Ben Ficklin's Pony Express  LbNA # 56108

Placed DateOct 15 2010
CountyTom Green
LocationSan Angelo, TX
Found By Walksfar
Last Found Aug 30 2014
Hike Distance?

Ben Ficklin (Benficklin), was the seat of Tom Green County from 1875 to 1882 but is now nothing more than a ghost town. It was located five miles south of Fort Concho on the east bank of the South Concho River. In 1868 Maj. Benjamin F. Ficklin bought 640 acres on the South Concho near the spring from which Fort Concho hauled its drinking water. There Ficklin built headquarters for his San Antonio-El Paso Mail line. After Ficklin's sudden death (fish bone incident!) in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 1871, his friend, F.C. Taylor carried on the prospering stage line. In 1873, with William Stephen Kelly and Charles B. Metcalfe, he laid out a town a mile up the river and named it Ben Ficklin in honor of his friend.

Heavy rains the night of August 23, 1882, swelled Dove Creek, Spring Creek, the Middle Concho, and the South Concho, already high because of a wet summer, out of their banks. Their combined waters roared down on Ben Ficklin at midmorning on August 24, and the town was destroyed. On the flat, only the courthouse, the jail, and two houses remained standing. Up the hill, fifteen houses and the schoolhouse remained. Sixty-five people were drowned.

Following the flood county offices and the post office were moved to San Angela, which became the county seat in 1883 with the new name San Angelo. The Ben Ficklin cemetery, on a hill overlooking new residences, holds the graves of flood victims and of F. C. Taylor and his wife, reinterred there after the flood dislodged their coffins. Be sure to check out the historical marker located near this site.

To locate your treasure go south on 277/87 passing over the Concho River. After passing the river take the exit to the service road and stay on the service road as it curves (sharply) to the right or west and follows Loop 306. At the bend of the curve look to your right to find the Ben Ficklin Cemetery. The entrance is marked with a white arch with blue lettering. Park at the entrance and go through the gate. Head in a north east direction until you come to the grave wall that is farthest east. On the east side of this wall is an entrance to the Short Family plot. An iron gate use to mark this entrance. At the entrance of the Short Family Plot look to your far right to find the grave marker of Jda Short. At the base of her grave marker, hidden by a rock is the treasure you seek. Be sure to recover well even though it looks as if no one tends these forgotten graves.