|The San Angelo Press (San Angelo,
Texas) 22 Nov 1901, Fri
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Court House, Miss Laura
Herring, daughter of Mrs. E. H. Herring and sister of
Hubbard and Theodore Herring, was married to Mr. T.R.
Wells, a prominent citizen of Stiles, Texas.
Miss Herring comes from an old Texas family, and
moved from Waco to a ranch near Ben Ficklen at first, but
for the past two years the family has resided in San
The Press extends it's congratulations
to Mr. and Mrs. Wells and trusts that prosperity and
happiness may always prevail at their hearthstone.
The San Angelo Press (San Angelo, Texas) 12 Aug 1903,
Stiles, Tex, August 8th, 1903.
Mr. and Mrs W.H. Ashe are visiting relatives in Runnels
County. Jim Belcher left today for Fort Worth.
Thorpe Brothers have rented the Mason Hotel and are
refitting and furnishing it for a short order house.
Bob Beaty is building a neat residence on Oak street.
Contractor H E Mason is rushing work on Sheriff Japson's
E.L. McMasters, the solid ranchman from the north side of
the county, was in town Thursday.
Harrison Watkins came over from his ranch Monday and
spent the day with us.
Henry Japson sold Cunningham Bros. a residence lot on
College Avenue for $75.00
W.G. Bartlett sold J.B. Lucas a handsome lot on north
side of the square at p.t.
C.G. Lasswell and O.L. Woods, two substatnial and
enterprising "four-sectioners" from the Bar S
pasture, "took us in" one day this week.
J.J. Black and B.F. Isgrig were attending county court
here last Monday.
The Ladies Circle W.O.W. will give a supper at the
courthouse this (Saturday) evening.
Smith Walker has just completed a nice residence on his
four-section place south of town, and was in here Tuesday
pricing furniture, etc. Looks mighty suspicious; but, of
course, Smith denies it all.
Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Stinebaugh entertained a party of
friends at their hospitable home on Main street last
Tuesday evening. Delicious refreshments were served and
progressive games, interspersed with excellent music,
were the features of the evening's entertainment.
In the Midsumer Carnival to be held on the 18th and 19th
of this month, Stiles will surpass not only all other
towns, but also her own previous efforts in this line.
Horse racing, roping, broncho "busting,"
dancing, tournament riding and chariot races are some of
the amusements provided for each day. Barbecued meat will
be furnished free to everybody. Don't forget the date,
and remember a "full attendance is requested."
The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Tex) 11 Nov 1903,
FOR SALE-A well-improved ranch of 5,120 acres at $2.50
per acre. Also 275 good cattle; good 6-room dwelling,
lots wood and water, good level land; half cash on land,
balance on long time; cattle all on time. School on
adjoining land. In the new county of Reagan, or West Tom
Green, 10 miles south of Stiles. S.B. RATLIFF, Stiles,
The San Angelo Press (San Angelo, Texas) 11 Feb 1904, Thu
Stiles, Tex., Jan 29.
As I haven't noticed any news in the Press from this
locality lately I will give you a few items.
It has been exceedingly cold here for some time and am
glad to say we are having beautiful weather again.
Our school is progressing nicely.
Mr. Collison is having a well put down on his ranch south
of Sherwood and will also erect a five room residence.
The health of our community is exceedingly good. We are
needing rain very bad, but stock are doing well.
The Twice-a-Week Herald (Amarillo, Texas) 9 Nov 1906, Fri
Lots of Buildings
Stiles, Tex., Nov. 6--Stiles and Reagan county are coming
to the front in no uncertain manner this year, and the
cotton crop in this section is a genuine surprise. Tom
Taylor is just completing a $3,000 residence and D.C.
Thorp is erecting a handsome home and new residences are
going up in every quarter of the town.
Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia) 29 May
Triple Tragedy in Texas Home.
As a result of a shooting affray Sunday
night near Stiles, Reagan county, Tex., the following
persons are dead: J.R. Warren, aged twenty-eight years, a
wealthy ranchman; Mrs. J.R. Warren, his wife, and Mr.
Peirce of Hillsboro, Tex., a guest of the Warren family.
There were no witnesses, but from a telephone message
sent to Sehriff Japson at Stiles, it is deducted that
Warren killed his wife and Peirce, and then committed
The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) 30 May
FOUND THREE DEAD BODIES.
Ranchman Kills Wife and Boarder and
Then Shoots Himself.
Stiles, Texas, May 29.-- Sheriff
Japson, was in his office here when he received a
telephone message from J.R. Warren, a prominent ranchman,
who lives six miles from town, telling him to come out to
his place right away. "There are two dead bodies
here now and there will be another before you get
here," was the way Warren told the sheriff over the
telephone. Sheriff Japson took Dr. Cume and rode out to
the Warren ranch. They found the dead bodies of Mr. and
Mrs. Warren and a young man, W.W. Pierce, who lived in
the family, all lying in one of the front rooms of the
ranch home. Warren had shot and killed his wife and
Pierce and then killed himself.
Warren Sheaf (Warren, Minnesota) 4 Oct 1906, Thu
GIRL IS AUTHORITY ON STOCK.
Young Woman on Ranch Knows All Ins and
Outs of Business. Fort Worth, Tex.--Miss Johnnie Gardner,
born on a cattle ranch on the Rio Grande, in Reagan
county, Tex., is an accepted authority by the cattlemen
who know her in matters pertaining to cattle and their
management. "I was brought to the ranch on which we
now live when so young that I have no recollection of the
time," said she to your correspondent. "We live
near the county seat of Reagan county--Stiles. My father
has a 32 section ranch under fence, and owns the greater
part of it. The county is high above the sea level and
there is no healthier place in this part of the world.
Grass is fine now and cattle are doing well."
"We raise black polled cattle altogether, and I
think I prefer them to any other class. As beef they
surpass all cattle, and then they are not horned, so
there is no hooking and fighting among them."
"There is one point in connection
with the Rio Grand country there where we live that has
never been exploited, that is artesian wells. Our water
is good and pure. What we have is free from gyp and
probably the best freestone water in the state."
The Comanche Chief (Comanche, Texas) 27 Dec 1912, Fri
Quietly Married on Christmas Eve
At six o'clock Tuesday p.m. just as the sun went down, a
quiet but beautiful wedding, Miss Norma Cunningham and
Mr. J.B. Irby, being the parties at interest was
solemnized at home of the bride's aunt, Mrs. J.W. Reese,
Geo. W. Sheafor officiating. The bride is the eldest
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.I. Cunningham of Stiles,
Texas, and a granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.T.
Cunningham of Comanche with whom she has been visiting
for some time. The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Jasper
Irby of Newburg, and has resided in that community for
several years. We take great pleasure in joining the host
of friends of both these splendid young people in
extending congratulations and best wishes. They will make
their home at Newburg.
El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) 2 Oct 1919, Thu
FORMER POSTMASTER INDICTED BY U.S. GRAND JURY AT PECOS
Ike T. Boyles, former postmaster at Stiles, Texas., was
indicted early in the week by a federal grand jury at
Pecos on charges of embezzling money orders to the extend
(sp) of $2,200, according to assistant district attorney
W.M. Fryer, who returned from Pecos Wednesday. The case
has been transferred to El Paso and will be tried here
during the fall term of federal court.
Lime Springs Herald (Lime Springs, Iowa) 4 May 1922, Thu
Discover Potash In Texas.
Washington--Discovery of potash in notable quantity in
the Southwestern corner of Reagan county, Tex., was
anounced by the U.E. Geological survey of the Department
of the Interior.
Shiner Gazette (Shiner, Texas) 11 May 1922, Thu
GOOD SHOWING OF POTASH FOUND IN REAGAN COUNTY
Washington, May 2.--The discovery of potash in notable
amounts in a new area in Texas is announced by the United
States geological survey, department of the interior. The
new discovery is brought to light through the analysis by
the survey of drill cuttings collected from the Santa
Rita No. 1 well, drilled by the Texon Oil and Land
Company in the southwest corner of Reagan County, Tex.
Most of the samples contained no potash worth noting, but
the sample which, according to the driller's log, was
taken from bailings after drilling from 1,150 to 1,165
feet, contained the equivalent of 2.46 per cent of K2O;
that from 1,175 to 1,182 feet 5.63 per cent, increasing
with depth. The richest of the samples indicates 10.78
per cent of K2O in the soluble salts.
The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kansas) 5 Jan 1924, Sat
Saved Oil Well.
Stiles, Tex., Jan. 5.--In order to save an oil well which
is being drilled in the Santa Rita field in Reagan
County, Less Heller volunteered to descend 200 feet into
the well which was cased with 18 inch pipe. He was
successful in saving the well and when he reached the
surface the company making the test gave him $200, or $1
for each foot he was lowered.
The Eagle (Bryan, Texas) 13 Nov 1926, Sat
BILLY COATES SHOOTS OFFICER AND GIRL AND THEN ESCAPES
Texan is Rejected From Dance Hall at Big Lake in Reagan
County-Bullet That Killed Girl First Struck Man in
Arm-Coates Makes Getaway By Auto.
Big Lake, Tex., Nov 13-=A gigantic manhunt covered the
Reagan county oil fields today in an effort to capture
Billy Coates in connection with the double killing last
night when Coates was ejected from a dance hall here. He
turned and shot Constable George Hays through the back of
the head and then grappled with C.A. Jones, shooting him
through the arm. The bullet went on, killing Alta Bean,
19, telephone operator. Coates then escaped by auto.
The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) 13 Nov
Two Are Slain In Hotel Ballroom; Man Flees
Big Lake, Tex., Nov 13--William Coates, 34, a machinist,
shortly before last midnight invaded the ballroom of the
Santa Reta Hotel at Best, Texas, from which he had been
ejected earlier, and shot and killed Constable Hayes. As
he struggled with C.A. Jones, who came to the policeman's
aid, Coates' revolver was discharged and Miss Ulta Beam,
19, fell dead on the dance floor with a bullet in her
temple. Jones was wounded in the arm during the struggle.
Coates found an open path through the
panic stricken dancers and escaped through the lobby of
the hotel. Scores of armed men were searching for him
throughout the oil fields today.
El Paso Evening Post (El Paso, Texas) 30 Sep 1927, Fri
Open Big Lake School
Big Lake, Tex.,--The new $100,000 school building here
has been opened and the high school department moved
therein. This puts an end to the congestion in the grade
Two big buses have been purchased for the transportation
of the high school students from Best, Santa Rita
El Paso Evening Post (El Paso, Texas) 26 Sep 1927, Mon
A $22,000 Masonic temple has been completed at Big Lake,
Tex. The building is of cream colored brick, is two
stories high and 40 by 80 feet. The lower floor is
occupied by a store. The second story contains the lodge
room, club room and ladies' lounge.
Big Lake lodge has a membership of about 60. Nearly half
of this number belong to the Scottish Rite Bodies of El
Paso. Fourteen applicants for the El Paso Scottish Rite
will attend the reunion here Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.
Big Lake has also completed a new court house and high
El Paso Evening Post (El Paso, Texas) 1 Nov 1927, Tue
SING PRAISE FOR BIG LAKE, HIS HOME CITY
Cattle Prices Bring Prosperity Boom, Mason Says
Cattlemen in the vicinity of Big Lake, Tex., are
restocking their ranches and are generally prosperous as
a result of the prevailing good cattle prices, Rudolph
Theis, of Big Lake, says. Theis is here attending the
Scottish Rite reunion.
On the Suggs estate alone, he estimates, there are 20,000
head of cattle and 60,000 head of sheep. This estate,
wich formerly consisted of 500 sections of land, has been
divided into smaller ranches of 10 to 20 sections each.
Within a radius of 75 miles around Big Lake, there are
200,000 cattle and as many sheep, Theis says.
"We have a $100,000 high school in Big Lake that
would be a credit to any city of 50,000 people."
"We also have a $100,000 courthouse."
Of the 80 Masons in Big Lake, 60 of them are Scottish
Rite Masons, Theis added.
The Big Lake Masons completed a lodge building last
summer. It is of brick construction and equipped to
accommodate lodge meetings and ceremonies.
The West Texas Utility Co. recently spent $100,000 in
constructing power lines which suupply power from Big
Lake to Ozona and the Powell oil field.
Fredericksburg Standard (Fredericksburg, Texas) 18 Dec
YOUTH DIES IN OIL
Big Lake, Tex., Dec 12-- Gas overcome Raymond Fannin, 17,
while he was on tip of an oil tank at Santa Rita today.
He fell into three feet of oil and died before he could
be rescued. The tank was one of the Continental Oil
The boy, an employee of the Parkersburg Rig and Reel
Company, had been sent to the top of the tank to obtain a
hammer. He apparently was dazed by the gas while
searching for it. He was the son of Deputy Sheriff Sam
Fannin of Best.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) 13 Sep 1936,
Lake Just A Name
Big Lake, Tex.,--The lake from which this city got its
name is pratically dry - only one small hole is left of
the once large body of water. Pioneer residents beilieve
cattle watering there kept the bed tramped down
sufficiently to hold water in its earlier, larger days.
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) 29 Aug 1938, Mon
Windmill Builders To Be Honor Guests
Big Lake, Tex.,--When Reagan county celebrates its 35th
birthday here August 19-20, the builders of "Old
High Lonesome," erected in 1887 and one of the first
windmills constructed in this section, will be the
guests. The builders were Goron Stiles and Sam Murray.
Stiles, for whom the former county seat of Reagan was
named, lives in Mobeetie. He has retired but Murray is a
ranchman and lives in Sheffield.
The Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) 14 Feb 1939,
Reagan County Jail Bare For 7 Months
Big Lake, Tex. - Reagan county folk are law-abiding.
Sheriff A.W. Billingsley reports no prisoners at the jail
in more than seven months.
The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) 25 Apr 1939, Tue
Rich Oil Strike Was "Mistake"
Big Lake, Tex.,--What began from a stroke of hard luck
still continued today to be one of the world's best
producing oil wells. The well, which has yielded
continuously for 16 years, was the start of the Big Lake
oil field, which has largely supported the University of
A motor truck carrying equipment to a test drill site
broke down several miles short of its destination. So the
heavy machinery was unloaded and set up there instead,
where oil was soon struck. A later test of the originally
planned site proved the spot was without oil.
Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) 6 May 1939,
Empty Jail Proves Invitation To Cupid
Big Lake, Tex.- Never, says Sheriff A.W. Billingsley,
would he have believed that a Cupid could be aroused by a
simple announcement that his jail had had no guests for
But that's what happened. The story about the
prisonerless jail got into a California newspaper. Back
came a letter to Sheriff Billingsley. "I read about
how good you people are, not having any roomers in the
jail." it read. "I wonder if you know of some
lonely man with a good job and some means who would like
a little blonde, five feet one inch tall and weighing 125
pounds?" "I'd love to live in Texas. I prefer a
man over 40 years old."
The sheriff, who's started a search, has a reputation for
always getting his man.
Lubbock Morning Avalanche (Lubbock, Texas) 1 Jul 1943,
Texas Flier Killed In California Crash
March Field, Calif., June 30--Second Lt. Loncie L.
Tucker, 28, of Stiles, Tex., was killed today when his
fighter plane caught fire and crashed near Newhall, Army
Tucker was banking at 300 feet when the plane burst into
flames. He tried to bail out at 100 feet, but his
parachute failed to open.
Surviving is his widow, Mrs. Vera R. Tucker of Glendale,
The Army said Tucker attended San Angelo High school and
Daniel Baker college at Brownwood.
The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) 12 Nov 1975, Wed
During the oil boom of the 1920s and early 1930, the town
of Best in Reagan County, Tex., was known as "the
town with the best name and the worst reputation."