The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 31
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James O. Rice
Rice joined Captain J. J. Tumlinson's frontier ranger company.2
During that month the company was assembled at Hornsby's
Bend on the Colorado River in present Travis County. Excite-
ment was not long in overtaking the band; as the men were
preparing their evening meal soon after making camp, a young
white woman dragged herself, bleeding and bruised, to their fire.
Although exhausted from her ordeal, frightened, and hungry,
she soon recovered sufficiently to identify herself as a Mrs. Hib-
bons and to relate her story. She told of an attack by Indians in
which her husband and her brother were killed and she and her
two children were captured. The younger child, a young baby,
had cried so much that one of the Indians snatched it from her
arms and killed it by beating its head against a tree. She and the
other child had been brought as captives from their home on
the Guadalupe River in Green C. DeWitt's colony. In the vicinity
of present Shoal Creek in Travis County, the Indians, perhaps
feeling that she was helpless, relaxed their guard, and Mrs. Hib-
bons had escaped in the night, following the stream down to the
Colorado, and then continued to follow the Colorado down-
stream, keeping out of sight in the brush and briers, and occa-
sionally wading in the shallow banks of the stream to avoid re-
capture should the Indians pursue her. Finally she had seen some
milk cows grazing near the river bottom and followed them ten
miles until she reached the Hornsby settlement. On hearing her
story, the rangers were quickly in the saddle. Finally they located
and followed the trail of the Indians to a point about ten miles
northwest of present Austin, where the Indians were scattered
and the Hibbons boy recaptured.
After returning the boy to his mother, the company proceeded
on the assigned duty to the headwaters of Brushy Creek near the
present town of Leander in Williamson County. There the men
set about constructing a blockhouse which came to be known as
the first Anglo-American settlement in what is now Williamson
County.4 The company remained in the new fort until about the
2Undated clipping, Williamson County Scrapbooks (Wm. L. Mann Papers, Ar-
chives Collection, University of Texas Library).
ONoah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State (Austin, 1900oo), 118-123.
4W. K. Makemson, Sketch of the First Settlement and Organization of William-
son County, Texas (Georgetown, 19o4), 1. It is possible that Cal Putnam, who in
the early 1850's settled on Hickory Creek in Llano County, had lived earlier on
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/53/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.