Newspaper Articles
Articles Written,
mainly in other newspapers
About Happenings in Reagan County


The San Angelo Press (San Angelo, Texas) 22 Nov 1901, Fri

A Wedding

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 Angelo.

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, Wed.

From Stiles.

Stiles, Tex, August 8th, 1903.
Editor Press.

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 dwelling.

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."

"Quill Pearce"

The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Tex) 11 Nov 1903, Wed

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, Tex.


The San Angelo Press (San Angelo, Texas) 11 Feb 1904, Thu

From Stiles.
Stiles, Tex., Jan 29.
Editor Press:
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 1906, Tue

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 suicide.

The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) 30 May 1906, Wed


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


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


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


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


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 1926, Sat

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 school.

Two big buses have been purchased for the transportation of the high school students from Best, Santa Rita
and Texon.

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 school.


El Paso Evening Post (El Paso, Texas) 1 Nov 1927, Tue


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." Theis said.

"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 1931, Fri


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 Company's groups.

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, Sun

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, Tue

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 Texas.

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, Sat

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 seven months.

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, Thu

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 officials announced.

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, Calif.

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."




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