Abandoned mine in Shafter in Presidio County

Abandoned mine in Shafter, Presidio County, Texas.

The town of Shafter is located in the Chinati Mountains along Cibolo Creek, 18 miles north of Presidio, Texas. It was once a thriving town with a bustling economy due to the mining operations in the immediate area and nearby Fort D.A. Russell and Marfa Army Air Field. John W. Spencer, a local rancher and trader, found a silver deposit in the Chinati Mountains in 1880 that resulted in the opening of Presidio Mining Company in collaboration with General William Shafter who was stationed at Fort Davis. This was the beginning of the company town of Shafter. From 1883 until 1942 the mine produced over 32.6 million ounces of silver, employed from 300 to 400 workers, and paid the largest tax assessments in the county. When the mines and the military operations closed in the 1940s, the town went into decline.