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BUTCHERKNIFE HILL. Butcherknife Hill is forty miles south of Alpine and one mile west of State Highway 118 in west central Brewster County (at 29°50' N, 103°36' W). It rises abruptly from the center of a broad, open expanse many miles wide that is surrounded by high mountains and mesas and covered with Chihuahuan Desert scrub. A small body of Tertiary igneous rock makes up the higher portion of the hill, which rises at its peak to an elevation of 4,042 feet above sea level. As a result of this rock's more resistant character, it stands out in bold relief against the surrounding flats. Butcherknife Hill was at one time a stopping place on the stage route between Alpine and Study Butte. One source claims that the name resulted from an incident in which a knife was lost and later found at the spot by passengers of the stagecoach. It is also possible that the name was derived from an incident that occurred in 1860, when Lt. William Echols, leading an army train of camels through the area, found a butcherknife "not long lost" on the route of a major Indian trail. It is not clear, however, if the event recorded by Echols was indeed at the spot now called Butcherknife Hill.

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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, "Butcherknife Hill," accessed December 18, 2017,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.