sidebar menu icon


MARISCAL, TEXAS. Mariscal was a mercury mining community just west of Fresno Creek near the northern end of Mariscal Mountain in Big Bend National Park in southern Brewster County. The community, which was accessible only by pack train, was probably founded around 1900. In that year local rancher Martín Solís discovered cinnabar, a source of mercury, on Mariscal Mountain, and D. E. (Ed) Lindsey, a United States customs agent stationed at Boquillas, was the first to file mining claims there. The Lindsey Mine operated until 1906, when Lindsey sold his claims to Isaac Sanger, who with a group of Dallas businessmen formed the Texas Almaden Mining Company. The 1907 depression forced the company out of business, however, and W. K. Ellis, who owned a candelilla wax factory nearby, bought the claims. Between July 1917 and May 1919 the Mariscal Mine processed nearly 900 flasks of mercury, but in the latter year Ellis sold the mine to William D. Burcham, who organized the Mariscal Mining Company and reopened the mine in August 1919. A Mariscal post office was established in 1922, succeeding the McKinney Spring post office (actually located in Glenn Spring), which closed in 1921. After processing 400 flasks of mercury, the mine closed in the fall of 1923 due to heavy expenses, and most of the residents of Mariscal moved to Terlingua. The mine has been inactive since then, with the brief exception of 1942 and 1943, when, because of increased demand for mercury during World War II, it was reopened and processed ninety-seven flasks. In the mid-1930s Mariscal had one business and a population estimated at fifty; the population estimate remained at that figure until the early 1960s. By the early 1970s no traces remained of the community of Mariscal.

Martin Donell Kohout

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, Martin Donell Kohout, "Mariscal, TX," accessed November 20, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 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!