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COMSTOCK, TEXAS. Comstock is on U.S. Highway 90, State Highway 163, and the Southern Pacific Railroad, twenty-nine miles northwest of Del Rio in south central Val Verde County. About 6,000 years ago prehistoric people lived in the nearby caves and rockshelters. They left behind caches of seeds, bits of clothing, tools, burial sites, and cave art. Modern settlement of the area began in the 1800s and was aided by the advent of the railroad. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway built tracks through the county in 1882 and 1883. Comstock was established as a station on the railroad and was named for John B. Comstock, a railroad dispatcher. Although the original townsite, called Sotol City, was built east of the current Comstock, it was moved to Comstock's present site to make use of water from a nearby natural lake. In 1888 a post office was granted to the small town. The same year George Washington Ames opened the Ames General Store, which sold groceries, lumber, salt, livestock feed, and ranch supplies. From 1888 until 1910 the Deaton Stage Line operated a six-horse stagecoach that changed teams four times between Comstock and Ozona. The company delivered mail and hauled freight. In 1889 the Phillips Hotel began to serve travelers stopping overnight in Comstock. In 1890 the D. C. Denny Lumber Yard was established; it was later converted into Uncle Denny's Saloon and Billiard Hall. By 1901 a public school at the community had one teacher and reported an enrollment of eighty-nine students. In 1925 the population of Comstock was 200. Ten businesses operated there by 1931, but the number dropped to eight during the late years of the Great Depression. During World War II the town had fifteen businesses and a population of 400; in the 1950s it had five businesses and a population of 300; by the early 1990s Comstock had twelve businesses and a population of 375. The population remained the same in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Julia Cauble Smith, "COMSTOCK, TX," accessed February 16, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlc46.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.