This Texas Panhandle Ghost Town Is Home To Double Murder And Mystery
The Texas panhandle is home to many ghost towns that have a wild story or two attached to their history. Take Rockledge, Texas, for example. This tiny town in the Texas panhandle is now nothing more than some foundation remnants and an empty field. At one time, though, it was the site of a grisly double murder and even played a role in a bank robbery that's still a mystery today.
Rockledge, Texas; An Oil Field And Railroad Ghost Town
Like most towns in the Texas panhandle, Rockledge's earliest stories usually involve something with the railroad being nearby. The town was called Rockledge because of the rock walls of the surrounding canyons, at least according to folklore.
Later, there would be a petroleum pipeline that would run through the area taking oil down to south Texas. Eventually, the town would be abandoned. All that's left of it are the remnants of some foundations, and the site where Rockledge once stood is now on private property.
So don't go looking for it.
The Rockledge Double Murder Of 1905
According to legend, Rockledge was the site of a double murder in 1905. It involved a real estate agent from Amarillo, and a rancher and his son.
The story goes that the real estate agent stepped off the train and waited near it in Rockledge. He was there to meet with a rancher and his son, who eventually would meet up with the man from Amarillo. The three began talking, and soon they were in a full-blown argument.
While what was said is something that is now between those three and God, we do know it was heated enough for the man from Amarillo to draw a pistol and fire on the rancher. The rancher, falling to the ground, shouted at his son to shoot the fleeing real estate agent. As the man from Amarillo ran toward a nearby work crew, the rancher's son pulled out a rifle and fired.
The man from Amarillo fell dead. The work crew loaded the bodies onto the next train that was heading east.
The Rockledge Bank Robbery And A Mystery That Still Stands Today
Fast forward to June, 1939. Route 66 had been built and life at Rockledge had more to do with oil than it did the railroad. The small town would play a pivotal role in a bank robbery that led to a long-standing mystery in the panhandle.
Two boys had robbed a bank in Alanreed and were making their way to Amarillo along Route 66. As they traveled west, their car started having some troubles. Soon, the boys found themselves stranded just north of Rockledge with a car that was up to its rearviews in engine trouble. With the law hot on their trail, they fled into the Rockwell Canyons nearby. This is where it gets interesting.
A posse surrounded the canyons. The boys were trapped. In a matter of hours, the posse had rounded up the bank-robbing duo and the $1,500 they had on them. Funny thing about it was that they had stolen $3,000. To this day, no one knows what happened to the money between the time the boys went into the canyon and came out. The other half was never found. Did they stash it? Did the posse decide to reward themselves for a quick job well done? The answer will probably never be known.
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