Hwy 137 North from Big Lake,
at 12 1/2 miles, 137 makes a hard left turn. Follow 137 approximately 6 additional
miles to Stiles. The former Reagan County Courthouse is on the south side of the
1911 former Reagan County Courthouse in Stiles|
Gibson, January 2010
in a Pecan Shell
Stiles dates from 1903 when Reagan County was cut from Tom Green County. John
H. Reagan held a number of positions, including Treasurer of the Confederacy.
He was also a Congressman and Senator and the First Railroad Commissioner when
that post was created in 1891. John H. Reagan died in 1905.
was named after a local rancher, William G. Stiles and became the county seat
when Reagan County was born. It was the only town. It had a central location and
a courthouse was built in 1911 from the abundant limestone
near the townsite.
Big things were in store. But the railroad came to
Big Lake and you
can guess what happened shortly thereafter. Big
Lake became the county seat in 1925.
Christmas Eve, 1999, someone set fire to the courthouse at Stiles. He was arrested
since he had attempted the act twice before and the police knew who he was. He
is also accused of starting fires in several other counties bordering Reagan.
A building in the ghost town of Girvin
(Pecos County) has also been burned.
building now stands gutted, with only the cut stone in place and some of that
loose. The ruin can be viewed from the highway (137) or even closer, through a
chain link security fence.
lone limestone courthouse|
Gibson, January 2010
people weren't as ambitious as the townsfolk of Callahan
City in Callahan County. There they moved the still-new stone jail to the
new county seat in Baird, but here the building
was bigger and the distance greater. So here the former courthouse stands, like
it's handsome cousin in Sherwood
next door in Irion County.
Stiles retained its post office until
1939. The town is listed in T. Lindsay Baker's Ghost Towns of Texas.
Your Hotel Here & Save
The Day that the Rains Came in Stiles, TX
I wanted to drop a little line about Stiles, TX. I worked for the Concho Valley
Council, boy Scouts of America based out of San
2003-2005. I served the Permian Basin District which covered Reagan County. We
decided to have a District Campout on a County Judges land that was about 1 miles
west of the Stiles Courthouse. On Thursday they reported that we had a 20% chance
of rain for Friday and a beautiful weekend after that. We arrived Friday and started
setting up around 2 and had a little sprinkle. We all laughed and said “well,
that must have been our 20%”. Dang were we wrong. After about 5 Troop made it
in a set up it came a gulley washer! The land could not soak up the water fast
enough and by midnight we were all walking in about 8 inches of water. We slept
wherever we could and in the morning started packing up since we couldn’t have
a campout in the middle of what was now a lake. Only then did we realize we were
going to have to be towed out. The Judge had a big tractor on the place so we
daisy chained most of the trucks and trailers and pulled them (over a mile) out
to the highway. On the way out, we found one more Troop that had gotten stuck
coming in and had hiked down the road to the left (all the rest of us were to
the right) and had stayed the night in the nice warm hunting cabin the Judge had
that the rest of us didn’t know about! - Mike Mitchell, April 28, 2011
Stiles and the Old Courthouse
addition to your statements on Stiles this town stated as a Wells Fargo stage
stop between San
Angelo and Ft.
Stocton Texas. This stop served a need in western history . Not only as law
and order with it's courthouse, but also had a boothill, indian village, a six
room school house made of brick a quarter mile east of the courthouse.
As I was told a pig farmer was ordered to sell off his pigs or the county officials
would kill off his herd. The night before this was to happen he turned his herd
of hamsurd hogs loose. Today the native havalena are a crossbreed of this domestic
After they moved the county seat to Big
Lake the old courthouse became a meeting place for the long time rancher,
county employees, and Mexican Nationals working state side. I can remember a birthday
party that was held in the top of that grand old courthouse. There is a lot of
history tied up in that old GRAND COURTHOUSE and surrounding area. - Moore.
November 20, 2001
the addendum for Stiles Texas there is a statement that the local population of
Javelina has been augmented by a cross with loosed domestic hogs. This is not
possible. Javelina have no relation to pigs or hogs of any kind, they are actually
a pecary, and the two will not, and can not cross. Just wanted to let you know.
- Reader, December 23, 2003
Angelo Hotels | Fort
Courthouse at Stiles before the fire|
Photo Courtesy Big Lake Chamber of Commerce,
Tammy Blakely, Manager
former Reagan County Courthouse at Stiles|
TE photo, 2000
view of the former Reagan County Courthouse|
TE photo, 2000
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
and vintage/historic/contemporary photos, please contact
|Book Hotel Here