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Photographs of Milton Faver, his wife, and niece. The earliest photo of Faver is from about 1845 and the latest is shortly before his death in the 1880s. Additional photos show the fort at Cibolo Creek in the 1880s and in the early 20th century and the fort at La Ciénega in the early 20th century.

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Our Texas Ranch, Resort History

Cibolo Creek Ranch was founded by Milton Faver in 1857.

Although his birthplace is not known with certainty, he was most likely born and raised in Missouri. Local lore contends that, while in his teens, he fought a duel and fled south, believing he had killed his opponent.

Faver made his way to Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico, married Senorita Francisca Ramirez, and began a freighting business. It was a modest beginning, with a single cart of Mexican goods which he transported to and sold in Texas. He brought the cart back filled with American goods to sell in Mexico. He soon established regular trade with Fort Davis, the US Army cavalry post founded in 1854 in the Davis Mountains to protect the Overland Trail to California. Recognizing the business opportunity that Fort Davis offered, Faver acquired land on Cibolo Creek.

Faver built the first of his three forts, El Fortin del Cibolo, in 1857, as a defensive measure against Apaches, Comanches, and bandits of all kinds. His ranching empire boasted as many as 20,000 longhorns and herds of sheep and goats by the 1880s, making him the preeminent pioneer of the region.

El Fortin del Cibolo (the Fort on Cibolo Creek) was Faver’s stronghold, where he operated a sizable agricultural enterprise fed by nearby springs. Faver later built El Fortin de la Ciénega (the Fort at the Marsh), where he headquartered his cattle operation, and El Fortin de la Morita (the Fort at the Little Mulberry Tree), which became the center of his sheep and goat operations. His vast enterprise not only supplied beef but also farm produce and his famous peach brandy to troops occupying Fort Davis, settlers in the region, and after silver was discovered, to the miners in Shafter, next door.

Milton Faver, also known in his time by the honorary title, don Meliton, is one of the most important individual contributors to Big Bend history. His ranch withstood the withdrawal of federal troops during Civil War times and the resulting onslaught of Apaches and Comanches until the return of Union forces in 1867. During the tumultuous times of the latter 1800s, Faver managed to keep the inhabitants of his colony faithful and active in the defense of his settlements. Continued trade with Fort Davis supplied Union troops at the fort, supporting their stay in the region, and ensured continued settlement of the area until the advent of the railroad. He was an early pioneer in Texas cattle drives and is thought by some to be the inspiration for the television character Gil Faver on Rawhide.

Upon his death in 1889, Faver left his estate to his wife, Francisca, and his only child, Juan. Juan died in 1913, followed shortly by his mother.

Sadly, Cibolo Creek Ranch thereafter passed through several owners over the years and finally succumbed to picturesque ruin prior to its purchase by John Poindexter in 1990.

West Texas Resort.

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