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Monday, July 14, 1997


Rick Smith

Commissioners court
paid for scalps

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As Reeves County Commissioners meet today they might consider how
different their agenda is compared to the commissioners court which met
in the first part of July 1915. While today's commissioners ponder
purchasing squad cars for the sheriff's department the commissioners of
1915 were paying for scalps.

Don't get too alarmed, the scalps they were purchasing were rabbits and
coyotes. Apparently the area was suffering from an infestation of the
two varmints and the county had offered a bounty on the two breeds of

The Toyah Enterprise, which proclaimed itself "A newspaper dedicated to
the moral, educational and material advancement of Toyah and Reeves
County," described the situation in the following front-page article in
its July 23, 1915 edition.

"About 4,500 jackrabbit scalps is the approximate number counted out and
paid for at five cents per at the last session of commissioners court at
Pecos the forepart of this month. There was also quite a number of
coyote scalps carried in for which were paid $2 per. This was the first
lot of scalps counted out and paid for by our county commissioners under
this new law and if other counties over the state are doing as much as
are the citizens of Reeves County to exterminate the jackrabbit and
coyote races it will not be long until the appropriation will be used up
and the law thereby made void."

That's a lot of dead rabbits. A lot of rabbit stew must have been
consumed that month as well. If times were hard enough to go to all the
trouble of hunting, shooting and skinning a rabbit for a nickel I doubt
that much of the rabbit was wasted.

It does make you wonder though. If the rabbits and coyotes were such
pests to the local farmers why did the county have to offer a bounty on
them? Why weren't the farmers out there trapping and shooting them just
to protect their farms and ranches. If any old timers out there can shed
some light on that, drop me a line.

An article that appeared in The Pecos Times on Thursday, July 14, 1910
also caught my eye. It was entitled "The Toyah Oil Field, Expert
Pronounces it Greatest Oil Field in the World." That sounds pretty big
to me.

The article, which took up the entire front page of the paper, explained
that some Big Springs citizens got interested in drilling that was going
on in the Toyah area and hired an expert that was supposed to spend 20
days checking out the situation.

The unnamed expert sited some previous geological studies that said the
area contained the greatest deposit of sulphur-gypsum and salt in the
world which in turn would feed an oil deposit. The expert described how
the hard-packed earth of the area served to trap the oil and caused it
to back up for miles to the north.

Detailed directions are given in the article by the expert as to where
to drill and how to drill to strike the giant deposit of oil.

Apparently the company already drilling in the area at the time was
putting out the word that its wells were coming in dry. The conjecture
was that the drilling company was capping off its wells and trying to
purchase as many acres as possible to drill more wells before anyone
else could move in and drill.

Makes you wonder how much oil is still out there.

Editor's Note: Rick Smith is an Enterprise writer and city editor whose column appears each Monday.


Open house opens eyes for one county citizen

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Dear Editor:

I have recently attended an open house of the Reeves County Detention
Center. Like myself, many of you may have misconceptions of what this
facility is all about. Several of my questions were answered, as to why
and what prisoners are entitled to, privileges they have, and what
benefits they receive and for what reasons.

All employees of RCDC should be very appreciated for the discipline
within themselves, the duties, and all of the responsibilities that are
expected of them each and every day. Visiting the RCDC has changed some
of my opinions and outlook for the future of this facility.

A very impressive scenario was held during the visitation by the DCT
and CERT teams. Members of those teams performed a demonstration of what
they might do in caase of an actual riot situation.

Should the Reeves County Detention Center open house become an annual
event, I encourage the public to take the opportunity to attend and you
may also realize the importance of the center to our community.

Thanks to all staff and employees of the RCDC for a great open house. I
do know you have worked many long, hard days and nights to make the RCDC
the great facility it has become today. It takes special people to do
what you do. Keep up the good work!Jamie Windham


It's up to you how you turn out

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My mentor, retired businessman Fred Smith, says: "You are the way you
are because that's the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be
any different, you would be in the process of changing right now."

It probably will not surprise you when I say that I am in complete
agreement with Fred. He's the wisest man I've ever known, and he
combines wisdom with common sense, a unique sense of humor and a
willingness to help others accomplish their objectives. Fred points out
that change, while often difficult, is one of the necessary ingredients
in life if we are to succeed or, for that matter, even survive.

For some strange reason, a very high percentage of us believe those
around us should change, and not us. It's our mate's fault or our
employer's fault, or the difficulty arises within the government, the
educational system or society itself. Many people honestly believe all
that would have to happen for them to become enormously successful and
completely happy would be for the people around them to change.
Unfortunately, they often try to change others without looking in the

Consider for a moment all the people between the ages of 12 and 14 who
believe their parents are completely out of touch with reality, know
very little about life and have none of the answers. We know by the time
they reach the age of 25, they will be amazed at how much their parents
have learned!

The best way to make a difference in others' lives is to make changes
in our own. When we recognize that we really can change, we've taken a
giant step toward the top. Take that step, and I'll see you at the top!
"I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at
anything else." - Benjamin Franklin

Editor's Note: Zig Ziglar is a motivational speaker whose column is
copyrighted and distributed by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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