DOUBLE MILLS. Double Mills, also known as Double Wells, is just south of Maravillas Creek and just east of U.S. Highway 385 some thirty-four miles south of Marathon in central Brewster County (at 29°45' N, 103°10' W). The site originally had a large natural waterhole, which was used by prehistoric peoples and later by Indians, Spaniards, and Mexicans. Sometime in the early 1900s the water table dropped and the spring dried up, due to the deepening of Maravillas Creek caused by overgrazing and other settlement activities. Rancher George Miller, who owned the land, dug two wells near the channel of Maravillas Creek and erected two windmills, so travelers and livestock could still find water there. Southern Brewster County ranchers driving cattle to the railhead at Marathon stopped at Double Mills, as did the wagon trains carrying ore and supplies to and from Boquillas. In October 1911 Edgar D. Lowe opened the first candelilla wax factory in Brewster County at Double Mills. The United States Army built the first concrete bridge in southern Brewster County at Double Mills during the early 1900s, when troops were stationed along the Rio Grande to guard against raids from Mexico. Parts of this bridge still stood decades later, although it had been replaced by a modern bridge just upstream on U.S. Highway 385.
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Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.