Ben Ficklin

Ben Ficklin (Benficklin), seat of Tom Green County from 1875 to 1882, was located five miles south of Fort Concho on the east bank of the South Concho River. In 1868 Maj. Benjamin F. Ficklin bought from John O. Meusebach 640 acres on the South Concho near the spring from which Fort Concho hauled its drinking water. There Ficklin built headquarters for his San Antonio-El Paso Mail line. Francis Corbett Taylor, a close friend of Ficklin, came from Alabama to take charge of the Concho mail station. After Ficklin's sudden death in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 1871, Taylor carried on the prospering stage line. In 1873, with William Stephen Kelly and Charles B. Metcalfe, he laid out a town a mile up the river and named it Ben Ficklin in honor of his friend. Kelly, also from Alabama, built the first house. The post office was established on August 27, 1873, with Henry M. Taylor as postmaster.

Taylor and Kelly were among the commissioners appointed to organize Tom Green County in 1874. In January 1875 they led a successful campaign to make Ben Ficklin the county seat, against the stiff challenge of San Angela (now San Angelo). Taylor had the support of stage line employees, Fort Concho officers, area ranchmen, and the growing numbers of business and professional men who, with their families, had been attracted to the new town. San Angela's saloons, gambling houses, and prostitutes were popular with soldiers, cowboys, and buffalo hunters. Ben Ficklin's first courthouse was donated by Taylor and Sheriff James Spears. An adobe building housed a subscription school, and lots were donated for future church buildings. Three stores and a hotel were soon erected. Around 600 people were living in Ben Ficklin when Taylor died in 1879. A two-story stone courthouse was completed in February 1882.

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Katharine T. Waring | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Adopted by: TOM GREEN COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Adoption Message: Celebrating Tom Green County's 150th Anniversary 1874-2024
Until: November 1st, 2025

Belongs to

Ben Ficklin is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Ben Ficklin is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Benficklin]
  • (Bismarck Farm)

Location

Latitude: 31.40548200
Longitude: -100.43878700

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No