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Ward County  TX
Ward County

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BARSTOW, TEXAS

Once the Ward County Seat

Ward County, West Texas

31°27'45"N 103°23'44"W (31.462523, -103.395426)
Hwy 80 and FM 516
7 Miles E of Pecos
41 Miles W of Monahans
Population: 349 (2010) 406 (2000) 535 (1990)

Barstow, Texas Area Hotels > Pecos Hotels
Barstow Tx - Tin Man Water Tower
Barstow Tin Man Water Tower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

Barstow, Texas Topics:

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • First Ward County Courthouse
  • Barstow Landmarks -
    Former jail, churches, schools, banks, historical markers .....
  • Barstow Forum
  • Barstow 1908 Vintage Photos › next page
  • Barstow Tidbits › next page

  • History in a Pecan Shell

    Barstow is one of the rare towns in Texas where the founder/ namesake is buried in the local cemetery. George E. Barstow was an interesting man who came to Texas from Rhode Island (via New York) and was one of the leading world experts on irrigation.

    The town was organized in 1892 and the courthouse built the following year.

    The population in 1900 was over a thousand people, due to recruiting efforts of Mr. Barstow.

    Irrigation was successful enough for Barstow to win a silver medal for grapes at the 1904 World's Fair. 1904 was also the year that fruit and vegetable farming received a nearly fatal blow when the Pecos River dam broke. Droughts followed and by 1918, farming was a memory.

    The population in 1930 was 468 - less than half of the 1910's 1,219.

    Barstow Landmarks > Barstow Photo Gallery

    The First Ward County Courthouse

    The former courthouse built in 1893 was razed in the 1950s. The red sandstone used for the courthouse was quarried locally and was also used in the construction of the first bank in Ward County.
    Razed 1893 Ward Counnty Courthouse, Barstow, Texas

    The 1893 courthouse in Barstow as it appeared in the mid-thirties right before the move to Monahans.
    Photo courtesy TXDoT

    Historical Marker:

    Site of First Ward County Courthouse

    A Three-story red sandstone courthouse with a domed cupola was constructed here in 1893, one year after Barstow was elected first Ward County seat. The first elected officials to serve in the courthouse were R. D. Gage, co. judge; S. D. McWhorter, co. & dist. clerk; W. M. Ware, sheriff & tax collector; John W. Phillips, co. attorney; S. H. Parker, tax assessor; J. B. Carson, surveyor; J. J. Walker, treas.; Pat Wheat, Comm. No. 1; W. C. Carson, Comm. No. 2; Pat Duracke, Comm. No. 3; and A. D. Irvin, Comm. No. 4. The landmark was razed soon after the county seat moved to Monahans in 1938. All that remains is a cornerstone.
    1985
    Barstow Tx - First Ward County Courthouse Historical Marker
    First Ward County Courthouse Historical Marker
    On FM 518 & FM 873

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow, TX - Falls, Courthouse, and Hotel Margueretta
    Falls, Hotel Margueretta and the courthouse in 1908 Barstow
    See Barstow 1908 Vintage Photos
    Barstow Texas Mackay Avenue 1900s old photo
    Mackey Avenue Looking South from the courthouse
    Early 1900s Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com

    Barstow, Texas Landmarks

    Photographer's Note:
    "By strict definition Barstow is not a ghost town but it sure blurs the distinction." - Barclay Gibson, 2010
    Barstow Tx - watertower and cactus
    Cactus in Barstow
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow TX - water tower & post office
    Downtown Barstow. The white building is the former post office
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow Tx - Closed Ward County Bank
    The 1901 Ward County Bank
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow TX - Ward County Bank
    Ward County Bank as it appered in 1908
    See Barstow 1908 Vintage Photos
    Historical Marker :
    Old Ward County Bank

    C. E. Pierce, an early advocate of irrigated agricultural lands for the Pecos River valley, had this building constructed in 1901 to house Ward County's first bank. Never incorporated, the bank lost money due to area crop failures and closed in 1907. Constructed of red sandstone from the nearby Barstow Quarry, the building exhibits influences of the Romanesque revival style and features an interesting corner entrance.
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1962.
    Barstow Tx - Closed Ward County Bank historical marker
    Old Ward County Bank historical marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow Tx - Ward County Bank
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Banks
    Barstow Tx - Former Ward County Jail
    Former Ward County Jail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Jails
    Barstow Tx Catholic Church
    Barstow Catholic Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow Tx Presbyterian Church
    Barstow Presbyterian Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow Tx First Baptist Church
    Barstow First Baptist Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Churches
    Barstow Tx Masonic Lodge
    Barstow Masonic Lodge
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Lodges
    The 1894(?) school in Barstow
    Photo courtesy Lane DeWitt, 2005
    Barstow TX old schoolhouse
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow TX - Public  School
    Barstow Public School as it appeared in 1908
    Barstow 1908 Vintage Photos
    Photos courtesy Carol McNealy
    Barstow TX closed school
    Barstow closed school
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Schoolhouses
    Barstow TXCitizens State Bank Building
    Citizens State Bank Building
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow Tx - Closed Gas Station
    Closed Gas Station
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Gas Stations
    Barstow TX - Abandoned Chevron Gas Station
    Abandoned Chevron Gas Station
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, October 2017
    More Jimmy Dobson Advantures
    Barstow Tx Abandoned House with cactus
    More Cactus
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow TX - outhouse
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    See Texas Outhouses
    Barstow Tx Closed Quonset
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    TX - Ward County Early Public Library Historical Marker
    Early Public Library Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow Tx Sheriff's Office
    Sheriff's Office
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    Barstow TX - Modeni's Food Market ghost sign
    Modeni's Food Market ghost sign
    Photo courtesy J. D. Pack, July 2017
    More Texas Ghost Signs
    TX - Barstow high school stadium scoreboard
    Barstow High School stadium scoreboard
    Photo courtesy J. D. Pack, July 2017
    TX - Barstow high school stadium scoreboard
    Scoreboard in 2002
    Photo courtesy James Feagin, 3-2002
    Barstow TX water tower
    Barstow water tower
    Photo courtesy James Feagin, 3-2002
    More Texas Water Towers
    Barstow TX - Old Truck
    Old Truck
    Photo courtesy J. D. Pack, July 2017
    Barstow Tx City Limit
    Barstow City Limit
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Barstow, TX in 1908
    Barstow 1908 Vintage Photos
    Photos courtesy Carol McNealy

    Barstow Quarry owner
    Barstow Tidbits
    Soda Springs,
    Quito Quarry and “Pecos” Sandstone

    Photo Courtesy Smithville Public Library

    Barstow, Texas Forum
  • Subject: WWII - PFC Cruz Gamboa FOD Jan 18, 1945
    I adopted the grave of PFC Cruz Gamboa at the Ardennes American Cemetery here in Belgium. I also build a tribute to Cruz see http://users.skynet.be/2ltmalrait_gilbert/gamboastoryE.htm , now is my question:
    Cruz was from Barstow, TX, and I hope to find maybe new information on this man. Have you any tip where to search? Thanks in advance. - Philippe Vanderdonckt, vanderdonckt.ph@skynet.be April 14, 2012

  • Subject: Barstow: Shocked and Saddened
    My husband and I visited Barstow in September of 2007. We had read about the history of this unique little place but words cannot match the sorrow we felt when we were actually present [to see] the isolation. We had purchased some "mystery acreage" and this visit was to discover just what was what. This can't be America, to let a town die is sad beyond belief. We spoke with "Jo" who had some connection with the water co-op and she explained that the town did not even qualify for any grants because they did not have a business that charged sales tax. I guess I am to believe if you do not have some sort of tax base you do not deserve any assistance to do anything. We are surrendering our property, because of the limited water supply, being told by more than one person that wells were 4,000 to 5,000 ft deep and didn't produce potable water. We would have to purchase all water but that too was not available because the "town" could not increase their request for more from Pecos. [It was] mind altering. [We] did not think a place like this existed, what could have gone wrong? There were not alot of wells working, but I was told the drilling now was for natural gas. Will this product have any influence on the outcome of this situation? Hope somebody comes to the rescue of Barstow. - Norm & JoAnn Deckant, Tampa, Florida, October 8, 2007

  • Take a road trip

    Barstow, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Monahans | Pecos | Pyote | Mentone
    See West Texas

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