Saturday, October 20, 2012

Judge Roy Bean

On our way from the Seminole Canyon State Park to Marathon, we stopped off to see the Judge Roy Bean Museum and visitor center.  My thanks to the RV Goddess for her recommendation of this as it would have been real easy to miss it.  It is, of course, in the town of Langtry.

Judge Roy Bean was, well...a character.  He was known as the hanging judge but there is no record that he ever sentenced a man to be hanged.  He also imposed fines as there was no jail to hold anyone in, so justice was dispensed with swiftly.

But my favorite part of his many legends is that of his fascination with Lily Langtry, a woman he never met.  There are many theories on how he had seen her.  Some say he saw her peform and others that it was only a photograph.  Anyway, he was smitten. 

Well, smitten might be a tad too mild of a word to describe his infatuation.  Well, that's not really sufficent either.  He obviously had some compulsion issues!

He wrote to her many times asking her to visit the town he named for her. 

He named his establishment "The Jersey Lily" and went so far as to nail a sign on his home proclaiming it to be the "Opera House, Town Hall and Seat of Justice" in the hopes this would persuade her to perform there one day.

I'm just saying this man could have been really something with the ability to text  and send e-mail photos to her in his campaign of undying love...lust...obsession...whatever.

She finally accepted his invitation to visit "her town" and traveled to meet him. 

Unfortunately he died several months before she arrived.

She sounds like quite the woman and there've been many books written about her. 
But the lady at the visitor center recommended reading her autobiography and I'm going to try to find this on kindle.

The visitor center also has a lovely cactus garden and walking path that winds around the old windmill in the center.

They also provided us with mucho reading material on Big Bend, RV parks in Texas and Texas State Parks.

So, we've got lots to read up on tonight in preparation our our journey into Big Bend tomorrow.  It looks as though the ranch we'll be at has wi-fi so I should be able to blog each day to keep up.

Long Live the Queen of the Cactus



  1. These photos are fabulous! I love the one of the Roy Bean building. What a fascinating story. So sad that ole Roy didn't live long enough to meet his precious Lily. I wonder, did he leave the town to her in a will? You have a fabulous day. Hugs, Edna B.

  2. Unrequited love/ maybe stalking might be a term used today. I can hear the kids saying 'Get a life.' Glad that Judge Bean is now part of your adventures. Keep on truckin'.