch in 1882. The noose was drawn still tighter when the vast XIT spread fenced its 3 million acres. By 1887 Tascosa was completely closed in. When the railroad bypassed it the same year, its fate was sealed.

By the time the Oldham County seat was moved to Vega in 1915, only 15 residents remained. Sole remnants of the old town today are Boot Hill and the stone courthouse. The site, however, is occupied by Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.
 
Erected 1963 by Texas Highway Department. (Marker Number 3822.)
 
Location. 35° 32.067′ N, 102° 15.988′ W. Marker is in Boys Ranch, Texas, in Oldham County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 385 and Route 233 Spur, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 385. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Boys Ranch TX 79010, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Historic LS (here, next to this marker); Oldham County (here, next to this marker); Cal Farley's Boys Ranch (here, next to this marker); Boot Hill Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tascosa Courthouse, 1884
<i>Boot Hill Cemetery, Old Tascosa, Boys' Ranch, Near Amarillo, Texas</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1940
3. Boot Hill Cemetery, Old Tascosa, Boys' Ranch, Near Amarillo, Texas
(approx. 0.6 miles away); Tascosa (approx. 0.6 miles away); Matador Cowboys Reunion Association (approx. 10.9 miles away); Hartley County Courthouse (approx. 10.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boys Ranch.
 
Categories. AnimalsSettlements & Settlers
 
Boot Hill Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 19, 2015
4. Boot Hill Cemetery
Graves of Ed King, Frank Valley and Fred D. Chilton, all killed March 21, 1886.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 22, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 405 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 22, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   3. submitted on December 22, 2015.   4. submitted on December 23, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.
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