Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Sam Bass' Death Site | Battle of Brushy Creek | Block House, Site of a | Coupland Museum | Dan Moody Birthplace and Museum | Dog Run Log Cabin | Double File Trail | Flores, Manuel | Kenney's Fort | Leanderthal Lady | Mankins Crossing | North Fork of the San Gabriel River | Pickett, Bill | Rice, James O. | Round Rock | San Gabriel Park | Texan Santa Fe Expedition | Webster Massacre | Webster Massacre, Victims of the | Williamson County
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section.)
Marker Title: Sam Bass' Death Site
Address: W. Main St. at Round Rock Ave.
City: Round Rock
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Location: W. Main Street at Round Rock Ave., Round Rock.
Marker Text: An uneducated Indiana orphan who drifted to Texas as a youth, Sam Bass won fame racing his swift "Denton Mare," gambling, and robbing trains. A rich haul in Nebraska was followed by months of reckless spending. Bass liked to shower gold on people who fed or harbored him while he eluded law officers. In July 1878 he came to Round Rock to rob a bank, and was shot by Texas Rangers. Gallant to the last, refusing to name guilty partners, he became a hero to 19th century balladeers. His celebrated grave is situated in old Round Rock Cemetery.
Marker Title: Battle of Brushy Creek
Address: 4 mi. S on SH 95
Year Marker Erected: 1993
Marker Location: 4 mi. S of Taylor on SH 95, then W on gravel road
Marker Text: A skirmish between Comanche raiders and a local militia near here in mid-winter (1839) led to the last major battle between Anglo settlers and Indians in Williamson County. The Comanche retaliated on February 18, 1939, by attacking several area homes, including those of Mrs. Robert Coleman and Dr. J.W. Robertson. Mrs. Coleman and her son, Albert, were killed. Another son, Tommy, and seven of Robertson's slaves were taken captive. The ensuing battle along nearby Brushy Creek claimed the lives of Jacob Burleson, Edward Blakely, the Rev. James Gilleland, and John B. Walters. More
Marker Title: Site of a Block House
Address: US 183, 1.5 mi. S of FM 2243
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: US 183, 1.5 mi. S of FM 2243, Leander
Marker Text: Built by Texas Rangers under Captain John J. Tumlinson in 1836. Destroyed by Indians in 1837. This was the first white man's post in Williamson County.
Museum Name: Coupland Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 56
Zip Code: 78615
Street Address: Hoxie Street
Museum Name: Dan Moody Birthplace and Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 765
Zip Code: 76574
Street Address: 114 W. 9th
Area Code: 512
Marker Title: Dog Run Log Cabin
Address: 10 mi. N on SH 29/US 183, off local road
City: Liberty Hill
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: 10 mi. N of Liberty Hill via SH 20/US 183, off local road.
Marker Text: Built 1851 by Wm. Williams, settler from Arkansas. Owned 1901-1956 by family of A. Buck, also from Arkansas. Wood -- cypress, oak, cedar -- and stone were cut by hand; logs are joined by wooden pegs. Solidly built rooms are separated by a "dog run." Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1968.
Marker Title: Double File Trail
Address: SH 29, 3 mi. E
Year Marker Erected: 1978
Marker Location: SH 29, 3 miles east of Georgetown
Marker Text: Laid out about 1828 by Delaware Indians, "The Double File Trail" got its name because two horsemen could ride it side by side. The Delawares carved this trace migrating ahead of expanding white settlements. They moved from what they called "the Redlands" in East Texas to Mexico near present Nuevo Laredo. Of the 200 to 250 families reported in East Texas in the 1820s, only about 150 remained after the move. Early sites in Williamson County were settled where this trail crossed waterways. Texas Rangers and the Santa Fe Expedition also traveled the track.
Marker Title: Manuel Flores
Address: SH 29 & CR 260, 11 miles West
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: SH 29 & CR 260, 11 miles West of Georgetown
Marker Text: In this vicinity, Manuel Flores, an emissary of the Mexican government, with a small group of men conveying ammunition to the Indians on the Lampasas River, was surprised by Rangers under Lieutenant J. O. Rice in May, 1939, and killed.
Marker Title: Kenney's Fort
Address: US 79, 2.5 mi. E
City: Round Rock
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: US 79, 2.5 mi. E. of Round Rock
Marker Text: 1/2 mile South to the site of Kenney's Fort First settlement in Williamson County. Erected as a home by Dr. Thomas Kenney and Joseph Barnhart in the spring of 1839. Served as a place of defense during Indian raids. Rendezvous of the Santa Fe Expedition, 1841. Here the archives of the Republic of Texas en route to Washington-on-the-Brazos were captured on December 31, 1842 and returned to Austin.
Marker Title: Leanderthal Lady
Address: US 183
Year Marker Erected: 1985
Marker Location: US 183, Leander
Marker Text: On Dec. 29, 1982, Texas Highway Department archeologists uncovered the skeleton of a pre-historic human female at the Wilson-Leonard Brushy Creek Site (approx. 6 mi. SE). Because of the proximity of the grave site to the town of Leander, the skeleton became known as the Leanderthal Lady. Carbon testing indicates the woman lived 10-13,000 years ago. She was about 30 years old at the time of death and measured 5' 3" in height. As one of the earliest intact burials uncovered in the United States, the site is a valuable source of information on the nation's prehistoric past.
Marker Title: Mankins Crossing
Address: SH 25, at San Gabriel River bridge, 3 mi. E
Year Marker Erected: 1990
Marker Location: SH 25, at San Gabriel River bridge, 3 miles east of Georgetown.
Marker Text: (100 yards west) This historic crossing on the San Gabriel River was named for pioneer settler Samuel Mankins, who purchased land along the river in 1849. The limestone bed in the river provided a convenient crossing for area farmers. A nearby community included a school, church, and cotton gin. A 1914 concrete and gravel causeway was replaced by a State Highway Department concrete bridge in 1931. After the Highway Department built a new bridge on higher ground at Highway 29 in 1958, the Mankins Crossing Bridge became a popular recreational site for area residents.
Marker Title: North Fork of the San Gabriel River
Address: 3.5 mi. W via FM 2338, south on CR 264 (look for brown Lake Georgetown sign), turn into overlook past Corps of Engineers office
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: 3.5 mi.W of Georgetown via FM 2338, south on CR 264 (look for brown Lake Georgetown sign), turn into overlook past Corps of Engineers office, Georgetown vicinity.
Marker Text: The North Fork of the San Gabriel River, part of the Brazos River system, flows east across Williamson County to join with the Middle and South forks at Georgetown. Abundant fish and wildlife attracted numerous Indian tribes to the areas along the stream in historic times. Named Rio de San Xavier by Spanish explorer and priest Fray Isidro Felix Espinosa in 1716, it was known as the San Gabriel River by the time Williamson County was created in 1848. Anglo settlements along the river in the 1800s led to the establishment of four major crossings which took the names of families living at the sites: Booty, Russell (later Jenkins), Box, and Hunt. Located along the stream near the crossings were homes, mills, schools, churches, cemeteries, postal stations, and a gin. Booty, Russell, and Box Crossings were inundated by the waters of Lake Georgetown, but Hunt Crossing remains above the reservoir. Planned as part of a flood control measure for the Brazos River system, a dam creating Lake Georgetown was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1979. The lake and adjoining parks and recreational facilities were opened in 1981.
Marker Title: Bill Pickett
Address: 400 N. Main St., in Heritage Park
Year Marker Erected: 1991
Marker Location: 400 N. Main St., in Heritage Park, Taylor
Marker Text: (ca. December 1870-March 25, 1932) The son of a former slave, Willie M. (Bill) Pickett grew up in Taylor. Working as a cowboy in central Texas, he pioneered the art of "bulldogging," in which a cowboy jumps from his horse to twist a steer's horns to force it to the ground. One of the few black cowboys on the rodeo circuit, Pickett became a sensation, performing in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Europe. He retired in Oklahoma in 1930 and died two years later from injuries sustained in a riding accident. In 1971 he became the first African American cowboy inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Marker Title: James O. Rice
Address: North from SH 290 11.3 miles to FM 1660/FM 973 intersection, 8 mi. S of Taylor on FM 973.
Year Marker Erected: 1977
Marker Location: Intersection of FM 1660 and FM 973, 8 mi. S, Taylor.
Marker Text: (1815 - about 1875) South Carolina-born James O. Rice migrated to Texas by 1835 and served in the Texas Army during the War for Independence. In early days of the Republic of Texas, he protected frontier settlements as part of a Texas Ranger company. On May 17, 1839, in command of a volunteer force clashing with Mexican troops led by Manuel Flores on the North San Gabriel River, Rice captured vitally important documents related to the Cordova Rebellion against the Republic of Texas. He joined the Somervell and Mier Expeditions of 1842 and the Snively Expedition of 1843. He also served in the Mexican War (1846-48). For military services, he received several bounties of land. When Williamson County was created in 1848, Rice was one of the commissioners named to select a site for the county seat. One of the county's largest landowners, Rice built his home on Brushy Creek about one mile west of here at a site then known as Blue Hill and later called Rice's Crossing. He ran a store and was postmaster of Blue Hill post office, 1849-57. For a short time, he had a tanyard in Georgetown. Rice married Nancy D. Gilliland (d. 1860), of an early Texas family. The couple had four daughters. Rice is buried in the Sneed Family Cemetery near Austin.
Marker Title: The Round Rock
Address: Chisholm Tr. at Brushy Creek, on bridge truss in creek
City: Round Rock
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Location: Chisholm Tr. at Brushy Creek, on bridge truss in creek, Round Rock.
Marker Text: A guide for Indians and early settlers, this table-shaped stone in the middle of Brushy Creek once marked an important low-water wagon crossing. Hundred-year-old wheel ruts are still visible in the creek bottom. The rocky stream bed also provided building stone for pioneer homes. "Brushy Creek" post office was established in 1851 to serve the settlement that grew up near this natural ford. At the urging of postmaster Thomas C. Oatts, it was renamed "Round Rock" in 1854. This name was retained when the town relocated along the railroad (1 mi. E) in 1877.
Marker Title: San Gabriel Park
Year Marker Erected: 1999
Marker Location: E. of Austin Ave., N of San Gabriel River, in San Gabriel Park, Georgetown.
Marker Text: The land and springs around this site made it a favored camping site for local Indian tribes for centuries before the Spanish discovered it. Raids, drought and conflict led the Spanish to abandon the area in 1756. The Mexican State of Coahuila and Texas granted a colonization contract to Robert Leftwich in 1825. Conflicting contracts were granted to Stephen F. Austin and Sterling C. Robertson. George W. Glasscock, Sr. (1810-1868) purchased the land while speculating for Thomas B. Huling and Company. In 1839 Glasscock received two headrights including this land as part of his share of assets when the company dissolved. The site had become a popular gathering place for settlers when Sam Houston spoke here in 1859. It became known as "The Fairgrounds." Large annual fairs, reunions and religious revivals drew crowds from surrounding areas. The county's first public hanging took place here in 1886. Williamson County Old Settlers' Association, formed in 1904, used the area for annual gatherings, eventually leasing 33 acres and building reunion structures. Helen Glasscock, the widow of George Glasscock, Jr., sold the site to I. M. Williams in 1912. A devastating flood in 1921 swept away the fairgrounds. Georgetown citizens requested that the city buy the site from the Williams family and name it San Gabriel Park in 1933. Under the direction of R. E. Ward, the city improved the park in the 1930s and 1940s. A river wall, low water crossing, large building and rest rooms were erected with funding and labor from the Federal Works Progress Administration. Rodeo pens, sports fields and further land acquisitions continue to ensure that the park provides recreation and shelter for area citizens. (1999)
Marker Title: Texan Santa Fe Expedition
Address: 3 mi. E on SH 29
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: 3 miles east of Georgetown on SH 29
Marker Text: A dramatic chapter in administration (1838-1841) of Republic of Texas president Mirabeau B. Lamar. Aware of United States-Mexico commerce crossing Texas by the Santa Fe Trail near the Canadian River, President Lamar sought similar trade advantages for Texas. He initiated the Texan Santa Fe Expedition early in 1841, with Dr. Richard F. Brenham, Col. Wm. G. Cooke and Jose Antonio Navarro as commissioners. Cooke began recruiting in April, forming an artillery and five infantry companies. Remainder of 321 members included merchants (with $200,000 worth of goods), teamsters, guides and others. George W. Kendall, of the New Orleans "Picayune", joined to write classic book on the venture. Travel was by 21 slow ox-wagons. First day's march, June 19, 1841, ended on the San Gabriel, and expedition's campsite is near here. Before reaching the Santa Fe Trail some 600 miles north, the men were to have torturing experiences with drought and unknown terrain. Ill from hardships, the group was betrayed into the hands of Mexican authorities and sent as prisoners to Mexico City. However, this penetration of upper Texas gave the Republic stronger claims to her northern lands.
Marker Title: Webster Massacre
Address: US 183 right-of-way
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: US 183 right-of-way, Leander
Marker Text: 1 3/4 miles east to the graves of the victims of the Webster Massacre, which occurred August 27, 1839 when John Webster and a party of about thirty, en route to a land grant in Burnet County, were attacked by a band of Comanche Indians. After attempting to flee under cover of darkness, they were trapped on an open prairie. Mrs. Webster and her two children were made prisoners, all the others were killed. In death they rest together in one grave. (1936).
Marker Title: Victims of the Webster Massacre
Address: 2 miles East on FM 2243, in Davis Cemetery
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: 2 miles East of Leander on FM 2243, in Davis Cemetery.
Marker Text: Here sleep the victims of the "Webster Massacre" of August 27, 1939. About thirty homeseekers headed by John Webster en route to what is now Burnet County, were attacked by a band of Comanche Indians. After attempting to flee under cover of darkness, they were trapped in this vicinity. Mrs. Webster and her two children were captured and later released. All the others were killed. Martha Webster then but three years old was later married to Marmaduke Strickland. (1936) More
Marker Title: Williamson County
Address: 1 mi. S on IH 35 at highway rest area, on E. side
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: 1 mile south of Georgetown on IH-35, at highway rest area on east side.
Marker Text: Williamson County Formed from Milam County. Created March 12, 1848; organized August 7, 1848. Named in honor of Robert McAlpin Williamson, 1806-1859, pioneer editor, lawyer, patriot and statesman, veteran of San Jacinto. Georgetown, the county seat.
Located adjacent to Kenny Fort, east of present-day Round Rock, Camp Cazneau was on Brushy Creek at the Double File Trail Crossing created by Indians passing through the area. It was used in 1840 by the Travis Guards and Rifles under the command of George W. Bonnell when he led raids against the Comanches in May and June of that year.
In 1836, Captain John Jackson Tumlinson, Jr., of the Rangers charged with patrolling and protecting the new Anglo settlements along the Colorado River north of Austin, built this fort on Brushy Creek in present-day Williamson County. There is a state historical marker on Highway 183 near present-day Leander noting the location of Fort Tumlinson.