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Judge Roy Bean: The Law, the Lies, and Lillie

Written by Gene Fowler.

Langtry is just off of US 90, about 60 miles west of Del Rio. Follow the signs to the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, operated by the Texas Dept. of Transportation (TxDOT). Hours: Daily 8-5; closed New Year's, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Admission: Free. Wheelchair accessible. Write to the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, Box 160, Langtry 78871-0160; 915/291-3340.

Snacks and souvenirs are available at Miss Lilly's, across from the center. Hours: Mon-Fri and Sun 8-5, Sat 10:30-5. Wheelchair accessible. Call 915/291-3356.

Overnight accommodations in Langtry include RV hookups at the Wagon Wheel, which also sells barbecue, burgers, and souvenirs. Hours: Daily 11-3 (or so). Wheelchair accessible. Call 915/291-3230. The Judge Roy Bean Trading Post, at the intersection of Loop 25 West and US 90, has guest rooms (partially wheelchair accessible; call ahead). Call 915/291-3227.

Roy Bean and son Sam are buried on the grounds of the Whitehead Memorial Museum in Del Rio. As director Lee Lincoln says, "Langtry gets all the visitors, but we've got the body." For more information, call 830/774-7568.

Further Reading

Look in your bookstore or library for Judge Roy Bean Country by Jack Skiles (Texas Tech Univ. Press, 1996), Dan Stuart's Fistic Carnival by Leo N. Miletich (Texas A&M Univ. Press, 1994), and The Story of Roy Bean–Law West of the Pecos by C.L. Sonnichsen (out of print, but can still be found in some stores).

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From the January 2000 issue.

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