18. The old places and seeing them change

A. Stone Fences, Foundations, Buffalo Wallows. Bison Bones, Arrowheads, Stone Knives and Flint Chips
On Mickey's place there were stone fences of flat limestone in several places. Some were the size of small corrals. The Horrell family was said to have a place between the Lucys. They were at least half of the Horrell-Higgins feud that was bad, even for Texas. Pink Higgins was a central player.

The Price Ranch is in the vicinity of a lot of old Indian activity. Black's Fort, less than a mile from the ranch has a Historical marker stating "Built as a defense against the Indians in 1855 by William Black, 1815-1907, on land owned by him. In the stockade, constructed of cedar logs, sentries were kept on guard on moonlight nights. Guns and ammunition for public use were kept here. Abandoned in 1868". See more about the place at more at The handbook of Texas Online.

Various tribes of Indians are thought to have come this river's valleys at least 10,000 years ago following mammoth, bison, and other large mammals. Ralph found the end of a big leg bone sticking out of the river bank. A friend of his at a local college thinks it's from a bison larger and earlier than the modern buffalo. Ralph and some of the others also located an old campsite covered with flint flakes. After a good rain more turn up. The site is on a hill side near the river and is mostly overgrown with cedar now. Bill found a worked flint about three inches long and Ralph's friend at the college allowed it was a scraper/cutting tool. In the 1740's there were Mayeye, Yojuane and Tonkawa in the vicinity of the river. The Comanche were raiding in the area until at least 1870. EB has shown us the rolling waves of buffalo wallows on the lease.

On the lease, the longest limestone fence starts a mile or so north of the place and runs, off and on, along Pool Branch to the river, a good two or more miles south. Pool Branch was the name of Joppa community, settled in 1874, until they received a post office in 1891. The guys have located the rock foundation and door stone of a small cabin, probably not over nine by fifteen feet, on the property. None of the logs were to be found. Strickling, a couple of miles west on the river, was part of an early Texas land grant to the John Webster. In 1838 or '39 the family and their party were attacked by Comanches near Leander, all fourteen men killed, Mrs. Webster, her son and daughter taken by the Indians for several months. In 1852, Martha Webster, the daughter, claimed the grant property as sole heir. She married a Man named Marmaduke Strickling in 1853. A community grew there and 1878 became a stop for the Round Rock, Lampasas and Austin stage coach. Only the cemetery remains.
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You'll see headings with no story. They haven't been written yet. I'm waiting to talk to the guys that were there.

If you remember any details better than are written, email the edited text to me. If your recollection may not be accurate, join the club. (-CRS-)

Accuracy should be just a bit less important than a good tale.


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