History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 184
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HISTOR Y OF TEXAS.
,2. The proximity to railroad transportation
and ease of access by wagon roads.
3. The healthy climate and freedom from
fear of Indian depredations.
4. Little need of timbering for mines.
The disadvantages are:
1. The present clouded titles of certain
2. The lack of definite land lines, marking
exact boundaries between surveys.
3. The lack of surface water. (This can
be supplied by reservoirs or can be found in
the mines themselves.)
4. The demand for a yearly cash payment
on each claim in addition to the amount of
All of these disadvantages except the third
can be removed by proper legislative action,
and the country opened to prospectors in
earnest, and as easy terms offered as those by
Mexico and other sister States. When this
is done, and not sooner, may we expect to see
trans-Pecos Texas take that position among
the mining countries of the world which the
richness of her deposits so surely warrants.
While western Texas has been regarded as
perfectly valueless, and its value doubted even
now, because it is not settled by farmers and
stock-raisers, and the fact is that it is not and
will not be fit for farming and stock-raising
without water reservoirs and irrigation, there
are in the mountains mineral districts of uncommon
value. . The question arises, why
have these resources not been developed?
This can be answered by simply hinting at
the circumstances as they existed in western
Texas up to a few years ago. In former
years the want of water, added to the danger
of Indians, prevented the settling of western
Texas; and even travelers hurried /hrough
parts of the country, as the Sierra db los Dolores
(" the Mountains of Misery,'" now Quit
man and surrounding mountains), with its
Puerta de los Lamentaciones (" Gate of
Lamentations"), and nobody stopped long
enough to examine the mountains for their
mineral resources; or if perchance some one
did stop he did so at the peril of his life, as
is proved by the numerous graves which are
found in the mountains.
Up to ten or twelve years ago military detachments
were kept at stage stations on the
road to Fort Davis and El Paso, to protect
these stations from the Indians. Under such
circumstances travelers were not inclined to
lie over at the station houses, which were
uninviting, and to make geological examinations
of the hills and mountains, or try to
ascertain their ore-bearing character.
The daring pioneers who prospected and
who began the development of other mineral
districts of the United States had not sufficient
inducement to undergo like hardships
and risk their time and life in Texas, for this
State had no mining law granting to prospectors
any right to discoveries they may
have made. The Mexicans living along the
Rio Grande were farmers,-very indolent, too
poor to buy arms, too timid to make exploration
trips to the mountains without arms.
In 1883 the legislature of the State passed
a mining law, but its contents and ruling
were not very tempting. Very few persons
in Texas knew, and nobody outside the State
suspected, that there was really a mining law
at all. It was quite natural that no mineral
resources were expected in a State which did
not deem it worth while to pass sensible
The railroads made traveling through
trans-Pecos Texas easier and quite dangerless.
They brought mountain ranges which were
hardly accessible in former times in easier
reach; and in 1889 the legislature of the
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/189/?rotate=270: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .