Here is West Texas author Patrick Dearen sitting in a very DRY Pecos River bed right below the site of Skillman’s Station in Loving County, Texas. Skillman’s Station was used by the Overland Mail Company on its Butterfield Overland Mail Route (St. Louis to San Francisco) from September 1858 through May 1859. Noted field researcher Joe Allen of Comanche, Texas found this 1854 Seated Liberty coin at the station site located on a high sandy bluff overlooking the Pecos River. It took us more than ten years of field work and archival research to confirm the location of this old stage stop. Loving County Judge Skeet Lee Jones gave a huge assist in this effort. Station namesake Henry Skillman, one of the most famous Butterfield stage drivers and legendary West Texas frontiersman, served as a Confederate spy during the Civil War and was killed in the Big Bend (at present-day Presidio, Texas) by Union forces on April 15, 1864. For more on Skillman’s Station and Henry Skillman, see: https://texashistory.com/product/the-texas-frontier-and-the-butterfield-overland-mail-1858-1861/ and also see Chapter Two in: https://texashistory.com/product/where-the-west-begins-debating-texas-identity/
Butterfield Overland Mail Marker on Valentine Bluff Road in Montague County. Overland Road descends Valentine Bluff to Butterfield’s Spring Station (circa 1859).
Mustang Waterholes on Butterfield Overland Mail Road in Reagan County. Used as water depot (1858-1861) by Overland Mail Company and site of numerous Comanche attacks.
Smith’s Station Texas (circa 1858) west of Albany, Texas. Butterfield Overland Mail stage stop near Shackelford-Jones County line and Fort Phantom Hill.
Trace of Butterfield Overland Mail Road at Head of Concho Station (circa 1858-61). Located north of Barnhart, Texas at headwaters of Middle Concho River.
Butterfield Overland Mail marker on east side of Pecos River near Grandfalls. Overland Mail Road traversed east side of Pecos River through Ward County.