Julia Cauble Smith

CHINATI, TEXAS. Chinati is on Farm Road 170 and the Rio Grande in the foothills of the Chinati Mountains, six miles northwest of Adobes in southwestern Presidio County. The settlement began as a Mexican mining village. After irrigation was introduced along the Rio Grande, Chinati farmers began growing cotton. It received a post office in 1922. By 1930 the area farmed 600 acres of irrigated land. From 1931 until 1947 a store operated in Chinati; in January 1933 it was raided by Mexican bandits. By 1939 the post office had closed. The population of Chinati remained at ten until 1943, when a population of 250 was reported. The growth was a result of World War II and the activity around the Presidio County military bases. After the war the military bases closed, and Chinati declined. At the end of the 1980s the community remained unincorporated and received mail through Presidio.

Virginia Madison and Hallie Stillwell, How Come It's Called That? Place Names in the Big Bend Country (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1958).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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, "CHINATI, TX," accessed April 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox