Maverick Town--The Story of, Old Tascosa. By John L. Mc-
Carty. Norman (University of Oklahoma Press), 1946.
Pp. xiii+277. Illustrations by Harold Bugbee. $3.00.
It is useless to look on a modern map of Texas for Tascosa
because the town is not there. It died so long ago that the map-
makers have forgotten it. Therefore it is necessary to locate
it--tell where it was-for the benefit of the modern reader.
So put your index finger on the northwest corner of the Pan-
handle of Texas where there is a checkerboard of square or
rectangular counties. Move two counties south and you come
to Oldham County wherein Tascosa used to be. Oldham County
is long on the east-west axis, and through its northern half the
South Canadian makes its way eastward, escaping from New
Mexico only to run into Oklahoma. The Canadian, being short
on water and long on sand, is indeed a hard river to cross, a
fact learned first by the buffalo and last by the roadbuilders.
Let us follow the Canadian east and look for a crossing. Just
before we leave Oldham County we come to a smooth valley,
broadened by tributary creeks, wherein tall and lush grass grew
in contrast to the short grass of the surrounding High Plains.
Here was the easy crossing, the only one for a long way in
either direction, "a location ideally suited for a village or town."
The buffalo opened it, the Indians used it, the Comancheros
sojourned at it, but the Americans took it and built a short-
lived town called Tascosa.
The name came from the Spanish word atascosa, descriptive
of the boggy valley, but the word was too much for the cowboys
and they corrupted it without entirely spoiling its beauty,
The significance of Tascosa can be easily understood if we
bear in mind its location on a mean river at an easy crossing
in a semi-arid empire of short grass which fell away westward
into the breaks of the Rio Grande in New Mexico and rolled
eastward into Oklahoma. This meant that all the cowmen who
in the late seventies and early eighties invaded that vast land
north or south of the Canadian would find Tascosa their natural
business center. All the little men who clung to the banks of
the stream would gather there, and every cowboy who wanted
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/. Accessed September 22, 2014.