RATH CITY, TX

Charles G. Davis

RATH CITY, TEXAS. Rath City, also known as Reynolds, Hide Town, Rath, and Rath's Store, was a short-lived frontier town established in 1876 on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River fourteen miles northwest of Hamlin in southern Stonewall County. The town, founded to capitalize on the flourishing buffalo trade, was the first Stonewall County settlement. By 1877 it consisted of a store, two saloons, a dance hall, and a few tents and dugouts. The site was named for Charlie C. Rath, who in 1875 built a store there, around which the settlement grew. Rath had previously owned a store at Adobe Walls but left there, as did the buffalo hunters, following Indian attacks in 1874 and 1875. Rath City became the rallying point for some 300 frontiersmen in February 1877 after fellow hunter Marshall Sewell (or Soule) was killed by Indians. An expedition of forty-five men left the settlement and pursued a war party of Comanches under Black Horse to a site north of the present city of Lubbock. After an inconclusive battle in Yellow House Canyon on February 22, 1877, the hunters returned to Rath City, thus completing one of the last Indian campaigns on the Southern Plains. A declining buffalo population brought an end to the settlement, and it was abandoned by 1880.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Ed Ellsworth Bartholomew, The Encyclopedia of Texas Ghost Towns (Fort Davis, Texas, 1982). A History of Stonewall County (Aspermont, Texas: Stonewall County Historical Commission, 1979). Naomi H. Kincaid, "Rath City," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 24 (1948). Curtis D. Tunnell, "Texas Heritage Lost: The Fate of Rath City," Medallion, October 1982. Paul I. Wellman, Death on the Prairie: The Thirty Years' Struggle for the Western Plains (New York: Macmillan, 1934).

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Charles G. Davis, "RATH CITY, TX," accessed November 16, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvr89.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 6, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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