Shafter Historic Mining District National Register photo
Shafter, the first major mining town established in west Texas, was named for Colonel William R. Shafter of the 1st Infantry Regiment, based at Fort Davis. The town was established in 1886, 10 years after the first mineral survey of the nearby Chinati Mountains noted the presence of lead, silver and copper. The Presidio Mining Company was formed and machinery for the mines was hauled to the site by train and wagon where gold, lead and silver were mined. A mill was constructed on Cibolo Creek, about a mile from the mines. A town grew up around the mill site, with buildings to house the mine workers. In 1890 the Texas Rangers came to settle strife between the Mexican American and Anglo American mine workers. Depression hit the little town in 1931 when the price of silver dropped drastically and the mines were shut down. Today, the Shafter Historic Mining District includes stone and adobe buildings and ruins that were part of this mining history.
Shafter is located north of Presidio on U.S. Hwy. 67.