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PLATA, TEXAS. Plata, earlier called La Plata, is located in east central Presidio County on Farm Road 169, Alamito Creek, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, about four miles south of Alamito. The settlement developed as a ranching community in the early 1880s. In March 1883 Robert Reed Ellison, at sixteen years of age, brought several herds of cattle, totaling nearly 3,000 head, to Presidio County for his father, J. R. Ellison. He brought the first herd and a chuck wagon by train to Murphysville (now Alpine), unloaded them, and drove them forty miles to his father's range on Alamito Creek. Later Robert Ellison owned a large ranch of his own at Plata. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway designated Plata a station in late 1930, when its tracks reached there from Paisano. The community had a school as early as the 1933–34 term, when Verna Humphreys was hired as teacher. In 1939 Plata was listed as part of the Marfa Independent School District. The town had a store at one time, but both the school and the store were no longer operating in the late 1980s. Plata remains a ranching community marked by a water tank and a railroad siding.


John Ernest Gregg, History of Presidio County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1933). Cecilia Thompson, History of Marfa and Presidio County, 1535–1946 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1985).

Julia Cauble Smith

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

Julia Cauble Smith, "PLATA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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