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TOYAH CREEK. Toyah Creek rises in northeastern Jeff Davis County three miles west of the Reeves county line (at 30°56' N, 103°40' W) and runs northeast for fifty miles to its mouth on the Pecos River, in north central Reeves County (at 31°25' N, 103°20' W). It runs through Toyah Lake, a playa, eight miles west of the Pecos. Sandia Creek joins Toyah 2½ miles east of Pecos Valley Southern Railway in north central Reeves County. The creek crosses steep to gentle slopes, composed of sand, gravel, and mud deposits washed from the Davis Mountains and surfaced by light reddish-brown to brown sand, clay loam, and rough stony ground that supports scrub brush and sparse grasses. Toyah Creek was named for Toyah Valley, which means valley of flowers. In 1871 George B. and Robert E. Lyle, farmers in Toyah Valley, began irrigation from Toyah Creek. After 1871 Daniel Murphy and Sam Miller, who farmed and ranched in the valley, dammed Toyah Creek and divided the water for use on their lands. Hispanic residents of Saragosa, located downstream, were left without water in a dry year. They threatened to attack and to destroy the dam. Before the water fight began, a long soaking rain fell and flooded the area. In later years the controversy over water from Toyah Creek developed into a feud.


Carlysle Graham Raht, The Romance of the Davis Mountains and Big Bend Country (Odessa, Texas: Rahtbooks, 1963).

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"TOYAH CREEK," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.