Wild West town of Langtry slowly riding into the sunset

Judge Roy BeanNot all great Texans are *born* Texans, but it’s not their fault, you can’t pick your birthplace, but by God the GREAT Texans got here as fast as they/we could.

Roy Bean was born in 1825 in Mason County, Kentucky, and came to Texas in his late teen years to avoid some degree of trouble in which he found himself involved while in the city of New Orleans.

Some history sites relate how Bean left Texas for California but after a while it appears he returned to his senses and came back to Texas.

Had it not been for Judge Roy Bean the town of Langtry, TX would never have come to be. It is with heavy heart that I present this piece from the Houston Chronicle.

It is my most sincere wish that The Jersey Lilly can somehow be preserved.

The Jersey Lilly Saloon
Wild West town of Langtry slowly riding into the sunset

LANGTRY — When a town has more historical markers than families, the handwriting is on the wall. For the dozen hardy souls who remain in this remote settlement made famous by a certain Old West judge, there are few illusions about the future.

“If it hadn’t been for that old reprobate Roy Bean, there wouldn’t be a town of Langtry,” said Jack Skiles, 83, who was born and raised here, but soon may be moving on.

More than a century after his death, Bean remains enigmatic, a meld of fact and Wild West fiction, a figure who still draws 40,000 tourists a year to the museum at the Langtry visitors center.

Many decades ago, Skiles, author of “Judge Roy Bean Country,” interviewed elderly people who had been Bean’s contemporaries during his reign as the self-declared “Law West of the Pecos.”

“I asked an old lady who had known him well, and she said, “He might have been a murderer, a robber and a thief, but he was good at heart,” Skiles said with a shrug. “He had his son Sam shoot (George) Upshaw in the back and kill him, but he’d see to it that the widows in town had firewood in the winter.” SOURCE

Read more about the once-lawless atmosphere in Langtry on ExpressNews.com.

I have passed through Langtry on a number of occasions, I actually stopped to visit and look around once, I have always been an *old West* history buff and Langtry was one place I seriously wanted to visit, for posterity if nothing else.

To visit Tombstone, AZ would still be my overall favorite but the Mission Trails and old jails tourist trail around the El Paso area follows a close 2nd.

Happy Trails Langtry, and to Judge Bean; all the best to you Sir, where ever you might be!

Digg ThisShare on Facebook+1Share on LinkedInSubmit to StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on Twitter Share
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

This entry was posted in Texas History and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wild West town of Langtry slowly riding into the sunset

  1. neal says:

    Here in New Mexico, there is the history, and the movie stuff. I found some old gravestones, from the 1960’s. The older stuff got buried from the drama.

    It is funny when the tourists get thrown off the horses from movie stuff that gets air.
    Probably seems real enough when they find out their phones do not work, in these parts.

    They mostly get rescued, and are unarmed. I do not think the horses are happy about that.

  2. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    Still enjoy the Paul Newman movie “Judge Roy Bean.” My father was born in Minneapolis but claimed Texas as his state.


Comments are closed.