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CASTLE PEAK (Taylor County). Castle Peak is eight miles south of Merkel in southwest Taylor County (at 32°22' N, 100°00' W). It was originally named Abercrombie Peak for Lt. Col. J. J. Abercrombie, who commanded the first troops at Fort Phantom, from which the peak and the adjoining mountain range were visible. As the only prominent landmark in the flat West Texas landscape, the 2,400-foot peak was used as a beacon by the Butterfield Overland Mail. Waterman L. Ormsby of the New York Herald, the first through passenger on the Butterfield Overland Mail, said Castle Peak resembled a fortress that could be seen from thirty miles away. Castle Peak's soils are typical of the Tarrant Rock outcrop. Mesquite, cedar, brush, and grasses grow at the peak. A historical marker commemorating the use of the Castle Peak as a landmark on the Butterfield route was erected and dedicated in 1968 on Farm Road 1235, 2½ miles northeast of Castle Peak.


Abilene Reporter-News, September 8, 1958. Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

Sherry L. McCormick


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

Sherry L. McCormick, "CASTLE PEAK (TAYLOR COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.