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History of Presidio County, Texas

See Also: Story of Shafter Texas
transcribed by Janice Rice
Presidio County is situated in extreme Southwest Texas, and Is bounded on the west and south by the Rio Grande River; it was created from a portion of Bexar County In 1870. and named for Presidio del Norte. The county's estimated population is 8,000; Marfa, the county seat, has about 1,500, Shatter 1,000. Total assessment, $4,511,200. The northern portion consists of high rolling prairies, destitute of timber and almost entirely destitute of natural or surface water. The southern portion, bordering on the Rio Grande, Is broken and mountainous, and while having a few running streams, is not so well adapted for stock raising purposes as the northern portion. It has timber, consisting of a stunted growth of live oak and cedar, sufficient only for fuel. Water Is obtained by boring at depths varying from 150 to 500 feet. Along the Rio Grande, on the made lands, are a few farms, devoted to raising corn, beans and wheat. The important streams are the Rio Grande, which is a dry river bed a greater part of the year, and the Alamito and Cbolo Creeks. This is pre-eminently a stock raising country. Last year there were 44,845 cattle. 4,387 horses and mules, 10,117 goats and 1,942 sheep. There are six irrigating plants along the Rio Grande River, watering about 10,000 acres; a little more than half of this acreage was in cultivation last year. As a rule the farms are cultivated by Mexicans. Corn is the principal crop, producing from 15 to 20 bushels per acre; some wheat is grown, but the greater portion of the cultivated lands are planted In such produce as Is necessary for local consumption, including vegetables and fruits. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad crosses the county with 44.53 miles of trackage. There are 17 public free schools, employing 21 teachers. Much of the mountain country is richly mineralized, and the mining industry is of great importance. Silver mines near Shatter, which have been successfully operated since 1884, are producing $700,000 worth of silver annually. Several silver mines are being opened up in the San Antonio Canyon. The Big Bend, Mariposa and Dallas quicksilver mines, located Just over the border in Brewster County, draw their supplies from Marfa, and, being close to the Presidio County border, it is believed that these same deposits will be found In this county. Quarries of fine marble, familiarly known as the Jordan and Kane quarries, are located a few miles southeast of Marfa; a large syndicate is now preparing to develop them. Marfa is noted as a health and summer resort, having an elevation of 4,696 feet above sea level. source: Texas Almanac 1910

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