The vanished community of Lookout

By Gene K. Tarvin

From interviews with Jimmy and Mary Sue Forehand Ogden, on Dec 16 - 17 - 18 - 2003 and used with their permission. My special thanks to them for sharing their memories.

The community of Lookout began in the 1880s at a low water crossing on the Black River used by drovers bringing up herds of cattle from Texas to sell in Kansas.   It was also used by just about everyone as it was the only settlement between Seven Rivers and Pecos at it's beginning.   It was on the mail stage route from Pecos Texas to Roswell.   At it's height, Lookout had between 300 and 400 people living there.

Albert Johnson, an uncle of Mrs Mary Ogden drove the stage once a week from Pecos to Seven Rivers in the early 1900s.   He married Tinnie Forehand.

At it's beginning, people lived in tents and dugouts dug into the banks of the river.   Mary Ogden's grandfather, Auther Forehand, once said there were two grocery stores and five saloons in Lookout.   A school house doubling as a church was also built, and Beach and Forehand children went to school here. A Post Office was also built, but later moved to Malaga when the town faded away.  The promise of water & rich land brought settlers from places such as Italy, Switzerland, Mexico and other countries.   Orchards and vineyards were planted.  Frederick Anderwerth was one who came from Switzerland and planted vineyards across the river.   The grave stones of his family are in the old Lookout cemetery, and the orchards and vineyards of the area are only memories.   A typhoid epedemic in 1909 left many young children buried in the old cemetery.

The announcment that the railroad would be built through the settlements of Malaga and Loving spelled doom for the Town that Jessie J. Rascoe founded and many people moved.   All that's left today is the old blacksmith shop and the community well.   The old well is covered over and the black smith shop, which can be seen from the Ogden's house, is used as a barn.   One can drive down Ogden Rd. and view the old barn and never know there was once a thriving community there.

The old crossing is no longer used and is fenced off.   There is a low water crossing below it at Higby Hole and another above it where Ogden Rd. crosses the river.

Memories by Mary Sue Forehand Ogden.

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