ENTERPRISING FRONTIER WOMAN
Born Anna Stella Frazier near Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1858, Annie Riggs moved with her family to Fort Stockton sometime after the end of the Civil War. Her first marriage, at age 19, lasted a little over ten years and bore six children. In 1891, Annie married her second husband Barney Kemp Riggs, a man considered by many to be an outlaw. Sentenced for murder in Arizona and imprisoned in the Yuma penitentiary, Riggs received a pardon from the governor for saving the prison warden’s life during a riot. Riggs and Annie had four children of their own and a marriage that lasted about a decade. Riggs was shot during an argument between Riggs and Annie’s son-in-law from her first marriage. Annie sat with her ex-husband in a room at the present day Annie Riggs Museum (then known as the Koehler Hotel) until he died the next day. Without a will Riggs estate was awarded to Annie and, with the assets, she purchased the Koehler Hotel for $ 5,000.
Today, this sprawling, single-story adobe brick building with its wrap-around verandas and gingerbread trim looks much the way it did under Annie’s ownership. A classic example of the Territorial style architecture of the frontier period, the Riggs Museum served as a boarding house and income stream for Annie until she died at 73 in 1931. In 1955, Annie Riggs’ heirs deeded the hotel to the Fort Stockton Historical Society for a museum. The society opened the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum within the year.
Annie Riggs Memorial Museum
Admission fee payable at the Visitor Center.
September - May: Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
June - August: Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.