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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Book on Riggs' history includes saloon shootout

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 5, 2003 - If you want to learn more about the history of Pecos and the gunfights that took place in the Old West, a new book available at the West of the Pecos Museum will provide a variety of information, along with entertainment.

Gene Riggs, the great-grandson of Barney Riggs, collaborated with a friend, Ellis Lindsay to write a book on his great-grandfather and other events that occurred in the old west during the time when gunfights were popular at the No. 11 Saloon, which was Pecos' downtown watering hole at the turn of the century and now is part of the West of the Pecos Museum.

The book will be available at the Museum in both hardback and paperback.

"It's a really good book, with a lot of good information in it and no fiction," said Bill Davenport, who is Riggs cousin.

Riggs said that he and his friend had researched the courthouses from Arizona to Pecos and El Paso, where Barney Riggs' trial had been held.

"We actually started this book about 16 years ago and then lost interest, then we started back up again and finally completed it," said Riggs.

Riggs said the book was completed in December and covers information gathered in Pecos and an area stretching from South Texas to Arizona.

Both Riggs and Lindsay will be on hand at this summer's Old Timer's Reunion, which is held yearly in conjunction with the West of the Pecos Rodeo. This year's reunion will be held July 2.

"I'm really looking forward to the Old Timer's Reunion," said Riggs. "We'll both be here to sign the book for those that bought a copy and would like it autographed."

A notation in the book thanks Davenport for his help in gathering information and the use of some photographs. Davenport is a descendant of Judge and Mrs. Gary Frasier.

Barney Riggs married Annie Frasier and her brother, Bud Frasier, who was a former sheriff, married Mattie Riggs, Barney's sister. "So that makes us double kinfolk," said Davenport.

Riggs, who is from Fort Stockton, said that the book is also available at the Fort Stockton Museum, which is named after Annie Riggs. "The book also contains some very interesting and good photographs," said Gene Riggs.

"We also reviewed some of the papers and photographs left by Barney Hubbs," he added.

He said that the book centers on Barney Riggs, who migrated from South Texas to Arizona and was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man. While being held at the Yuma Prison in Arizona, there was a riot and Riggs saved the warden's life and killed a couple of the men with a gun he retrieved from the prisoners. He was pardoned, provided he left Arizona and never came back.

He migrated between Pecos and Balmorhea and started ranching with his brother Tom Riggs and married Annie Frasier Johnson. After Jim Miller assassinated Reeves County's former sheriff in Toyah, Riggs was told to leave the county and never come back by Miller's gang.

However, the Riggs brothers did not leave. Barney, with his brother Tom, came to Pecos and had been told fellows by the name of Earhart and Dennison were here to kill him. They finally had a confrontation at the No. 11 Saloon in Pecos, (now part of the West of the Pecos Museum), where Earhart drew a pistol on Barney and he shot him in the head. Dennison tried to retrieve the pistol and was running out of the saloon when Barney killed him.

Barney Riggs survived his injury and was tried in El Paso, where he was acquitted. But after a stormy divorce from Annie, he was shot and killed by Buck Chadborn, who was Annie's son-in-law from her first marriage, in Fort Stockton in 1902.

"The book also contains information about Miller leaving Pecos and ending up in Ada, Okla, where they hanged him," said Riggs. "He was one of the most dangerous men in this area at that time."

Riggs said that the book contained a lot of information on Pecos and Toyah, which was once considered a big "city."

"I really enjoyed researching and writing this book," said Riggs.

"He's been at it a long time," said Davenport.

The book can be purchased at the West of the Pecos Museum for $22.99 plus tax for the paperback and $32.99 for the hardcover.

RCH expansion bids to be reviewed by architects

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 5, 2003 - The Reeves County Hospital Board of Directors held a special meeting Tuesday evening in the hospital's classroom to review the bids from the contractors for Expansion Project.

According to President Linda Gholson, after the executive session in which no action was made, she asked for the review of the contractors' bids.

Gholson said that Hammel-Green-Abrahamson, Inc., the architectural firm in charge of the projects, would review the bids to make sure all of the specifications from each individual bid matched up. "They (HGA) will then give their findings to (RCH administrator) Robert Vernor who will review them and then make a recommendation at our February 25 meeting," she said.

The board also met to vote on a resolution authorizing the reimbursement of certain expenditures from bond funds by the hospital.

According to Vernor, at the last meeting the board met with representatives from Texas Independent Bank and a local bank.

The resolution calls for the Reeves County Hospital to reimburse payment that go toward the improvement of the hospital and/or any additions made to the hospital.

"The cost is not to exceed $8 million," Vernor said.

The resolution was accepted with Director Hugh Box making the motion and Director Bill Wendt seconding it.

Chamber still offering banquet tickets

Staff Writer

PECOS, Feb. 5, 2003 - West of the Pecos Museum employees have been busy helping out the Women's Division of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce decorate the Reeves County Civic Center this past week, for the Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, at the Civic Center.

"We still have a few tickets available if anyone is interested in attending," said chamber director Linda Gholson. "And if we have to, we can always add more tables to accommodate anybody that would like to join us."

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office, 111 S. Cedar St., or from any Chamber of Commerce board member.

The price of the tickets is lower than last year to help the distressed economy and because of the response from sponsors, according to Gholson.

Guest speaker will be Lemuel Phillips, a motivational speaker and humorist from Texas A&M.

The Bears' Den of Balmorhea will cater the event and the group will be cooking on-site.

Banquet sponsors include: West Texas National Bank, Security State Bank, Calvary Baptist Church, KIUN/KPTX, Peaceful Garden Funeral Home, West of the Pecos Museum, Alfredo's Mexican Restaurant, Dairy Queen, McDonald's, Pecos Funeral Home, Valley Distributors, Cellular One, Texas-New Mexico Power Company, Standard Sales and Pecos Main Street.

Big Bend Park fees to increase


PECOS, Feb. 4, 2003 - High Tuesday 68. Low this morning 42. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows near 40. West winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s. West winds 5 to 15 mph: Becoming northeast 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Cloudy with a slight chance of light snow after midnight. Lows near 20. The chance of precipitation is 20 percent. Friday: Cloudy and cold. Slight chance of light snow. Highs in the lower 30s. The chance of precipitation is 20 percent. Saturday: Cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Highs near 50.

Obituaries for Martha Fuentez, Ruth Gregory, Elvia Herrera

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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