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PINTO, TEXAS (Presidio County). Pinto was in western Presidio County in the rugged terrain of Pinto Canyon and the Chinati Mountains. The Spanish name means "painted." Pinto's first settlers were ranchers and miners who arrived in the area at the end of the nineteenth century. On December 9, 1885, W. H. Cleveland brought his bride to an adobe house in Pinto Canyon, where few women had lived. They remained in or near the canyon until 1897. In the late 1890s a small mining camp sprang up when prospectors started mining silver at the Burney prospect. The prospect was mined intermittently through the 1950s. In 1907 ranchers J. E. and Dora Wilson brought their three daughters, Millie, Mamie, and Ora, to the canyon. They settled in a one-room rock house that Cleveland had used as a goat camp. Wilson broke his leg soon after driving his cattle to the canyon bottom, and his neighbor José Prieto cared for the cattle while he recovered. Millie and Mamie Wilson also helped by driving their father's 100 Angora goats, purchased from Cleveland, into the canyon. The families of Mart and George Sutherlin were living in Pinto Canyon in the 1910s. In 1910 a one-room school was established, and Sue Woodward was the first teacher. By the 1980s the small mining camp in Pinto Canyon had fallen into ruin. The early sheep, goat, and cattle ranchers who had prospered in the canyon moved to less remote areas. Few traces of Pinto remain in the canyon.


Ed Ellsworth Bartholomew, The Encyclopedia of Texas Ghost Towns (Fort Davis, Texas, 1982). Cecilia Thompson, History of Marfa and Presidio County, 1535–1946 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1985).

Julia Cauble Smith


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

Julia Cauble Smith, "PINTO, TX (PRESIDIO COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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