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Fort Stockton is in Pecos County. At last count there were 7,846 people living in Fort Stockton.

Fort Stockton grew up around Comanche Springs. The springs were well-used by Native Americans well before the arrival of European invaders. Comanche Springs was a popular rest stop on the Comanche Trail to Chihuahua, the Butterfield Overland Route, the Old San Antonio Road and the San Antonio-Chihuahua freight wagon road.

A fort was founded near Comanche Springs in 1859, named after Robert Field Stockton. During the Civil War the Confederates took over Fort Stockton. In 1867 the U.S. was back in Fort Stockton, building it bigger and making it into a permanent fort to protect the influx of settlers and pioneers heading west.

Fort Stockton was abandoned by the army in 1886. By then developers from San Antonio decided the springs could be a gold mine to be used for irrigating the arid land. So, they bought a large amount of land in the area. Gradually a town was born. At first named Saint Gaul. But the locals did not like that name. And so in 1881 Saint Gaul became Fort Stockton.

The irrigation effort was one of the earliest irrigated farming attempts in Texas. By 1877 around 8,000 acres were getting water. Today Fort Stockton is the retail, shipping headquarters for vast natural gas, oil and ranching operations. There is good hunting in the Fort Stockton zone, with a lot of mule deer and antelope. 

In Fort Stockton you'll find Annie Riggs Hotel Museum. This is an old hotel, built in 1899, that has been restored by a local historical society with 14 rooms displaying collections of various items from Fort Stockton's past.

Comanche Springs is still burbling up water, but not as much as in its heyday. It is now the site of an Olympic sized swimming pool.

Fort Stockton has one of those classic Texas county courthouse squares with several old building around the courthouse. 

Four original buildings remain of Fort Stockton. You can check them out. There is an admission fee.

Maybe the best known feature in Fort Stockton is relatively new, that being Paisano Pete. Pete is 20 feet long, 11 feet tall. Fort Stockton claims that Paisano Pete is the world's largest roadrunner. No one seems to dispute this claim. Pete is a popular picture subject at Main Street and U.S. 290.

There are some very big ranches in the Fort Stockton area. La Escalera Ranch sprawls over 320,000 acres. It is located south of Fort Stockton on the Marathon Highway (385). La Escalera Ranch was owned by the Giddings family for over 100 years, during which time it was known as Elsinore Ranch. La Escalera Ranch covers much of Pecos County and parts of Baylor, Reeves and Brewster counties. The ranch is known for its herd of Black Angus. the Sierra Madera meteor crater is located near the entrance to La Escalera Ranch.


 GULF COAST | PINEY WOODS | PRAIRIE & LAKES | HILL COUNTRY
SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS | BIG BEND COUNTRY | PANHANDLE PLAINS
REGIONS OF TEXAS HOME PAGE

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