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Tee Pee City, Texas

History

At the junction of the Middle Pease River and Tee Pee Creek, is the site of Tee Pee City. In the 1870s, traders established an outpost there to take advantage of the area's buffalo hide trade. The small community of picket houses and tents derived its name from abandoned tipi (tee pee) poles found along the creek. Charles Rath, an important figure in West Texas history, was among the partners in the original operation that resulted in the formation of the settlement, bringing in wagons, cattle, mules and dace hall equipment. Rath then continued south to establish his headquarters on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos, leaving management of the Tee Pee City camp to others. An 1877 account of the settlement identified one or two saloons, a dance hall, gambling hall and two-room hotel, as well as other businesses. The 1880 census listed 12 residents. The R.V. Fields and A.B. Cooper families arrived in 1879, the same year Tee Pee City's post office opened. By then, few buffalo remained in the area. Hunters had killed thousands, nearly depleting the southern herd. Cooper freighted supplies and ran a general store out of a dugout. The community supported a post office (1879-1900), as well as a school (1895-1902), but Tee Pee City was best known for its rowdiness, brawls and shootings, which warranted the attention of G.W. Arrington's Texas Rangers. In 1904, the Matador Land and Cattle Company bought the land and closed down the saloon, which had been off limits to Matador employees due to its wild reputation. A 1936 state monument placed at the townsite was moved here in 2002. Little remains at the original site, now on private land. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 2002. Marker located at a roadside park, 10 miles east of Matador on Hwy 62 / Hwy70.

Location

34° 0' 18.6408" N, 100° 38' 21.894" W