of Texas Official Ben Sublett Historical Marker
220 North Grandview Ave, Odessa Tesas
Texas Historical Survey Committee
William C. Sublett
Born in 1835 in Alabama. Moved to North Texas
before the Civil War, in which he served as a Confederate. After his
wife died in 1874, he went to the Texas frontier to hunt buffalo.
Taking his three young children with him. in 1881-1882 he supplied
game to the Texas and Pacific Railroad construction crews. Such
hunting was important to the development of West Texas, and to the
transcontinental railroad construction.
Settling later in Odessa, Sublett built near this
site a dugout and tent home, and homesteaded a 160 acre claim. To
support his family, he hauled wood and "water-witched" to locate wells
In the 1880's he attracted notice by using gold
nuggets to trade for supplies. In explanation he said an apache
Indian had directed him to a mine in the the Guadalupe Mountains, about
150 miles west of here. Periodically he disappeared and returned with
Gold, but efforts to follow him to the mine always failed. He once
took his young son there, but the boy could not find the way later. In
1889, Sublett sold his Ector county property. He died January 6,
1892 in Barstow without disclosing the location of his mine.
However, stories of his treasure still lure explorers into the Guadalupe