Frijole, also known as Smith's Ranch and Springhill, was on U.S. Highway 62/180 two miles northeast of Pine Springs and sixty miles north of Van Horn in northwestern Culberson County. In 1876 two brothers named Rader built the first permanent ranchhouse in the area at a nearby spring, but the community did not receive its name until after the arrival in 1904 of the Smith family. The name was for nearby Frijole Peak, now known as Hunter Peak. A post office was established in Frijole in 1916 with Nella May Smith as postmistress. In the early 1930s the bus returning tourists to Van Horn from Carlsbad Caverns would stop in Frijole, where the passengers would enjoy a family-style supper cooked by Mrs. Smith. In 1936 Frijole had one business and an estimated population of ten. The post office closed in 1942, and three years later the Smiths moved away. The community no longer appeared on maps of the area by the mid-1950s, although it had become the ranching headquarters of J. C. Hunter, much of whose land later became part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Frijole's population was estimated at four in the mid-1960s. Maps from the early 1970s showed the Frijole Ranch within the boundaries of the national park, and the Rader brothers' old ranchhouse had been converted into a park ranger's residence.
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