Texas Bob Travels

Life in the Glass Mountains of Texas

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Gillian Canyon

Gillian Canyon took its name from a man who went in hiding in the Glass Mountains and remained in that vicinity until he me this death at the hands of the law. Gillian became entangled in an argument with a one armed man by the name of Young , at a round up near Leon City, near Ft. Stockton, Texas. The trouble arose over the ownership of a steer, and Gillian pulled his gun and killed Young. It was said afterward that the cowboys at the round up caught the steer and branded it MURDER across one side. The story goes that it ran the range , until it died of old age.

After the killing, Gillian escaped and took his stand in the mountains. Two Texas rangers intercepted him as he started out of the canyon, and came upon the point of the mountain. Both Gillian and his horse were killed, and one of the rangers was wounded. At-the time I was living in the Glass Mountains, the bones of Gillian's horse were still to be seen.

We dearly loved to go to the canyon for picnics, even though spirits seemed to lurk behind every rock, and mystery shrouded the whole surroundings. There was a small house on a slight incline. Down in the canyon proper a cave had been dug which ran straight back through solid rock. I could almost feel the breath of a bear in my face every time I began a trip to the back for a drink. We were told that Harvey Dodson, a squatter, some years before, had built the house and dug the cave seeking water.

One Easter Sunday a group of us went to Gillian canyon for a picnic. Some of those who were in the party still live in and near Alpine. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Parker, the Starr family, the Roberts family and our family made up the group. During the early morning the men climbed the mountain and rolled down big rocks for our amusement. Before the men got back the women decided to explore a bit. They began with the old house, and just as the last hen and chick stepped inside the door a large rattle snake began to uncoil from behind the only door. You may be sure that the windows were promptly used as exits. Had the snake struck, it would have been almost fatal in this secluded no man's land.

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