Tascosa, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 35° 31.884 W 102° 15.368
13S E 748784 N 3935439
Quick Description: Town is gone, except old county courthouse, now a museum, and "town" was converted to Boys Ranch.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 1/14/2011 8:44:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMAGRB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Crystal Sound
Views: 7

Long Description:

County of Town: Oldham County
Location of Town: TX-233, E. of US-385, 22 miles N. of Vega
Some more history if this town:
State of Texas Marker - Text: Cowboy capital of the Texas Panhandle, 1877-1888. "Billy the Kid" and cowboys from many ranches added to its liveliness. Made famous by wild west fiction. Its name is a corruption of Atascoso (boggy) first given to nearby creek. County seat of Oldham County, 1881-1915.

Texas Historical Commission Marker - Text: The site of present-day Boys Ranch and former legal seat of ten counties, Tascosa came into being, lived and died in four short decades from 1876 to 1915. Its heyday was brief, yet it encompassed the history of an era, that of the open range. On its stage, with ambitions and character good and bad, were Comancheros and Indians, drifters, pastores, cattle barons, cowboys, and nesters, lawmen and the lawless. Famed as a watering and rest stop for cattle drives bound for Dodge City, Tascosa saw the action, philosophies and environment of four centuries crowded into a few feverish years. Boot Hill and barbed wire, a railroad that bypassed, agriculture that never came were the forces that ended the dreams of its colorful and highly human inhabitants. The ghost town gasped its final breath with the passing of its last resident, Frenchy McCormick, a Tascosa dance hall girl who had lived alone in a crumbling adobe near "town" until her death in 1941. The mourners at her funeral were Boys Ranchers who paid her their final tribute by singing "Home On the Range."

Texas Highway Dept. Marker - Text:
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 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.

Boy Ranch Historical Marker - Text: The site of present-day Boys Ranch and former legal seat of ten counties, Tascosa came into being, lived and died in four short decades from 1876 to 1915. Its heyday was brief, yet it encompassed the history of an era, that of the open range. On its stage, with ambitions and character good and bad, were Comancheros and Indians, drifters, pastores, cattle barons, cowboys, and nesters, lawmen and the lawless. Famed as a watering and rest stop for cattle drives bound for Dodge City, Tascosa saw the action, philosophies and environment of four centuries crowded into a few feverish years. Boot Hill and barbed wire, a railroad that bypassed, agriculture that never came were the forces that ended the dreams of its colorful and highly human inhabitants. The ghost town gasped its final breath with the passing of its last resident, Frenchy McCormick, a Tascosa dance hall girl who had lived alone in a crumbling adobe near "town" until her death in 1941. The mourners at her funeral were Boys Ranchers who paid her their final tribute by singing "Home On the Range."

More about "Frenchy": Frenchy McCormick, mystery woman, a former dance hall girl and the last resident of Tascosa, is a local legend. The story goes that only her husband Mickey knew her true identy and the secrets of her past.
After his death and subsequent burial in the Romero Cemetery in 1912, Frenchy vowed never to leave Mickey and Tascosa. She lived alone in the couple's adobe home for 27 years until moving into a friend's home in Channing, Texas, in January 1939. Frenchy died two years later and she was buried beside her beloved "Mack"

Reason for Abandonment: Economic

Date Abandoned: 1/1/1915

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