The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 239
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The Muddy Brazos in Early Texas
the river's banks turned brown under the sun and a boy could
easily wade the stream.2
In 1899 a storm centered over the Brazos River watershed and
progressed from the coast inland. The flood which resulted was
the greatest on record for the river, with damage estimated at
$9,000,000 and the loss of between thirty and thirty-five lives.
The Hearne gauge overflowed at twenty-four inches and there
was an estimated precipitation of thirty inches. At Turnersville,
Coryell County, thirty-three inches fell in three days. There was
an average of seventeen inches over an area of 7,000 square miles
and nearly nine inches over 66,ooo miles.
The great flood of 1913, which destroyed all standing crops
and much of the wealth from Waco to the Gulf, was in some
respects more destructive than that of 1899. The storm originated
over Central Texas and spread southwest and northeast. San Mar-
cos recorded fifteen and a half inches of rainfall; Kaufman, eleven
inches. Floods in the Brazos and other rivers caused $8,000,000
damage and loss of 18o lives.8
The name of the Brazos has been written deep in legend and
history. It is probably the river which the Indians called Tokono-
hono, and is widely identified as the one which La Salle named
the Maligne (the wicked one; the mischievous). There is con-
siderable evidence that several explorers called the present Brazos
the Colorado, and the present Colorado, the Brazos.4 Other names
which have been applied to the river are la Trinidad, Santa Teresa
y Barroso, Espiritu Santo, Rio Rojo, Rio de Sefior San Pablo,
Jesis Nazareno, San Ger6nimo, and Baatse. On an 1811 map of
Texas the main Brazos is labeled "Segundo Brazo de Dios 6 Jesuis
Nazareno" and the present Little River is called "Primer Brazo
de Dios 6 Rio del Espiritu."6
2Handbook of Texas, I, 211; Brazos River Valley Facts, 2.
5Texas Almanac, 1958-1959 (Dallas, 1958), 155.
4Handbook of Texas, I, 211; Brazos River Valley Facts, 2.
6Charles Wilson Hackett (ed.), Pichardo's Treatise on the Limits of Louisiana
and Texas: An Argumentative Historical Treatise with Reference to the Verifica-
tion of the True Limits of the Provinces of Louisiana and Texas: Written by Father
Josd Antonio Pichardo, of the Congregation of the Oratory of San Felipe Neri, to
Disprove the Claim of the United States that Texas was Included in the Louisiana
Purchase of 1803 (4 vols.; Austin, 1931).
Ilbid., I, facing page 474.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/307/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.