by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #25
Taken from the Crane News, published May 14, 1998.


     I was told by pretty good authority that Crane County was the hunting and living area of Commanche Indians during the Indian times.

     Their main camp was slightly west of the ARCO refinery west of town.  We used to hunt arrowheads and artifacts in that area.  There were signs of campfires, round circles of rocks.  This was about 1940 when we started this.

     One of their outposts was south of Crane near Lilly Lake area where the housing development is now.  Another was near the Caprock area north of Crane close to Highway 385. There was water there at the time.  Another was near the Pecos River southwest of Crane.  The last was in the sandhills area close to Monahans.  They gave them four outposts from the main camp.

     This is not to say they probably stayed there all the year round.

     R. E. Westberry, our insurance agent here in Crane when we got here in 1936, got the jump of the arrowhead hunters.  He started earlier and picked them up by the handfuls - some said bucketfuls.  He accumulated a tremendous collection of Indian artifacts.

     Cliff Newland told me that the Indians had dug a well about a stones throw away from the highway crossing 16 miles west of Crane.  It was close to 30 ft. deep and big enought around that they had a circular ledge around it down to the water.

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