A History of Lipscomb County Page: 20
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The Tuttle Trail
Jones and Plummer Trail
The Jones and Plummer Trail took its name from
two freighters, Ed Jones and Joe Plummer. In
1874, they built a stockade and a three-room picket
house with a cellar on the north bank of Wolf
Creek supposedly in Lipscomb County, but actually
in Ochiltree County. Here they established a store
to supply the buffalo hunters and to buy the hunters'
In 1876, these men secured a government contract
to deliver building materials and supplies to
Fort Elliott. By 1878 or 1879 the buffalo were
killed out and Jones and Plummer abandoned their
picket store on Wolf Creek and left the country.
They left behind a trail for others to use to freight
supplies into this part of the Panhandle.
The Jones and Plummer Trail was first a buffalo
hunters' trail, then a freight route, and finally a
cattle trail until Kansas law kept the Texas herds
out of that state in 1885.
When Joe Long, State Surveyor, surveyed Ochiltree
and Lipscomb Counties, he noted the location
of the Jones and Plummer Trail. The Trail came
north from Wolf Creek, passed on the west side of
Gillalou Lake, then turned northeast and passed
east of Brubaker Lake at the townsite of Booker.
Then it went north to Beaver, Oklahoma, northeast
to Dodge City.
By Max A. Blau
The Tuttle Trail started at the Springer Ranch,
one-half mile east of Lake Marvin, in Hemphill
County, which in the 1870s was on the Ft. SupplyFt.
Elliott military road and stage route, and terminated
at Dodge City, Kansas.
Oliver Nelson, in his book The Cowman's Southwest
writes: "A. G. (Jim) Springer came to Boggy
Creek in the early 1870s to establish a trading post
for the buffalo hunters, and a relay station for the
stage and mail route. He built a stockade including
a blockhouse with loopholes on all sides, an underground
passageway leading to a covered fortified
pit and to the corrals and stable. Here, secure from
Indian attack, he bought buffalo hides and sold
provisions, clothes and ammunition. In the fall of
1875, when the Indians were subdued, he bought
300 head of cattle from a passing trail herd and
turned them loose on the open range." Since this
location was on a military road, a post office was
opened here in 1876. Springer kept a stock of liquor
and ran a gambling resort for passing soldiers and
It was through this enterprise that he came to
grief; he and his associate, Ledbetter, were killed
by some disgruntled soldiers in 1877. Their two
graves are north of the house where the Tom
Conatsers live today.
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Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee. A History of Lipscomb County, book, Date Unknown; Lipscomb, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46830/m1/24/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .