Culberson County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Map of Culberson County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Culberson County | Culberson County Historic Museum | Culberson, Colonel David B. | Figure 2 Ranch | Guadalupe Peak | Ruins of "The Pinery" or "Pine Spring" Stage Stand | San Antonio-California Trail | Civil War Indian Trouble | Van Horn Wells | Van Horn Wells
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites.
Stage Stand Fight at Van Horn's Well


Culberson County

Marker Title: Culberson County
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: 2 miles west of Van Horn on IH 10 at scenic overlook rest area.
Marker Text: Formed from El Paso County; Created March 10, 1911; Organized April 18, 1911; Named for David B. Culberson 1830-1903 famous constitutional lawyer, a Confederate officer, member of the Texas legislature, member of the United States congress; Van Horn, the county seat.

Culberson County Historic Museum

Museum Name: Culberson County Historic Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 231
City: Van Horn
Zip Code: 79855
Street Address: 210 W Broadway
County: Culberson
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Local/Pioneer History

Colonel David B. Culberson

Marker Title: Colonel David B. Culberson 1830-1900
Address: 3rd and Culberson
City: Van Horn
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: 3rd and Culberson in Van Horn.
Marker Text: Native Georgian. Came to Texas 1856. Although opposed to secession he aided in raising 18th Texas Infantry as Lt. Colonel, C.S.A. Made commanding Colonel of 18th in 1862. After service in Vicksburg area broken health forced resignation of command winter 1862-63. As Adjutant and Inspector General of Texas 1863-64 responsible for protection of frontier against Indian attacks, Union invasion.

Figure 2 Ranch

Marker Title: Figure 2 Ranch
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Location: 32 miles north of Van Horn on SH 54
Marker Text: The lands which now lie within the boundaries of the Figure 2 Ranch were occupied in the 19th century by nomadic Native American tribes. One of the last battles between Texas Rangers and Apaches Indians occurred in the mountains west of this site in 1881. James Monroe Daugherty (18501942), who came to Texas from Missouri as a small child in 1851, served as a Confederate express rider at age 14. Following the Civil War he returned home to Denton County and became interested in the cattle business. He participated in numerous cattle drives and by 1872 purchased his first ranch. He was a charter member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. As his empire grew, Daugherty acquired additional ranches in several states. In 1890 he purchased land here and founded the Figure 2 Ranch. Taking up residence here by 1905, he was active in local politics and served as one of Culberson County's first commissioners upon its creation in 1911. Due to his failing health, Daugherty sold the Figure 2 Ranch in 1933 to legendary millionaire businessman James Marion West, Sr. (1871-1941) of Houston. Although West did not live at the ranch, he visited often and the property remained in his family until 1992.

Guadalupe Peak

Marker Title: Guadalupe Peak
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: 54 miles north of Van Horn on SH 54, then northeast on US Hwy 62 3 miles to rest area.
Marker Text: Guadalupe Peak, Texas' highest mountain at 8,751 feet, dominates one of the most scenic and least-known hinterlands of the old frontier. It lies behind and to the right of 8,078-foot El Capitan, the sheer cliff that rises more than 3,000 feet above this spot to mark the south end of the Guadalupe range. Starkness of the mountainside belies the lushness which the Guadalupes conceal. Tucked away in their inner folds are watered canyons shaded by towering ponderosa pine, douglas fir, juniper and quaking aspen. McKittrick Canyon, scene of a four-mile trout stream, is also the habitat of the state's only herd of wild elk. Seer and turkeys abound. Stories of hidden gold go back to Spanish days. The conquistadors who rode north from Mexico wrote about fabulous deposits. Geronimo, the Apache chief, said the richest gold mines in the western world lay hidden in the Guadalupes. Legend holds that Ben Sublett, a colorful prospector of the 1880s, slipped off at night to a cave and returned with bags of nuggets. Probably less is known about the archeology of the Guadalupes than of any other area in the Southwest. Excavators have found spearheads, pictographs and human remains together with bones of long-extinct bison, dire wolf and musk ox in cliff caves. At hermit cave in last chance canyon, carbon-14 dating indicates occupancy 12,000 years ago. Geologically, the Guadalupes present a spectacular exposure of the famous capitan prehistoric barrier reef, said to be the most extensive fossil organic reef known.

Ruins of "The Pinery" or "Pine Spring" Stage Stand

Marker Title: Ruins of "The Pinery" or "Pine Spring" Stage Stand
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park; 54 miles north of Van Horn on SH 54, then northeast on US Hwy 62 10 miles.
Marker Text: Built in 1858 as a station on the Butterfield overland mail route St. Louis to San Francisco. Abandoned in 1859, when the line was shifted to the Davis Mountain route.

San Antonio-California Trail

Marker Title: San Antonio-California Trail
Address: Roadside Park, 3 mi W of Van Horn on U.S. 80
City: Van Horn
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Roadside Park, 3 mi W of Van Horn on U.S. 80
Marker Text: (Three miles south) One of Texas' first cross-country wagon trails. The San Antonio-El Paso section of this route was surveyed in 1848 by a party under the intrepid Indian fighter Jack Hays. Used first by emigrants and gold-seekers, it became part of the San Antonio-San Diego mail line (1857), one of America's pioneer mail services. Passengers on the line paid $200 (one-way) to share a swaying Concord coach with 600 pounds of mail and braved bandits, dust, floods, and Indians to spend 27 days traveling 1,500 miles. Service ended in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Civil War Indian Trouble

Marker Title: Texas Civil War Indian Trouble
Address: 3rd and Culberson
City: Van Horn
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: 3rd and Culberson in Van Horn
Marker Text: War brought turmoil to Indians living in Kansas and the Indian Territory, with unfortunate results for Texans on the frontier. Most Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles aided the South, while others adhered to the North. Few Comanches made a treaty with the South; but a great majority with their allies, the Kiowas, held aloof from either side and plundered the frontier at will. Apaches and Kickapoos did the same from Mexico. Texas and Confederate troops, despite poor arms and mounts, held defense lines until war's end.

Van Horn Wells

Marker Title: Van Horn Wells
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: 12 miles south of Van Horn on US Hwy 90
Marker Text: Only dependable water supply in miles of arid terrain. Used by Indians for centuries. Named for either Maj. Jefferson Van Horne (who passed here en route to establish fort at El Paso, in 1849), or for Lt. J.J. Van Horn (stationed here to fight Indians, 1859). Wagon trains from south Texas welcomed the "seep-water" from wells, as did soldiers on San Antonio -- El Paso military road. Riders for "Jackass Mile" (San Antonio -- San Diego) stopped here, and the Butterfield Mail Line built a stage stand at wells, 1859. Town of Van Horn grew up (12 miles north) in 1880s.

Van Horn Wells

Marker Title: Van Horn Wells
County: Culberson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Only watering place in wide region. Stage stand on the San Antonio to San Diego route, 1857-1882. Occupied by Captain J.J. Van Horn and Co. F, Eighth U.S. Infantry in 1859 while engaged in protecting the frontier against marauding Indians. The high peaks served as heliograph stations.


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