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The town grew up around a local crossing place on the Canadian River where cowboys would cross the river on their way to the Dodge City railhead and cattle markets. It was frequented by such famous Old West characters as Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett. The town's post office opened on June 24, 1878. On 21 March 1886 it became the site of the famous Tascosa Gunfight in which four people died.
When the hoped-for railroad was built 50 miles north of town, it made Tascosa irrelevant to the beef industry. By the 1930s, the town was almost deserted. In 1938, Cal Farley's Boys Ranch was built on the site. The old courthouse (now a museum) and the 1889 schoolhouse are the only buildings from the old town to survive into the 21st Century.
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