Judge Roy Bean arrived in Langtry, Texas, just west of the Pecos River during the Railroad Construction Boom as the tracks from the east were being laid at a furious pace to meet tracks from the west. Seeing an opportunity for financial gain, he established the Jersey Lilly Saloon, named after English Singer Lillian Langtry, with whom he had a fanciful but unrequited romantic interest.
Bean was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1882. He held court in his saloon, at times interrupting proceedings in order to wait on a customer in the saloon. Judge Roy Bean had but one book: the 1879 edition of the Revised Statutes of Texas. Legend has it that instead of referring to the law book, he frequently made his own judgments.
|Jersey Lilly Saloon|
Today the Texas Department of Transportation operates the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center at Langtry. The Visitor Center is a museum which includes the Jersey Lilly Saloon (above) and the Opera House (below) so named to honor the English singer, Lillian Langtry. No opera was ever performed there: it was simply the name he gave to his personal residence.