Comanche Springs

By: Glenn Justice

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Comanche Springs was in the southeastern part of the town of Fort Stockton in central Pecos County. The springs, the source of Comanche Creek, flowed from a fault in Comanchean limestone. In 1849 a reconnaissance party organized by United States Army captain William Henry Chase Whiting reached Comanche Springs. Whiting called the springs Awache, Comanche for "white [or wide] water," and described the water as being clear and abundant in fish and soft-shell turtles. José Policarpo Rodríguez, interpreter for the Whiting party, later said he gave the name Comanche to the springs. John C. Reid described Comanche Springs in 1856, saying the water came from the earth "like a sea monster." Reid said Comanche Springs received its name when a Comanche, covered in a wolf's hide, was killed while attempting to attack a party of travelers at the springs. United States Army lieutenant S. G. French noted in 1849 that Comanche Springs was an Indian campground on the Comanche Trail to Mexico. French said large wagontrains of immigrants traveling from Fredericksburg to Presidio passed by Comanche Springs. Camp Stockton, later Fort Stockton, a United States Army post, was established at Comanche Springs on March 23, 1859, to provide protection to travelers and mail service from raiding Indians. The springs supplied water for the camp. Comanche Springs was an important of irrigation water in Pecos County after 1875. In 1899 the spring flow was 1,900 liters a second. Heavy pumping from the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer caused the flow of Comanche Springs to decline after 1947. A county bathhouse, swimming pool, and pavilion were constructed at Comanche Springs in 1938. By March 1961 the springs had ceased flowing. The rare and endangered Comanche Springs pupfish lived there until the springs dried up.

Gunnar Brune, Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981). Pecos County Historical Commission, Pecos County History (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1984). Clayton W. Williams, Never Again, Texas (3 vols., San Antonio: Naylor, 1969).

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

Glenn Justice, “Comanche Springs,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995