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Books About Presidio County Texas People and Places
What's Your Favorite Book about a Presidio County Texas Person, Place or Event? Here are some of our favorites about Marfa, Presidio, Redford, Candelaria, Chinati, Plata, Ruidosa and Shafter Texas.


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Grizzly MoonGrizzly Moon

2024 Spur Award Finalist “Grizzly Moon” by Patrick Dearen is based on the actual 1899 hunt in the Davis Mountains for the only confirmed grizzly ever found in Texas. Historical Novel Society called it “a classic western novel which will appeal to fans of the genre. . . The predominant themes include tragedy, guilt, heartbreak and questionable desire for revenge..."  Read more


During his early childhood years, World War II was on everyone’s mind. His dad went off to war while his mother stayed behind caring for his little brother, Jose Antonio. Luis A. Jiminez was born January 9, 1937 and raised in the small west Texas town of Presidio Texas. His early formative years started at the age of nine, when he was sent to Moye Military School in Castroville, Texas, where he continued to be a Moye cadet for the next five years until he graduated from the eighth grade . . . Read more

The Art and Architecture of the Texas Missions

"The Santiago church, larger than La Navidad, was located on Alamitos Creek about eight miles below present Presidio, Texas. Fr. Lopez left the area on January 1, 1684. The two missionaries abandoned the missions a short time later due to ... " Read more Look inside . . . for more like this please see Texas Church History

Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend

"The history of Presidio, Texas, and Ojinaga, Mexico, are intertwined. Spanish explorers came to the area they named La Junta de las Cruces in the 1500s and celebrated the first Christmas in Texas around 1683 ..." Read more Look inside . . . for more like this please see History of Christmas in Texas

The Ranger Ideal Volume 2:

Texas Rangers in the Hall of Fame, 1874-1930

"Aspiring to benefit from the expanding opportunities, in November 1882, Gillett entered into a cattle-raising partnership with his old comrade Charlie Nevill, now sheriff and tax collector of Presidio County . . . " Read more Look inside

Haunted Restaurants, Taverns, and Inns of Texas

"The Arcon Inn is a gorgeous turn-of-the century, two-story Gothic Victorian adobe home, located just a few blocks from the Marfa courthouse on North Austin street. The house was built from 1886 to 1909 by a doctor who came to Marfa from the Midwest. Emmeline, one of the doctor's nine children born at the house on Austin Street, died instantly from a horseback riding accident at abut age fourteen.  Many years after Emmeline's death and after the family had moved away from the area, a pretty young girl enrolled at the local school. She was dressed in old-fashioned clothing. She enrolled with the name of Emmeline and gave her address as 215 North Austin. She attended school for a few days before ..." Read more Look inside

For more like this see Mysterious Texas

Bad Company and Burnt Powder

"It appears Cal Aten, then stationed at dirty, dangerous, and desolate Presidio, just opposite the Mexican border town of Ojiinaga, was already standing in the starting-gate just waiting for such news---a good excuse for saying adios to the Texas Rangers. He voluntarily separated from Company D on the last day of August 1890 . . . " Read more Look inside

The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900

"On August 4, 1890, another Company D ranger died in the line of duty in the silver-mining boomtown of Shafter, downriver from El Paso in Presidio County. King summarized the incident: During a dance at a Mexican house ... a difficulty arose in some way between the Mexicans and whites, and during the shooting that occurred, or jus afterward, one of the Rangers was killed by the Mexicans. This was Private J. F. Gravis, and his record . . . " Read more Look inside

Big Bend Country: Land of the Unexpected

"It was in the latter role that I first visited Marfa , Texas , and met Lee Bennett . A popular history teacher at Marfa High School , Lee had achieved national recognition as sponsor of the Marfa Junior Historians , the association's ..." Read more Look inside

200 Texas Outlaws and Lawmen

"On July 3, 1880, while pillaging a sheep camp about eighteen miles north of Presidio, Texas, Jesse Evans and Tom Hill were interrupted by a shepherd, whom they disarmed. After Evans and Hill returned to looting the camp, the man somehow acquired a Winchester and opened fire. His first shots missed, and he took a bullet from the outlaws, yet the shepherd garnered enough strength to kill Hill. Evans promptly left, abandoning a rifle and a six shooter . . ." Read more Look inside

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

"It was May 28, 1968. While Pablo was being readied in Ojiinaga with the heroin, someone else across the bridge in Presidio was tipping off the American authorities. The informant rushed into the U.S. Customs enforcement office behind the international port of entry, barely a hundred yards from Ojiinaga. Three hours later the informant was back at the enforcement office to report the smuggler was already at this moment driving north on Highway 67. It took a customs officer and two border patrolmen two hours to catch up to the vehicle near Marfa ... Pablo's heart jumped when he saw the red lights flashing behind him . . . " Read more Look inside

Border Healing Woman: The Story of Jewel Babb as told to Pat LittleDog

The story of Jewel Babb, from her early years as a tenderfoot ranch wife to her elder years as a desert healing woman in the Big Bend area, has enthralled readers since Border Healing Woman was first published in 1981. In this second edition, Pat LittleDog adds an epilogue to conclude the story, describing the mixed blessings that publicity brought to Jewel Babb before her death in 1991 . . . Read more Look inside

Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend

by Ben H English

"When one opens the pages to this book they step into another world and place, and even on occasions, another time. No matter what you may know about the lower Big Bend or think you know about the lower Big Bend, here are thoughts, maps and photographs that bring together a heretofore unachieved mosaic of this rugged, lonesome land. In effect, 'Out There' is a work that others simply cannot compare to. Whether you might be a first-time visitor or have made many a journey into its more remote environs, there is so much contained within to both see as well as savor. It is a book meant not for sitting on a shelf and gathering dust, but one to be read and re-read time and again. If home is where the heart is, even the first few paragraphs leave no doubt as to where the author's resides. And that is only the beginning..." Read more Look inside

The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911-1921

"The new year, 1914, opened with the Villista attack on Ojinaga, opposite Presidio, Texas. At Presidio were two troops of the Fourteenth Cavalry and four troops from the Fifteenth were at Presidio, with two more troops in reserve at Marfa and and Sierra Blanca. Ojinaga fell to Pancho Villa's forces on January 10, 1914. Mexican federal forces, families, and refugees flooded across the river to Presidio: 3352 officers and men, 1607 women and children, and 1762 horses and mules. Major McNamee organized the Mexican soldiers and families, and started the pitiful column on the march to Marfa on June 15 . . ." Read more Look inside

North of Marfa: And Other Stories

Sometimes what is not probable becomes possible. This was true for a few people with nothing in common, but unusual circumstances brought them together in a small town near Marfa, Texas. Jack Strickland is a young cowboy with a dream to reopen the town’s movie theater, now closed for many years, with Giant, a classic Hollywood film that was shot in Marfa in1955 with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. Dan, the old man who owns the theater is not willing to go along with Jack’s dream, Sally Harper owns a most unusual shop selling buttons ... Read more Look inside

Texas Haunted Forts

"The dead warrior roams the grounds of the fort trapped inside the walls of Fort Cienega permanently. He can't find his way to heaven because his wife did not help him along on his long journey. Perhaps the brave is searching for his people, or maybe he searches for his favorite hunting items...For Cienega is located near the source of Cienega Creek about six miles east of Shafter, Texas, in Central Presidio County..." Read more Look inside . . . read more like this in Mysterious Texas

Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Volume 2

"In 1848 Leaton bought an adobe mission-presidio 4.1 miles below the present site of Presidio, Texas, on the Rio Grande. The structure probably was built in 1684 as El Apostol Santiago, and reestablished in 1773 as El Fortin de San José. Leaton's bill of sale from Juan Bustillos for the place was dated August 19, 1848, but he had been there earlier, perhaps as early as 1846. This layout became known as Fort Leaton and under Ben's initiative became the largest adobe structure in Texas, it is said with some 40 rooms . . .  ' Read more

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 1918 ... Read more Look inside

The Mail Rider: From Kentucky to Texas, the Hard Way

"During this long, and adventure filled journey, he becomes friends with a Confederate Soldier, Cody Travis, who has escaped from a prisoner of war Camp. When they arrive in Natchez, Sam accepts Cody's invitation to accompany him to his home in Marfa, Texas. After all, he had no other place to go. In Marfa he finds work, first as a quicksilver guard, and later, as a mail rider ..." Read more Look inside

Fort Concho and the Texas Frontier

"In March 1849, after a good rest and the replenishment of their supplies with high-priced pinole and jerky, and after paying their respects to Mexican officials across the river at Presidio, they were joined by John Spencer, from there and took off upstream for El Paso del Norte" ... Read more Look inside

America's Electric Nazca: Megalithic Marfa, Texas

New Rosetta Discoveries track the Ancients, their Paths, their Treasures, and Connect the Dots. A TRUE North American Megalith. This book details the stunning Discovery of Nazca Type Lines and Geoglyphs on, and around the Marfa Texas area. These Lines lead directly to the Great Pyramid, and Stonehenge, United Kingdom, forming clear links to all Megalithic sites, around the World . . . Read more Look inside

Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction

In the great American tradition of funny road narratives― from Mark Twain to Hunter S. Thompson―a young journalist searches for his first big break down the lonesome highways of the Southwest and northern Mexico. Alternating chapters of fiction and nonfiction provide a hilarious account of Jake Silverstein’s misadventures on the hunt for an elusive magazine article―a journey that becomes a quest to understand the purpose of journalism and the nature of storytelling . . . Read more Look inside

Earth Architecture

The humble earthen houses that make up the residential district of Marfa , Texas , now fetch several hundred thousand dollars as second homes for New Yorkers , Houstonians , and Los Angelenos . Mud brick construction , at one time a ... Read more

In the Shadow of the Chinatis

Combines the rich narratives of history, natural history, and archeology to tell the story of the landscape as well as the people who once inhabited it. Settling the land was difficult, staying on it even more so, but one family proved especially resilient. Rising above their meager origins, the Prietos eventually amassed a 12,000-acre ranch in the shadow of the Chinati Mountains to become the most successful of Pinto Canyon’s early settlers. But starting with the tense years of the Great Depression, the family faced a series of tragedies: one son was killed by a Texas Ranger, and another by the deranged son of Chico Cano, the Big Bend’s most notorious bandit . . . Read more Look inside

Mysteries of the Marfa Lights Revealed

Eyewitnesses to the mysterious lights around Marfa, Texas report that they may appear out of nowhere, move up and down, change colors, merge, separate, and even chase cars. What are they — UFOs, atmospheric anomalies, optical illusions, or something else? For over 100 years, these so-called Marfa lights have baffled experts and amateurs alike — until now . . . Read more Look inside

Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas

Even before Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and the following punitive expedition under General John J. Pershing, the U.S. Army was strengthening its presence on the southwestern border in response to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Manning forty-one small outposts along a three-hundred mile stretch of the Rio Grande region, the army remained for a decade . . . Read more Look inside

Echoes Along the Pecos River: Intriguing Ranch Tales from West Texas

A vivid history of five generations of the Babb family who ranched in West Texas. They survived it all through good times and bad, drought and loss, murder and danger, but always protective of their family and those dear to them. The story begins with my infamous great great grandfather who claims he killed 23 men but never went to jail for long . . . Read more Look inside

Tied Hard and Fast: Apache Adams-Big Bend Cowboy

By Don Cadden

"In our leggings' pockets we'd each stashed guns. I'd packed a .357 magnum pistol, and José had a .22 pistol. When we got close to the wax camp, José said he thought they would have a trap set for us, and we'd be outnumbered. We both agreed that the best thing we could do was to keep our mouths shut under the circumstances . . . read more

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

The Coyame Incident: UFO Crash Near Presidio, Texas

In this follow-up to their wildly-successful book, "Mexico’s Roswell," the authors bring us up to date on the incredible story of a mid-air collision in August 1974 between a small plane and a UFO on the U.S.-Mexico border near the city of Presidio, Texas. Following the crash, the governments of both Mexico and the U.S. sent troops to recover the fallen UFO . . . Read more Look inside

West Texas: A History of the Giant Side of the State

"New Spain also made some effort to bring Christianity to the nomadic occupants of West Texas, especially after Jumano Indians pleaded with the church leaders in 1628 to send religious teachers because they had been taught by a mysterious "woman in blue." In 1629 Father Juan de Salas led an expedition that reached the Jumano villages.  By the 1670s some Jumanos had moved to a new mission, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, at the present site of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, and to another at Presidio, Texas. And in 1682, after a revolt by Pueblos against the Spanish in New Mexico . . . Read more Look inside . . . for more like this please see Texas Church History

The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution

"For the next month Orozco led guerrilla raids against federal garrisons. In September he managed to capture the isolated town of Ojinaga, in the Big Bend across from Presidio , Texas . By way of illustrating the isolation of this area, Presidio was seventy miles from the nearest railroad, at Marfa, and communications between the two towns were by an automobile stage line . . ." Read more

Across Borders

In Across Borders, Lawson Caine, an eight year veteran of the Border Patrol, is stationed in Presidio Texas with legendary lawman Capt. James Garrett. Lawson, who is from a long linage of lawmen, has gained the respect and reverence from his team, Dale Chanson, Terry Bennet, and the crazy member, Alex Sweeny. Together as a team their mission is to protect the US by patrolling the borders of Mexico for illegal aliens and the never ending drug trade . . . 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

The Texas Frontier and the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858–1861

"Before his capture in1867, however, the emperor supposedly sent his valuables north on a wagon train. after crossing the Rio Grande at Presidio, Texas, the caravan reached Castle Gap, where the teamsters peeked under the wagons' canvas tarps and discovered Maximilian's treasure. The men hid their loot in Castle Gap and then fell to quarrelling among themselves. A lone survivor fled north and never returned to retrieve the cached riches . . . " Read more Look inside

West 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 . . . for more like this please see Texas Church History

Texas Ranger Tales: Stories That Need Telling

"For a young man in the 1890s, Ranger Oden's philosophical insight was impressive. In one diary entry, he recorded what he labeled as only a partial list of the bad men wanted  in Presidio County. He names six men, half of them wanted for murder. They were men, Oden wrote, "who lie and steal and cheat---men who murder---men who are so weak---men we hunt---men men we shoot . . . " Read more Look inside

Preserving Early Texas History

"It's for that first recorded medical operation near today's Presidio, Texas, that the Texas Surgical Society honors Cabeza de Vaca as its patron saint. It's also after crossing the lower Rio Grande in 1554 that about 200 Spanish men, women, and ..." Read more Look inside

Where the West Begins: Debating Texas Identity

"As a result, from 1848-1890, whites and Mexican Americans in El Paso, Presidio, and Pecos counties shared elected offices and conducted business transactions. Additionally, many of the white men moving to the Trans-Pecos during this period were single, and since there were few white women in the area, a number of Anglo American men married Tejano women . . . " Read more Look inside

Postcards from the Chihuahua Border: Revisiting a Pictorial Past, 1900s–1950s

"Revolutionary armies coveted Ojinaga as well because the border situation enabled access to American arms merchants through the port of entry at Presidio, Texas. The 1911 battle was victorious for the federal troops holding Ojinaga in ... " Read more Look inside

Fifty Years of Change on the U.S.-Mexico Border

"At a ford in the Rio Grande at Redford in Presidio County, two brothers have famrs, one on each side of the river. All their lives they have crossed back and forth to help each other with the farming. Now it is a thirty-mile trip to cross the river at the Presidio-Ojinaga crossing . . . " Read more Look inside

Marfa: The Transformation of a West Texas Town

"A small town in the vast desert of West Texas, Marfa attracts visitors from around the world to its art foundations and galleries, film and music festivals, and design and architecture symposiums. While newcomers sometimes see it as “another Santa Fe,” long-time residents often take a bemused, even disapproving attitude toward the changes that Marfa has undergone since artist Donald Judd came to town in the 1970s and began creating spaces ..." Read more

In Defense of the Marfa Lights

These days, Marfa, Texas, is a mecca for art and artists. But Mitchell Flat, a vast stretch of ranch land to the east of Marfa, is a much older mecca, not for art, but for lights. Since the 19th century, reports of "mysterious" or unexplained lights have intrigued people who live in this far west Texas area.
Some visitors (and there are many) declare distant, moving lights to be "mysterious," while more skeptical visitors may tell you that what they saw were ranch lights and vehicle headlights. Who is right? What are these lights? . . . Read more Look Inside

Marfa for the Perplexed

Ranchers, artists, priests, wildlife managers, and chili aficionados, are just a few of the the people you'll meet in Lonn Taylor's rollicking and deeply affecting, Marfa for the Perplexed. Not so much a tourist guide as a reminder that everywhere has been somewhere for a very long time, Taylor moves past the where to's and why go there's, and shows a region that has lived independent from and in tandem with visitations of all kinds . . . " Read more

Hunting Marfa Lights

"Hunting Marfa Lights reports the results of an eight-year investigation (2001–2009) into mysterious lights seen near Marfa, a small West Texas town. This is, to date, the only long-term, extensive study of these phenomena. Reports of unusual lights east of Marfa extend back to the 1800s. Based on data collected, the author finds that while most of the observed lights in this area can be explained, about 3 percent are truly mysterious and of unknown origin. In addition to frequent on-site observations and photography, the author installed . . . " Read more

Marfa (Images of America: Texas)

In the rugged High Chihuahua Desert of West Texas, Marfa lies in the northeast corner of Presidio County, 60 miles from the Mexico border. Originally established as a water stop for the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railroad in 1883, it soon became the county seat and heart of a thriving commercial center built around ranching. Marfa's Fort D. A. Russell, first known as Camp Albert and later Camp Marfa, has been home to . . . Read more Look Inside

Marfa and the Mystique of Far West Texas

"What is it about Marfa, Texas? More and more visitors are arriving. The amount of press for such a small, remote town is astonishing. Its allure is elusive, but John Slaughter’s photography artfully captures what’s driving this attention. Thorough coverage of the surrounding landscapes along with images of cultural events, performances, and architecture present a well-rounded view of Marfa’s attraction. Special focus is given to . . . Read more

Marfa Silence

Photographs from Marfa, Texas and Big Bend National Park by Larry Goode. Poems by Janet Doggett.


West Texas History & Memories

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

Amazing People from Texas County by County

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)


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