Boot Hill Cemetery, Oldham County, Texas.
For inscriptions see: Boot Hill Cemetery.
Photos by Jeanette Coaly
2 John Leverton
3 Ed King
4 Frank Valley
5 Fred Chilton
6 Fred Leigh
7 Bob Russell.
8 The Dutchman Killed by Catfish Kid
9 Bacilio Sanches Killed by a horse
11 John Malley
12 Ruben Juice
13 Appple Axe- Cooks Helper
14 Bill Smith
15 Overton Bounds
16 Ralph Ledbetter
17 Jim Jones
18 Bill Klimm
19 Carl Yowell
20 Bob Luker
21 Unknown Adult Female
22 Unknown (two infants) 22
23 died of Samllpox
24 Hugh Dickey
25 George Findley
26 Ed Morgan
27 Bobby Hughes
Marker: Along with law-abiding and God-fearing
men and women were buried here, often without benefit of clergy,
men who "died with their boots on". The name was borrowed
from a cemetery in Dodge City, Kansas, while it was a resort
of buffalo hunters and trail drivers. Old Tascosa, cowboy
capital of the plains, lay one-half mile northeast of Boothill
Cemetery. In its brief span it became the center of the open-range
world. Stamping ground for some of the West's most notorious
bad men and focal point for cattle thieves and ranchmen. Because
of the easy crossing of the Canadian River at the site, it early
became a meeting place where Indians and Mexican traders (comancheros)
exchanged contraband goods, including women and children.
With the passing of the buffalo came the first permanent settlement, made by Mexican sheepherders in 1876. Charles Goodnight and Thomas S. Bugbee brought the first cattle to the free-grass empire the same year. Smaller ranchmen and nesters followed and the boom was on.
Hundreds of miles from the general line of settlement, Tascosa lured the lawless and the lawmen: Billy the Kids and Pat Garretts. To accommodate those who died with their boots on in growing gunfights. A cemetery was set aside in 1879. It was named for the famed 'Boot Hill' in Dodge City, Kansas, to which Tascosa was tied by cattle and freight trail. Heaviest toll in a single shoot out occurred March 21, 1886, when three cowboys and a restaurant owner died in a five-minute duel. All went to Boot Hill. The cattle trails, Tascosa's lifeblood, began to be pinched off with the coming of barbed wire, first commercial use of which was drawn still tighter when the vast XIT spread fenced its 3 million acres. By 1887 Tascosa was completely closed in. When the railroad bypassed it the same year, its fate was sealed. By the time the Oldham County seat was moved to Vega in 1915, only 15 residents remained. Sole remnants of the old town today are Boot Hill and the stone courthouse. The site, however, is occupied by Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.