Vol 8, No 206
July 25, 1882
Roy Bean opens Saloon in Vinagaroon
Roy Bean's Saloon.
DEL RIO (1882)
On this date in 1882, Roy Bean opened his first saloon in a railroad camp named Vinagaroon. A week after opening his saloon, the Texas Rangers appointed Bean, Justice of the Peace for that sector of Pecos county (later located in Val Verde County).
The Canadian Irish working on the Southern route for the Trans-Continental Railroad, were heavy drinkers, but the Railroad bypassed Vinagaroon. So Bean packed up and moved the few miles to Langtry (named for the railroad surveyor for this sector).
Despite a contract expressly forbidding the railroad to sell any land to Bean, the Judge had a friend buy a plot directly across from the future depot and sell it to Bean. There, Roy Bean opened the Jersey Lilly (named for Lillie Langtry - no relation to the surveyor for whom the town was named).
For the next 20 years, Roy Bean was elected and reelected Justice of the Peace, and dispensed his particular brand of Texas justice from his saloon, the Jersey Lilly.
But it wasn't until 1898, following a heavy-weight prize fight (banned in both the United States and Mexico, and instead held on a sandbar in the middle of the Rio Grande) that the press, and the rest of America learned about this colorful character from Texas.
Judge Roy Bean died in 1903. His story (more or less) was depicted in the Movie The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean starring Paul Newman as the honorable(??) Judge.
Hurricane Hits Seadrift; 19 dead
PORT O'CONNOR (1934)
On this date in 1934, a hurricane hits near Sea Drift (Calhoun County) killing 19, and doing over $4 million in damages, mostly to crops ready for harvest.