Annie Riggs Museum
Annie Riggs lead a colorful life and bore 10 children to two husbands. She was born November 24, 1856 near Las Cruces, NM to George & Mary Frazier. After the Civil War the family moved to Ft. Stockton.
In 1877, Annie married James Johnson, who became the first Sheriff of Pecos County; in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ft. Stockton TX, unfortunately the marriage lasted only long enough to produce 6 children, while Annie ran the popular boarding house called Johnson Hotel.
By the late 1880’s when the marriage failed and James moved away, in 1891 when she married Barney Kemp Riggs in a Civil Ceremony, and they had 4 more children in addition to the one child Barney brought to the marriage.
Barney received a life sentence for murder in the Arizona Territorial Penitentiary in Yuma, Riggs saved the wardens life when a riot broke out and later received a pardon, and told to leave the territory and never return
Annie was granted a divorce in 1901 and her son-in-law from her first marriage, Buck Chadborn, was named trustee for Annie’s settlement. On April 1902 Buck shot Barney in self-defense and, since Riggs did not leave a will, the courts awarded his estate to Annie. She used the assets to purchase the Koehler Hotel in 1904, and changed the name to Riggs Hotel, which she operated as a hotel or boarding house almost up to the time of her death at age 73, in 1931.
Annie purchased the hotel for $5000.00 and the rate for a bed was $.50 cents, with family style meals @ 35 cents. It was operated by various members of her family into the 1940’s then in 1955 heirs of Annie Riggs deeded the old hotel to the Fort Stockton Historical Society to be operated as a museum.
This is a must see! On one of the walk around porch, hang many branding Irons. It was fun to walk through the rooms, not just look through doors, as you can only do in many museums. I have posted several pictures that I took of the outside of the museum; you will have to go through to see the inside. It is very well preserved.
Also you may be able to see the inside of the Grey Mule Saloon; it was closed the day we were there.
Annie Riggs Memorial Museum 301 S. Main St. FT. Stockton, TX 79735 432-336-2167
Pecos County Jail
The old Pecos County Jail, one of the oldest structures in West, Texas was built in 1883 of 2 foot thick Limestone blocks that still show imbedded animal fossils; in the close-up picture you will see them. It was enlarged in 1913 and now includes a museum in what used to be the Sheriff, Deputies and jailers. The second floor housed the prisoners. We toured the jail and found that the inside was pretty dismal for the prisoners, but then is jail supposed to be pleasant? It is all grey; walls, floors and bars. We turned a corner and jumped d by a prisoner in a black and white striped suit. Scared the bejeesus out of me.
We took several pictures of the cells and one of the large cell with tables, and a shower that was added in 1955. Before that buckets of water were carried up the stairs access to the cells up stairs is by a winding metal staircase.
Across from the jail is a nice park called Zero Stone, named because it was used as a zero marking point for all surveys. The Pecos, County Jail, Zero Stone Park, Annie Riggs Museum, and the Grey Mule Saloon are all within easy walking distance.
Be sure to see the Ft. Stockton Museum where they housed the Buffalo Soldiers and, don’t forget to go see Pisano Pete!
BTW, just up the street from the Jail is a nice restaurant called “B’s”. They make a very good sandwich and fresh cut and cooked while you wait, fries, and reasonably priced, too!
If you are looking for a good priced RV Park in Ft. Stockton, we stayed at Ft. Stockton RV for a month and they were very nice to us. Dottie helped us find a place near the WiFi tower and Pool. It is a short drive to Town and very little highway noise, although it is not far off the highway and easy back on, too!.