History of Brown County Texas

From the Memories of Men by Tevis Clyde Smith, Jr., published in 1954, is a concise 66-page exploration of the history and memories of Brown County, Texas, and its surrounding areas, including Williams Ranch and Brownwood. This book captures the essence of frontier life, highlighting the resilience and determination of early settlers through a collection of narratives that recount the challenges and triumphs they faced.

Note: This book uses words that today would be considered pejorative. I have included this manuscript because it does detail the history of Brown County, Texas, using the words of its old settlers.

“To commemorate the approaching centennial of the settlement of Brown County… a book about Brown, and other Central Texas Counties, From Frontier Days to Now… Texiana written from conversations with original settlers, or their descendants, and presented it such a way as to be interesting to readers acquainted, or unacquainted, with this part of the nation. Dry-as-dust features have been eliminated, and the story of the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic people who built this part of the Country has been accurately reported. The stories of Indian fights, and trail drives; of cattlemen, and wirecutters; of sheriffs, and rangers, and badmen, and jail breaks, and the account of the single Union Confederate action in Central Texas, make fast, and relaxing reading FROM THE MEMORIES OF MEN.”

Table of Contents

Memories of a Texas Town
“Memories of a Texas Town” recounts the history of Williams Ranch, a frontier town founded in 1855 by John Williams. The town flourished briefly before declining after being bypassed by the railroad, leaving behind a cemetery and stories of pioneer life, Indian encounters, and local feuds.

That’s the Way It Was
“That’s The Way It Was” recounts the life of John Walter Taber, an 87-year-old man in Brownwood, Texas, who continues to manage his ranches and investments. Through his memories, the narrative covers his family’s pioneering history, Indian encounters, the Civil War, and the development of Brown County, highlighting the resilience and self-sufficiency of early settlers.

Warpaint and Wirecutters, p. 26
“Warpaint and Wirecutters” recounts the early history of Brown County, Texas, focusing on the Baugh family’s settlement, Indian conflicts, and the challenges of establishing law and order amid rampant horse theft and wire cutting. The narrative highlights the resilience of the settlers, the role of the Texas Rangers in restoring peace, and the transformative impact of barbed wire and railroads on ranching life.

Tragedy and Comedy, p. 32
“Tragedy and Comedy” recounts the life of Pat Anderson’s father, William C. Anderson, who moved to Brown County in 1863, became a legendary figure, and led a peaceful, cheerful life despite turbulent events, including a fatal conflict between his uncle and a neighbor. The narrative also highlights the colorful personalities and contributions of local figures like Dr. L. P. Allison and Brooke Smith.

A Dead Man’s Arm, p. 35
“A Dead Man’s Arm” tells the story of a preserved arm from the 1880s, linked to a shootout involving Ranger Jason W. James and an outlaw named Brooks, whose arm was amputated and kept as a memento. The narrative also recounts various incidents of lawlessness, frontier justice, and the development of Brownwood, including stories from local residents and the challenges they faced during that era.

Blanket Country, p. 39
“Blanket Country” recounts the early days of the Blanket Creek region, named after French trapper Captain Blanquet, where settlers like William McQueen’s family faced harsh conditions, droughts, and Indian raids while relying on hunting, trapping, and farming for survival. The arrival of the Frisco railroad in 1890 significantly aided the area’s development, providing much-needed jobs and a direct route to Fort Worth.

As They Told It, p. 41
“As They Told It” features recollections from various Brown County pioneers, including Dick Grady, Bud Cox, and Alta Mullins, highlighting their experiences with Indian raids, early settlement life, ranching, and local law enforcement from the 1870s to the early 1900s. It also includes historical notes on the development of Brownwood, the impact of railroads, and the influence of prominent figures like Major John Y. Rankin and Brooke Smith in shaping the town’s growth.

Cost Book and Order Pads, p. 54
“Cost Book and Order Pads” provides an overview of the Temple Grocery Company’s rise to prominence in Western Texas, becoming Walker-Smith Company, and highlights C. Y. Early’s experiences and contributions from 1899 to 1945. It details the company’s expansion, sales strategies, and innovations in transportation and product distribution under the American free enterprise system.

Disaster, p. 58
On the night of May 29, 1909, a devastating cyclone hit Zephyr, Texas, causing extensive damage, fires, and loss of life, including that of T. H. Hart’s wife and younger son, while survivors and volunteers worked tirelessly to aid the injured and rebuild the town.

Some Memories of My Own, p. 59
In his nostalgic recollection, the author describes the disappearance of old landmarks in Brownwood, Texas, including a flagstone sidewalk and a whittler-resistant pole, while reminiscing about the town’s early 20th-century atmosphere with its bustling streets, horse-drawn carriages, and local institutions like the Coggin National Bank and Walker-Smith Company.

Grandfathers Who Wore the Gray, p. 63
The author fondly remembers local Confederate veterans he knew in the early 1930s and shares stories of his grandfathers, who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, emphasizing their convictions, experiences, and the hardships they faced during and after the war.

Index

Abney 63
Acord 61
Adams 17, 22, 27, 50
Alby 9
Alexander 45
Allcorn 35-36
Allen 45-46
Allgood 47
Allison 34, 60
Anderson 32, 40, 49
Armstrong 48, 50, 62
Aten 29
Auto Races/Automobiles 47, 56-57, 60
Bair 50
Bancroft 9
Bass 14
Batton 50-51
Baugh 17, 26-27, 30, 43, 50
Bell 47, 50-51, 59
Bencini 57
Bennett 43
Bingham 64
Blair 50
Blanket 39
Blanquet 39
Blanton 59
Bogart 61
Bonds 9
Bowers 16
Boysen 31, 49
Bradley 40
Bragg 18
Bremond 56
Bricker 53-54
Broad 49
Brooks 36-37
Brown 20
Buffalo 20
Butler 49-50, 52
Bynum 50
Cabler 59
Capps 26, 48
Carey 62
Carmichael 29
Carnes 9
Cason 24, 27
Cattle Prices 39
Chandler 7, 10
Cheatham 41-42
Chesser 7-9
Childs 50
Claiborne 50
Clardy 63
Clark 50
Clements 31-33
Clemons 9
Coggin 14-15, 17-19, 50, 61
Collins 9
Comps 14
Confederates 15-18, 38, 42, 63-64
Conner 7, 10
Copeland 29
Corbett 61
Counts 42
Cox 9, 26, 43-44
Cross 45-46
Dalrymple 17
Dalton 28, 61
Davis 50
Deaton 9
Denman 50
Dennis 63
Dillon 26
Dove Creek
Durham 30
Early 50, 54, 57
East 23
Eckart 50
Ehman 49
Emison 50
Eoff 40
Epley 7
Evans 49
Farmer 50
Fisk 21-22, 50
Ford 14, 30, 49-50, 52, 56
Forrest 64
Forsythe 12
Fowler 15, 59
Frisco Railroad 41, 47
Fuller 31
George 53
Gibson 61
Gill 60
Gilliam 50
Grady 41-42
Hall 47, 49, 54, 56-57
Hallmark 50
Hallum 35-37
Hanna 15
Hardin 14, 22, 27-28
Harriss 50-51
Hart 58-59, 61-62
Hartung 62
Havin 45
Hise 50
Hodges 37
Holmsley 9
Hood 16
Howton 39-40
Hurlbut 49
Hutcherson 47
Hutchinson 8
Isacks 17, 32-33
Jackson 9-10
James, 25, 28, 32, 35-36
Jennings 62
Johnson 63
Jones 41, 63
Keith 55
Kelso 7
Kickapoos 16, 26, 43
Kirkpatrick 9, 50
Lake Brownwood 31
Langtry 37
Lee 14, 16-17, 20, 49
Lincoln 61
Looney 30-31, 46, 48-49
Lovelace 43
Lovell 29
Lowery 50, 60
Lucas 26, 48
Lyon, 64
Major 16
Marshall 49
Masters 50
May 48
Mayes 43
McCain 50
McCarver 59
McClelland 22, 51, 57
McConnell 50
McCord 37
McCulley 47
McFarland 49
McGaughy 49
McInnis 30, 33, 44, 45
McIntosh 50
McMinn 35, 38, 42
McQueen 39-40
McWhorter 42
Meade 50
Merchandise prices 46, 49
Midwife 40
Morgan 57, 64
Morris 8
Morrison 61
Mullins 45-46
Osburn 23, 58
Ouantrill 25, 32
Pearce 50
Penick 56
Perry 23-24, 35-36, 50, 52
Plumner 50
Polo 61
Post Office 20
Potter 50
Price 9
Pugh 50
Ragsdale SO
Ramey 27, 43, 48, 50, 54, 60
Rankin 27, 42-43, 48, 60
Rhone 30, 44
Roberts 29, 34, 50-53, 59
Rogan 50
Rogers 49
Roland 61
Roseborough 49
Ross 16
Salter 57
Sanders 65
Santa Fe 43, 47
Sawyer 56
Scott 29, 35-36, 50, 59
Seitz 50, 61
Selvidge 49
Shaw 50
Sheriffs 50-53
Shincutt 37
Shivers 48
Simpson 40
Slack 45
Smith 16, 22, 31, 34, 41, 42-43, 49-50, 54-55, 57-58, 63
Stage Line 42
Stars and Bars 16
Stebbins 7
Steffens 42, 50
Stewart 50
Stone 64
Sweeney 49
Sweet 50
Swinden 48
Taber 15, 26
Taylor 30
Treadwell 29
Van Dorn 16
Van Natta 44
Walker 56-58
Wallace 22
Walters 49, 62
Ware 17,
Weakley 22, 27, 30, 36, 43-49
Weatherby 14
Webb 21-22, 27
Welch 9
White 50
Whitehead 40
Williams 7
Williams Ranch 8, 14-15, 23-24
Williamson 50
Willson 50, 63
Winn 35
Wire Cutters 29, 46
Womack 50
Wooldridge 20
Wrenn 58-59
Yantis 57
Yarbrough 51
Younger 25, 32
Zephyr Cyclone 58-59

Source

Smith, Tevis Clyde, Jr., From the Memories of Men, Brownwood, Texas : T.C. Smith, 1954.


Collection:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Access Genealogy

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top