HOWARD SPRINGS. Howard Springs are a group of historical springs twenty-five miles southwest of Ozona in southwestern Crockett County (at 30°28' N, 101°28' W). They were important to early settlers traveling westward, as there was no other reliable water supply in the area. Native peoples occupied the spot for thousands of years, and in historical times it was a favorite living site of the Kiowa, who fiercely resisted being evicted from it. In 1872 they destroyed a wagon train here, killing eighteen travelers. The springs lie in the channel of Howard Draw. European-American ranchers have long overgrazed in the region, killing off the once abundant ground cover. This in turn increased the force of runoff, which washed gravel into the springs and filled them up. Seeps still emerge beneath the surface of a 200-meter-long pond in Howard Draw, but oilfield activities in recent years have contaminated the slightly saline water, which has been used in drilling.
Gunnar Brune, Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981).
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.