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Books About Brewster County Texas People and Places
What's Your Favorite Book about a Brewster County Texas Person, Place or Event? Here are some of our favorites about Alpine, Marathon, Study Butte, Lajitas, Terlingua and Boquillas (Hot Springs) Texas


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Big Bend Country: Land of the UnexpectedBig Bend Country: Land of the Unexpected

Found inside: "Brian Montague, Del Rio attorney, stated in a June 4, 1966 interview that "Gillespie, who was in fact a dangerous man, and Mr. E. E. Townsend, Brewster County Sheriff, were enemies ... I was told that Gillespie and Townsend met one another on the road---I believe, between Alpine and Marathon---and engaged in a fist fight. Because of Gillespie's dangerous character ... Mrs. Townsend stood by and held a pistol on Gillespie, while the fight was going on to be sure that he did not, in some manner, get the drop on Mr. Townsend and kill him . . . " Read more

West Texas KillWest Texas Kill

"... to pay for all we have been through since being assigned to this country in 1874. These hostages include Leonard J. Childress, mayor of Sanderson, Texas; Leviticus Hendry, state representative and barber from Presidio, Texas; Father Miguel de la Vega, priest at the Our Lady Of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Presidio; Linda Kincaid, whore from Terlingua, Texas; Nelson J. Bookbinder ..." Read more Look inside

Big Bend: A Homesteader's StoryBig Bend: A Homesteader's Story

Found inside: "Ours must have seemed a strange procession as we headed south out of Alpine, Texas, that May morning. Even in 1909 when animal-drawn vehicles were the customary mode of travel, I could see curiosity in the eyes of early risers who watched us leave town. Out in front, astride a belled gray mare, rode the Lanky Mexican boy, Enrique Diaz. Behind him and following the mare, plodded eight Mexican burros, drawing an ore wagon piled high with our household goods and all the provisions I could afford to buy. On top of all this rode the squat and cheerful Juan Salas. Chained to the ore wagon came our buckboard, with my wife Bessie and me sitting on the springseat, our eighteen-months-old daughter Lovie between us . . . " Read more Look inside

More Ghost Towns of TexasMore Ghost Towns of Texas

Found inside: "In 1909 the Consolidated Kansas City Smelting and Refining Company built an aerial tramway from the Puerto Rico Mine in the Sierra del Carmen in Mexico, across the waters of the Rio Grande to Boquillas, Texas, and an additional four miles inland to a terminal. From there, teamsters driving teams of mules and burros hauled ore overland in wagons to the railroad in Marathon.... In 1916, during border troubles concurrent with the Mexican Revolution, Boquillas became the target for a raid by fighters from Mexico. On the night of 5 May 1916, a party of eighty armed Mexicans . . . " Read more Look inside

Hard FallsHard Falls

It's March in Terlingua and the weather is playing games—icy one day and warmish a few days later. But the weather is not the problem. The trouble begins with a Photo shopped picture of Deputy Ricos and Sheriff Ben that makes an innocent encounter look like something it's not. Someone is making a problem where none exists. Why? Mix in the brutal murder of quiet man "everyone likes," a young, green-eyed deputy trainee, a wealthy, mysterious newcomer to Alpine, a prostitute from Mexico, and a local ranch where it appears something "wrong" is happening. Then stir in a cast of characters you will swear you know . . . Read more Look inside

200 Texas Outlaws and Lawmen200 Texas Outlaws and Lawmen

"On January 31, 1891, a cowboy fugitive, Fine Gilliland was killed near Marathon, Texas, in a gunfight with a Ranger-led posse that included Thalis Cook. Gilliland was accused of killing fellow ranch hand H. H. Poe over possession of a steer. Following the gunfight, his friends supposedly branded the steer with the stark inscription: "Murder, January 31, 1891." The beast wandered Brewster County for years, or so the story goes  . . ." Read more Look inside

I’ll Tell You a TaleI’ll Tell You a Tale: An Anthology

by J. Frank Dobie

Found inside: "In 1890 most of the trans-Pecos country was unfenced, and tin the timbered and brushed roughs plenty of longhorn blood still ran wild. On January 28 of that year the small cattle owners operating around the Leoncita waterholes in northern Brewster County, a county as large as some states, taking in the Big Bend National Park held a roundup to brand what calves had escaped the fall work. Between two and three thousand cattle were thrown together in the herd. The chief operators in this part of the country were Dubois and Wentworth. They did not approve of such early work and were taking no part in it. but one of their riders named Fine Gilleland showed up to represent their interests . . . " Read more

Texas Ranger Tales IITexas Ranger Tales II

"During a roundup at Leoncita in Brewster County on January 28, 1891, Finus "Fine" Gilliland gunned down a one-armed Confederate veteran, Henry Harrison Powe, in front of Powe's son and other witnesses. The shooting erupted in the midst of a heated argument over the ownership of an unbranded brindle bull. After the shooting Gilliland fled the roundup, riding off into the Glass Mountains. As Gilliland left at a run, Powe's son mounted his horse and rode hard for Alpine..." Read more Look inside

Unsolved Mysteries of Texas: Stories of Legendary Outlaws, Buried Treasure, and Hauntings in the Lone Star State

"This saga begins during the Christmas holidays of 1961. Donald and Veva Uzzel of San Marcos, Texas were joined by Donald's mother, Bernice, and her husband, Charles Nickels, who arrived from Alaska. Together, the group decided to travel to Big Bend National Park and spend a few day relaxing in the relative warmth of the Chihuahuan Desert environment. The park is located at the southern tip of Brewster County..."  Read more Look inside . . .  for more like this please see Mysterious Texas

Graham Barnett: A Dangerous Man

Graham Barnett was killed in Rankin, Texas, on December 6, 1931 ... "Joe Conger must have called Joe Graham because later in the evening, two men knocked at the door of the Rock House in Alpine. Annie received the news that she feared, but had known must be coming. I always felt uneasy when he was away. But I certainly didn't expect Mr. Fowler ... Graham's body was returned to Alpine where, in the Rock House, it was placed in the living room and the family and friends gathered for the visitation. The next day, December 8, he was buried in Alpine . . . " Read more Look inside

Texas Ranger Tales: Stories That Need Telling

"One of the last Ranger mules to see service was Old Monk. The Rangers thought so highly of the mule they posed him for a photograph in November 1909 at a Ranger camp in Alpine. the mule is packing a rifle in a scabbard---maybe the same gun some Ranger used to collect he big set of mule deer antlers tied to the top of Monk's pack  . . . " Read more Look inside

Drug Lord: A True Story: The Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin

Found inside: "He had documents to prove that his father was born in the mining town of Terlingua, Texas, on September 16, 1906. In January 1964, an INS judge in New Mexico issued a certificate recognizing him as a citizen of the United States ... The rape had occurred in Terlinqua, on the American side, and the rapist, who had been jailed in Mexico after being accused of the crime, was hauled back to Texas and tied stark naked at a rest stop near Alpine for the sheriff of Brewster County to find. More than a few people thought Pablo had something to do with the jailbreak because the Terlinqua rape victim was a close friend  . . ." Read more Look inside

Beneath the Window: Early Ranch Life in the Big Bend Country

Before it became a national park, the Big Bend was home to a number of ranches and mining operations. On the Wilson ranch, which stood at the center of the current park. Patricia Wilson Clothier was born August 25, 1931, She attended grade school at Alpine, Texas. She spent her youth exploring the wonders of ranch life in the Chisos.  Particularly detailed memories, coupled with a backdrop of Depression era hardships, bring the Big Bend to life in this original and vivid description of a childhood spent Beneath the Window.. . . Read more

My Goose is Cooked: Continuation of a West Texas Ranch Woman's Story

When Hallie Crawford Stillwell died on August 18, 1997, she was two months and two days short of her 100th birthday. Hallie had published the first volume of her memoirs, I'll Gather My Geese, in 1991. In that volume she told the story of her life as a pioneer ranch woman and wife in the Big Bend country in Brewster County from the time of her marriage in 1918 to the death of her husband Roy Stillwell in 1948 . . .  Read more

Death in Big Bend

17 Stories of Fatality & Rescue in the Park. Most visitors to Big Bend National Park enjoy a wonderful, incident-free vacation and return home with great photos, thrilling memories, and stories of excitement and adventure. But accidents, even catastrophes, can happen. For a rare few park visitors, a simple mistake, a lack of adequate preparation, or just plain bad luck has led to deadly or near deadly outcomes. Heat stroke, dehydration, hypothermia, drowning, falls, lightning, and even murder have claimed victims at Big Bend. This book chronicles . . . Read more

Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas

The seldom told story of Jewish cowboys in Texas. "The Pena Colorado Ranch, which began to come under Halff control in March 1882, comprised forty-four deeded square miles and seventy-five thousand leased acres near present Marathon in the Big Bend, Eventually, twenty-five thousand cattle bearing a Circle Dot brand would graze the complex of craggy mountains, Chihuahuan Desert, and snaking watercourses . . .  " Read more . . . for more like this please see Texas Cowboy History . . .

Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend

by Ben H English

"The lower Big Bend area of Texas is rife with surprises, both big and small. That most are hidden in some way is the very nature of this land, like any living creature she conceals her greatest treasures with the greatest zealotry. One can take a certain creek, or nearly vanished trail or wagon track, numerous times but then wander a certain number of feet to either side and a different world opens to you. Such was the case with this photo, taken during the latter part of one of my prowls between Burro Mesa and Tule Mountain. I had started near the pour off and worked my way through Burro Spring and across to Tule Spring, both being well worth the effort in their own right. The day was crisp and traces of green were sprouting along the lower elevations, and the springs were flowing with more water than the uninitiated would think possible...." Read more Look inside

Self-Portrait of a Texas Cowboy: Ass Over Teakettle

Stories told and Illustrated by Brian Larremore and written by Jean Larremore

Brian was born in 1945 in Llano, Texas. His father, Wilma, and mother Lucille Larremore taught Brian responsibility at an early age. He grew up on horseback, on a pig farm, chasing coons up trees, fighting his brothers, and looking after his sister. Although he had a hard childhood, he never complained. He felt then, as he still feels, that his childhood taught him how to survive and make the most of bad situations ... He started college at Sul Ross in Alpine in 1965, got a degree in English, and went back later to get his police Officer's license in 1986. Brian was a Police Officer for 21 years at Sul Ross State University, Alpine Texas, and was a Deputy Sheriff for 3 years in Brewster County. He retired in January of 2012 and has gone back to his first love --- ranching . . . Read more Look inside

Boquillas Crossing

It is January of 1915 when destiny and a dangerous scheme bring two former West Point classmates together once again. Samuel Jenkins has lured Daniel Taylor to Terlingua, Texas, with the promise of earning high wages at a quicksilver mine. Although Taylor suspects Jenkins' motives, he has no idea that Jenkins is secretly hoping to involve him in a fraudulent deal to rob Pancho Villa of his remaining wealth before the war ends . . . Read more Look inside

The Great Pursuit

General John J. Pershing's Punitive Expedition across the Rio Grande to destroy the Mexican bandit Pancho Villa. Found inside: "By late that afternoon three of the hardy army mules gave up and died, leaving one of the forage wagons stranded miles from Boquillas. The weary column plodded into Boquillas,Texas, late in the morning of the tenth, and the troops fell out . . . " Read more

Spirits of the Border: School Spirits

In this newest installment of this award winning series, the authors look at what they like to call School Spirits! Find Haunted Texas schools in Alpine. . . Levelland, Lindale, Littlefield, Lubbock, Luther, Mcallen, Mesquite, Mission, Monahans, Moody, Nacogdoches, Odessa, Pasadena, Pearsall, Plainview, Rio Hondo, San Angelo, San Antonio, San Benito, San Juan, San Marcos, Santa Ana, Sealy, Seguin, Shafter, Sweetwater, Tyler, Uvalde, Waco, Weslaco, White Oak, and Zapata, Texas . . . Read more . . .  for more like this see Mysterious Texas

Law on the Last Frontier: Texas Ranger Author Hill

by S.E. Spinks

"In a career forged in the saddle on scout duty along the Rio Grande, Arthur Hill witnessed dramatic changes from 1947 to 1974. Whether inspecting brands, deterring smugglers of everything from cattle to candelilla wax, or giving chase on horseback across merciless terrain―often into Mexico―Hill found himself immersed in a world that straddled centuries as well as cultures. The six Ranger companies maintained headquarters in selected Cities; Hill's Company E was based in Midland. But the rangers themselves were scattered around the company's huge jurisdiction and given almost sole responsibility for a number assigned counties. Hill alone covered Presidio, Brewster, Pecos, Terrell, and Jeff Davis Counties. .." Read more Look inside

Legendary Locals of the Big Bend and Davis Mountains

After 1848, the first settlers started to move in. They came to make a living, and a few made a fortune. Mysterious cattle baron Milton Faver ran 10,000 cattle in the 1870s. Others came for their health, like J.O. Langford, his wife, and young daughters who, seeking a dry climate, came to homestead on the Rio Grande. Today's newcomers are equally pioneering in their own way. Donald Judd was the catalyst that changed Marfa from a moribund cow town to an internationally recognized art center. Edie Elfring, an immigrant from a small island in the Baltic Sea, has picked up trash and tended Alpine's public gardens--unasked and unpaid--for years . . . " Read more Look inside

Buried Treasures of Texas:

"Part of the colorful history of Texas includes legends of outlaw loot, pirate hoards, buried mines, and Santa Anna's lost pack-train carrying gold. "In 1884, the four Reagan Brothers (John, Jim, Frank and Lee) established a cattle ranch near the mouth of what is not known as Reagan Canyon in southern Brewster County. They settle in sight of the Rio Grande, which at this point is a relatively slow-flowing stream after its rapid and tortuous journey through several twisting canyons..."The Curse of the Bill Kelley Mine" . . . Read more Look inside

See also Mysterious Texas

Borderline: A True Story of Courage and Justice

by Jayson Woodward

The haunting wilderness of the Texas Chihuahuan Desert provided the perfect backdrop for a desperate and demented undocumented alien to strike terror into the heart of a single mother living alone in Terlingua. Through twelve tortuous hours her efforts to stay alive document the incredible strength of a woman determined to outwit her captor and live long enough to tell the story. The heartbreaking events of that night, and the following saga that led to the capture and trial of Refugio Gardea Gonzalez, became a controversial international border incident . . . Read more Look inside

Border Bandits, Border Raids

Found inside: "At dawn Sunday morning, Captain Cole received telegraph orders from military headquarters in El Paso to assemble his troops and meet up with Brewster County sheriff Allen Walton's automobile posse of twenty men including civilians, Texas Rangers, river guards, ranchers, and cowhands at Marathon. From there, the caravan traveled the one hundred miles of extremely rough and rocky roads to Glen Spring, arriving eleven hours later at 5:30 p.m. They were about to embark on a pursuit and rescue mission that would take them into Mexico . . . " Read more Look inside

Chasing American Monsters: Over 250 Creatures, Cryptids & Hairy Beasts

"On the subject of living dinosaurs, from Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas come stories of a five-foot-tall greenish-brown lizard that runs on two legs. Called the Mountain Boomer because it produces a bark like "distant thunder," ... In the 1970s, a Texan n the Big Bend area reported that his car had been run off the road by a theropod dinosaur, and in the early 1990s, a person claimed to encounter a similar dinosaur eating road kill ..." Read more Look inside

I'll Gather My Geese

by Hallie Crawford Stillwell

In 1916, Hallie Crawford went to teach school in Presidio, just across the Rio Grande from Ojinaga, Mexico, which had been recently captured by Pancho Villa. Hallie's father, considering this a dangerous place for a young woman of nineteen to live alone, told her he thought she was going on a wild goose chase. "Then I'll gather my geese," she told him, with determination and independence. These traits stayed with Hallie all her life, and were indispensable in her role as a ranch wife. Raised as a "proper" Southern woman, Hallie was not prepared for the difficulties she faced when she moved to her new home, the Stillwell Ranch in Brewster County, in 1918 ... Read more Look inside

Texas Ranch Women: Three Centuries of Mettle and Moxie

"Once in this crook of Texas, her father, who alternated between being a rancher and a grocer, settled down. Hallie Stillwell and her siblings graduated from Alpine High. Simultaneously, she earned a teaching certificate at the Normal School for Teachers in Alpine and hired out to teach in Presidio, Texas, Juana Pedrasa's country, where Hallie earned hazardous duty pay, an extra ten dollars a month in 1916 ... " Read more Look inside

An occasional Wildflower, Nina Seawell Hannold 1880-1911: Homesteading in the Big Bend

"An Occasional Wildflower, wife of the dugout wells schoolteacher and pioneer woman who died in 1911. Her grave is 4 miles north of Panther Junction not 50 yards off the road", review by Eric Pierce

The Whole Damn Cheese: Maggie Smith, Border Legend

Anecdotes about Maggie Smith abound, but Bill Wright’s The Whole Damn Cheese is the first book devoted entirely to the woman whose life in Big Bend country has become the stuff of legend. For more than twenty years—from 1943 until her death in 1965—Maggie Smith served folks on both sides of the border as doctor, lawyer, midwife, herbalist, banker, self-appointed justice of the peace, and coroner. As she put it, she was “the whole damn cheese” in Hot Springs, Texas. She was also an accomplished smuggler with a touch of romance as well as larceny in her heart . . . Read more Look inside

The Heart Remembers: A Memoir of Growth Through Grief

by Jayson Woodward

Chronicles a widow’s journey in Brewster County Texas as she comes to terms with her husband’s untimely death. Beginning with the first signs of illness, and continuing through the unexpected events that led to her husband’s death, Jayson shares the process of grief and provides insight into the emotions, actions, and thoughts one might experience in a similar circumstance. Both heartbreaking and uplifting, this narrative of a spouse’s death is one that many have already experienced, and many more will experience. It presents a candid and personal exposure to a situation . . . Read more Look inside

200 Texas Outlaws and Lawmen

"On January 31, 1891, a cowboy fugitive, Fine Gilliland was killed near Marathon, Texas, in a gunfight with a Ranger-led posse that included Thalis Cook. Gilliland was accused of killing fellow ranch hand H. H. Poe over possession of a steer. Following the gunfight, his friends supposedly branded the steer with the stark inscription: "Murder, January 31, 1891." The beast wandered Brewster County for years, or so the story goes  . . ." Read more Look inside

Federico Villalba's Texas

Federico Villalba who, as a young man, moved with his family from old San Gernimo, Chihuahua in the 1880s to begin ranching near the village of San Carlos, near Lajitas, Texas. He prospered and eventually crossed over the Rio Grande to settle and ranch at Burro Mesa. There, Villalba married, built his herd of cattle and angora goats, discovered cinnebar and opened a store at Cerro Villalba (later Study Butte) and a leather goods store in Santa Elena . . . Read more

Terror in Terlingua: Based On A True Story

This book is based on a true story. Being 16 and not knowing what life is about, you make bad choices, and step on land mines as you go through the choices you make. In 1965 there were still cowboys in Texas. this book takes you from a city in California  to the  ghost town of Terlingua Texas, with a crazy con man, Jim Terrell, who cons everyone he meets. The young girl Dahlia, is held against her will, and meets with the face of death several times by her captor. The towns folk are intrigued with Jim Terrell, especially the women. He resembles Clark Gable, cowboy style. On Saturday nights, the cowboys from the ranches gather at the Terlingua Inn, and it always ended with a fight . . . Read more Look inside

Alpine Glow:

Western Historical Mystery Meets Modern Day Thriller Under the Burning Texas Sky

Every place in the American West has a story. Shadows of the men and women who fought to survive the deadly challenges of the Old West remain, some inspiring, some dark, all of them waiting to be discovered. Alpine Glow is a parallel tale masterfully woven between a passionate western mystery and a modern day thriller, both taking place in the same desert town of Alpine, Texas...over 100 years apart. . . Read more Look inside

Riding Lucifer's Line: Ranger Deaths along the Texas-Mexico Border

Found inside: "Hardly had Private Fusselman arrived at Alpine before speeding events overtook the gangling but gutsy Ranger. After but a stay of less than a week, three of Private Fusselman's traveling companions resigned; Corporal J. Walter Durbin, along with Bazzell Lamar "Baz" (sometimes Bass) Outlaw, and John R. Hughes had traded there silver cinco pesos for the promise of gold. The trio had taken employment with mining man William O. Grady at the Fronteriza Mine across the Rio Grande in Mexico. Mr. Grady needed hard men to guard the payrolls and profits, and the three ex-Texas Rangers needed hard money . . . " Read more Look inside

Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

Found Inside: "One woman who performed every kind of such work (a lot of it while on horse-back) is Alice Stillwell Henderson, who ranched---and even taught school---in the rough, lonely expanses of the Big Bend country along the Rio Grande. Alice's family helped settle Brewster County in the Bend. In 1890, after she was married, she and her husband established a ranch on Maravillas Creek  . . . "  Read more Look Inside

Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend

Ben H. English came to the Big Bend at the age of two, the fifth of six generations of his family to call this enigmatic region home. With his family headquartered at the old Lajitas Trading Post, he worked and lived on ranches and places now little more than forgotten dots on yellowing maps. He attended the one-room schoolhouse at Terlingua, prowled the banks of the Rio Grande, and crisscrossed the surrounding areas time and again on horseback and by foot . . . Read more Look inside

The Way I Heard It: Tales of the Big Bend

by Walter Fulcher

Found Inside: "Born in Lampasas County, Texas, on December 21, 1887, Arl Walter Fulcher was about fourteen when his family moved him to Sterling County in 1901. His father, Frank Porter Fulcher, was a native Texan; and his mother, Cora Etta Fulcher, was brought from Missouri to Texas at the age of five. In Sterling County his father is remembered as one of the pioneer ranchmen of West Texas. In 1919 Fulcher's parents moved to Terlingua in Brewster County, where they acquired a ranch. They drove the cattle and horses through . . . " Read more

Around Terlingua (Images of America)

This story tells of the establishment and abandonment of Terlingua following the rise and decline in demand for mercury and how the ghost town was resurrected in the 20th century. The origin of the name "Terlingua" is obscure and lost in time. For the past century and a half, the area covered by the name has expanded to include numerous concentrations of people engaged to varying degrees in ranching, farming, and mining, or the support thereof . . . Read more Look inside

The Big Book of Texas Ghost Stories

Found inside: " Terlingua is an old mining town located in Brewster County, not far from the Rio Grand... The Perry Mansion stood abandoned for several decades. During that time, those people brave enough to walk through the spooky old house claimed to have seen the apparition of a woman wandering from room to room on the second floor..  . . . Read more Look inside

Border Ghosts - A Deputy Ricos Tale

Award-winning author Elizabeth (Beth) Garcia has lived for more than thirty years in the Big Bend country of far west Texas. Deputy Margarita Ricos is not like every other deputy sheriff. She’s young. She’s tough. She’s kindhearted and smart. She’s a proud Chicana! Raised on the edge of the United States in Terlingua, Texas, she has a broad perspective of “the border,” its people, and its issues. She chooses to remain in the vast land of mountains and desert, a muddy, winding river, fiery sunsets, unique dangers, and indescribable beauty. Margarita is an advocate of justice and fairness in a world that is neither . . . Read more Look inside

Legendary Texas Storytellers

Storytelling is alive and well in Texas! Let storyteller and biographer Jim Gramon give you a personal introduction to some of his legendary storytelling friends. Found inside: "Ms. Tracy's Cafe: Terlingua / Study Butte, Texas. I knew Tracy long before I met her. Don't know what it says about me, but somehow, without having been there in twenty years, I knew half the permanent population of Terlingua. Of course that only adds up to about a dozen folks! Reicher "Rick the Kind" Pille and I worked together and sat in on . . . Read more Look inside

The Window Trail

What could go wrong on a spring break trek down the storied Window Trail at Big Bend National Park in Texas? For Assistant Professor Claire Harp, a terrifying incident at the canyon drop-off at the end of the hike merely hints of troubles to come. Drawn into a murder investigation that rocks the small town of Alpine. "The Window Trail: A Big Bend Country Mystery" , the first book in a projected series focusing on Far West Texas and its surrounding communities, including Alpine, Marathon, Fort Davis, Terlingua, and Marfa. . . . Read more Look inside

Alpine (Images of America)

Alpine was born a railroad town, but long before the whistle of the steam locomotive broke the silence of Alpine Valley, the nearby spring was a favored campground for prehistoric nomads and later for Spanish explorers and freighters along the Chihuahua Trail. When the Southern Pacific unfurled its line down from Paisano Pass in 1882, landowner Thomas Murphy saw opportunity and platted the town. In 1887, Alpine was chosen as the county seat, and with the opening of Sul Ross Normal College in 1920, the town became the academic hub of the region. Following a decade of prosperity, the Great Depression and recurrent droughts triggered . . . Read more Look inside

The Amazing Tale of Mr. Herbert and His Fabulous Alpine Cowboys Baseball Club

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, almost every small town in America had a baseball team. Most players were simply local heroes with a local following, but a few teams achieved fame far beyond their region. The Alpine Cowboys―despite being based in Texas’s remote, sparsely populated Big Bend country―became a star in the firmament of semi-pro baseball. Lavishly underwritten by a wealthy rancher with a passion not only for baseball but even more for helping young men get a good start in  . . . Read more Look inside

Quicksilver: Terlingua and the Chisos Mining Company

Before Terlingua achieved some notoriety as the site of the annual World Championship Chili Cookoff, the ghost town was the bustling center of the mercury mining industry in the United States. This study, available again in a redesigned paperback edition, examines the company town and its feudal lord, Chicago industrialist Howard E. Perry, who built a hilltop mansion overlooking the dry domain . . . Read more Look inside

The Terlingua Quicksilver Deposits, Brewster County

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. Found inside: "In going into the quicksilver country it is well to remember that there are no hotels, lodging houses, restaurants or other places of public entertainment. There are three good stores at Terlingua and one can buy everything necessary at any one of them, but it is necessary to provide one's own bedding, etc. Turing the greater part of the year out-door life in the southern part of Brewster County is pleasant enough, but during the early summer months and before the rains begin the temperature becomes excessive, at times, from 11 am to 4pm. The nights are delightful, even when . . . " Read more

One Bloody Shirt at a Time

... Crime in south Brewster County is seldom violent, and usually does not come in the form of murder or rape. Yet Norma Bates, a married, forty-five year old, mother of three, is found dead on her kitchen floor, lying in a pool of blood. There is a single stab wound in her chest. Deputy Ricos is about to conduct an interview about the murder when she receives a call from the sheriff. He says he has a couple from Terlingua in his office claiming their fourteen-year-old daughter was raped. Since Margarita is young, and known to the girl, perhaps she can get her to open up. The deputy is stunned by the sheriff’s news . . . Read more Look inside

Ghost Schools of the Big Bend

Found inside: Study Butte, Texas, which in appearance is not a bad name for the location of a school, was named for William Study (pronounced Stew-de) who lived there from 1898 to 1905., during the period that the quicksilver mines were being developed. He came to the big Bend of Texas for his health, and for a time it seemed to improve. He died, however in June 1905, at the age of 27. The community was first known as either Big Bend or Ter Lingua, but Study Butte is the name that stuck. Brewster County Judge Wigfall Van Sickle listed a C. C. Dugat in the 1898 annual report as a teacher at "Ter Lingua," a school having 10 male and 13 female students from among a school age population of 36 children . . . Read more

Chronicles of the Big Bend: A Photographic Memoir of Life on the Border

As a young teamster on a pack-mule train, Wilfred Dudley Smithers saw the Rio Grande's Big Bend for the first time in 1916, and it captured his imagination forever. For decades thereafter he returned to Texas' last great frontier—the great bend of the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border—chronicling the region and its people in words and photographs . . . Read more

Terlingua Teacher

A search for a simpler, more rewarding lifestyle brings Trent Jones and his wife Olga to the ghost town of Terlingua, Texas so that Trent can accept the unusual job of teacher/principal/janitor of a one-room schoolhouse. So what if the princely sum of half his current salary would make it impossible for them to afford a telephone or that they would have to haul drinking water from five miles away. It was a challenge whose rewards far outweighed any inconvenience. The colorful residents, the school children, the beauty of the vast and awesome Trans-Pecos all play their part in making this an unforgettable experience and inspirational triumph . . . Read more

Encyclopedia of Lawmen, Outlaws, and Gunfighters

Although he is usually mentioned, albeit briefly, in general histories of the Texas Rangers, Ernest St. Leon and is exploits tower well above most of the other gunmen who grabbed the 20th century spotlight ... Returning to the Lone Star State, on September 1, 1890, Ernest St. Leon enlisted in the Texas Rangers at Brewster County in the Big Bend area. He was definitely not a "dandy," but because of his obviously advanced level of education, and since he always sported a large diamond stickpin, his fellow lawmen nicknamed him Diamond Dick . . . Read more

Tales of the Big Bend

Found inside: "Somehow Putman got the wounded Cook into Marathon, part of the way by hack. Shortly afterward in Alpine, a doctor visiting there without his instruments unsuccessfully tried to remove the bullet, using a brace and bit borrowed from a blacksmith shop. Gilliland's body was brought into Alpine, where kinsmen met it and took it to Snyder . . . " Read more

More Tales of Big Bend

The Big Bend has always attracted an unusual sort of settler, and the settlers have spawned an unusual wealth of lore. Their tales live in the oral tradition of the place, adding to its color, mystery, and appeal. Found inside: "As the Quebec place did not seem to pay , Maggie spent the rest of her days at Study Butte and Lajitas. While running the Study Butte store , Maggie was entrapped by Texas lawmen . “ If anybody tried to take advantage of Maggie , it would " . . . Read more

Coronado's Children: Tales of Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of the Southwest

by J. Frank Dobie

"And the greatest story of all the Big Bend country and of all the Mexican wasteland across the river is the story of the Lost N***er Mine. It is not an old story like that of the San Saba mine; some of the chief contributors to it are still living. The mine is supposed to be either above the mouth of Reagan Canyon, in Brewster County, on the Texas side, or else across the river in the Ladrones (Robber) Mountains. I have led a pack mule down the trail that follows Reagan Canon and I have camped where the dark waters of the Rio Bravo swishing under the stars make that part of the world seem as remote as it was when Cabeza de Vaca  . . . " Read more Look inside

Stage 4 Cancer--Gone!

by Shirley Mitchell Williams

Shirley Williams is married to Mark Williams; together, they pastor Grace Christian Fellowship in Alpine, Texas. She has worn many hats over the years, including EMS director, judge, IRS Enrolled Agent, business owner, coroner, evangelist, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. This is a true account of a medically documented healing miracle of a woman diagnosed with Stage IV (end stage) breast cancer that had metastasized into her bones, organs and lymph nodes. Given anywhere from three weeks to ninety days to live, through her faith, she was able to find healing without chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Years later, Shirley is still living free from all cancer and is totally restored . . . Read more

A Bowl of Red

Big Bend resident rancher Hallie Stillwell has added her voice and favorite chili recipe to her friend Frank X. Tolbert's classic book, A Bowl of Red.  Hallie Stillwell was one of the three judges at the first Terlingua cookoff, held in 1967. "We were blindfolded to sample the chili," the ninety-six-year-old writer/rancher says in her foreword. She voted for one of the milder concoctions; another judge cast his vote for a hotter version. The third judge, who was mayor of Terlingua, sampled each pot but then pronounced his taste buds paralyzed and declared the contest a tie . . .  Read more

Produced By...: Balancing Art and Business in the Movie Industry

Found inside: "My experience in Lajitas, Texas , is a good example of the kinds of problems that locations can pose for crew morale. Lajitas, the principal location for Barbarosa, is a town on the Texas Mexico border with a permanent population of twelve"  . . . Read more

Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie

When journalist Beth Howard’s young husband dies suddenly, she packs up the RV he left behind and hits the American highways. Found inside: August 19, 2009, Terlinqua, Texas. I wasn't even halfway through my morning with the dogs, but the sun had already risen high above the mesa of the Chisos Mountains. We should have left earlier, but every morning started with the same dilemma . . . " Read more Look inside

Terlingua Music

Few places on Earth attract more talented (and colorful) musicians to perform pro bono than Terlingua, Texas. Many of the most talented musicians on the planet play The Starlight Theatre, The High Sierra Bar and Grill, The Thirsty Goat Saloon, and - until recently - the sorely missed La Kiva; stunning tourists and locals alike with three minute aural movies and jaw dropping musical technique. Terlingua Music celebrates some of these incredible musicians and artists . . . Read more Look inside

More Than A Badge

Part I of the book is of Sheriff Williams from birth through growing up years, starting a family, with stories of his Life's activities and of his career in Law Enforcement and life happenings, through retirement. Part II is the History of all of the Sheriffs of Brewster County, Texas, ending with a gallery of some of the officers he worked with and concluding with an End of Watch section of the officers in the area the book covers. The book is full of historic events and places in the Trans-Pecos. There are about 1200 pictures to illustrate this book . . . Learn more

The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People

The Texas Landscape Project explores conservation and ecology in Texas by presenting a highly visual and deeply researched view of the widespread changes that have affected the state as its population and economy have boomed and as Texans have worked ever harder to safeguard its bountiful but limited natural resources ... Found inside: "In 1985, C. G. Johnson gave his 23,000 acre Elephant Mountain Ranch in Brewster County to the state. Over the years, the Johnson ranch has become a major brood facility for bighorn restoration . . . " Read more Look inside


West Texas History & Memories

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Vintage Texas Photos (eBay #Ad)

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

Brewster County Unclaimed EstatesBrewster County Unclaimed Estates

These Deceased Residents of Brewster County left a total $25,522 in Unclaimed Money for their heirs. Know the Heirs? Please Share this with your Family and Friends from Alpine and Terlingua . . . Check the list

Brewster County Treasures

Rare Artifacts, Memorabilia, Ancestry and History Records from Alpine, Marthon, Study Butte, Terlingua, Altuda, Arick Village and Boquillas, Texas. See Brewster County Treasures on eBay


What's your Favorite Book about a Texas County, Town, Person or Place? Here's our best reads list County by County


Mysterious TexasTrue Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texcas
 Loneliest, Least Populated Counties in Texas
Texas Cowboy HistoryBooks about Texas People 

County by County