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TONGUE RIVER. The Tongue River, also called the South Pease River, rises eleven miles west of Roaring Springs in southwest Motley County (at 33°51' N, 100°57' W). The unusual name is said to bear reference to the black tongue, a nineteenth-century disease which killed many buffalo in the region. The river begins at an elevation of 2,600 feet and flows east to northeast for forty miles to its mouth on the Middle Pease River in western Cottle County, within the boundary of the Matador Wildlife Management Area (at 34°08' N, 100°24' W). The stream flows through rugged ranchland marked by numerous adjoining canyons and drainages. During its journey, the Tongue River descends over 850 feet through territory where clay and sandy loams support various grasses. Roaring Springs, once a popular gathering place for Indians, buffalo hunters, cowboys, and settlers, was located on the river four miles downstream from its origin.


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

"TONGUE RIVER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.