Fort Hancock

Camp Rice was established April 15, 1881 near the site of Fort Quitman, but relocated the following year to be closer to the Southern Pacific Railroad and a small town developed just to the east. The United States War Department purchased the post in 1883 for $2,370, but in 1884 it became an independent post. In 1886, Camp Rice was renamed Fort Hancock to honor Union General Winfield Scott Hancock. That same year, the first post office opened. In 1887, a railroad depot was built and by 1890 the town of 200 had a hotel, general store, and meat market.

Fort Hancock's location on the Rio Grande subjected it to frequent flooding. This, combined with damage sustained by fires in 1889, caused the post to be abandoned in 1895. The town, however, held on. By 1914, only 50 remained in Fort Hancock, but that number rose to 400 by the 1920s. Today, over 1500 people live in Fort Hancock, making it the largest town in Hudspeth County, and it has in recent years been the subject of news articles due to its location along the US-Mexico Border and frequent problems arising from illegal immigration.

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