NAME: Rath City
COUNTY: Stonewall
CLIMATE: Hot Summer, mostly mild Winters.
First Saturday in June each year only.
COMMENTS: No residents, other than the two buffalo hunters buried there.The site is open to vistors during the first Saturday in June each year only. This is part of the "Back to Rath's Trail" annual event. For more info call 915-576-3501 9am to 4;30pm.
REMAINS: Rocks, a graveyard with two occupants.

Established by Charles Rath, M.D. Lee and A.E. Reynolds in the fall of 1876, Rath City (or Rath’s Store or Reynolds Camp) cropped up almost overnight following a 50 wagon, 300-oxen caravan from Dodge City, according to John Cook, a buffalo hunter. The town was believed to contain a hideyard, a sod corral and Rath’s trading post, along with such frontier essentials as a dance hall, two saloons, a blacksmith, a Chinese laundry, and a brothel. Water was hauled from a spring one mile north of town near the Brazos River. The stench of drying buffalo hides and rotting carcasses hung over the town during its three-year existance, attesting to the 1.1 million hides shipped out to Ft. Worth and Dodge City. After surviving several Indian attacks, the city finally became a victim of its own prosperity. The large buffalo herds that once roamed from Kansas to Texas were hunted to extinction, and as the buffalo hunters moved on, the merchants packed up, leaving behind a few sod houses as the only reminders of the carnage that took place from 1876 to 1879.


In 1875, the Texas Legislature was about to pass legislature that would protect the giant herds of buffalo that roamed the Rolling Plains.The U.S. Army stepped in, advising them to permit the buffalo hunters to wipe out the herds instead. Gen. Sheridan reasoned that the hunters, by wiping out the Indian’s source of food, clothing, and shelter, could settle in just a few short years the Indian problem which had plagued the army for a decade.It happened. Rath City came into existance, and in three years over 1,100,000 buffalo hides were hauled from Rath City to Dodge City to Fort Worth. The Indians, overwhelmed by such devastation, surrended and relocated to reservations.We invite you to come see the place where it all ended. Take time to talk to the hunters., the Indians and the merchants who ran Rath City. Hear the stories of each side. And ponder what might have been. Spend the day with in 1876. See how the West was really won. And of all, it’s free.

Sponsored by the

Historical Rath Trail Association, Inc.
245 S. Central Avenue
Hamlin, TX 79520

For more info, contact:

Hamlin Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 402
Hamlin, TX 79520

Or visit the Rath City information page at: http://www.gate.net/~bjohnson/rathcity.htm

SUBMITTED BY: Harvey M. Dixon