Alpine ( AL-pyne) is a city in and the county seat of Brewster County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,905 at the 2010 census. The town has an elevation of 4,475 ft (1,364 m), and the surrounding mountain peaks are over a mile (1600 m) above sea level. The university, hospital, library, and retail make Alpine the center of the sprawling 12,000 square miles (31,000 km2) but wide open Big Bend area (combined population only 12,500) including Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis Counties. The area had been a campsite for cattlemen tending their herds between 1878 and the spring of 1882, when a town of tents was created by railroad workers and their families.
Because the section of the railroad was called Osborne, that was the name of the small community for a brief time. The railroad needed access to water from springs owned by brothers named Daniel and Thomas Murphy, so it entered into an agreement with the Murphys to change the name of the section and settlement to Murphyville in exchange for a contract to use the spring. In November 1883, the Murphys registered a plat for the town of Murphyville with the county clerk of Presidio County. The town’s name was changed to Alpine on February 3, 1888, following a petition by its residents. At this time, a description of the town mentioned a dozen houses, three saloons, a hotel and rooming house, a livery stable, a butcher shop, and a drugstore, which also housed the post office.
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