Liberty Hill, Texas History
Population: 1,477 (2004)
Hispanic children in front of a John Deere tractor. Liberty Hill and Andice support a large and active Hispanic population. Today, Hispanics comprise 17% of the county’s population.
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Links of interest
Williamson County, Texas Home Page
Early-Day Texas History
Liberty Hill Settlement in the 1850's
History of the Liberty Hill Stage Coach Stop (1852)
Liberty Hill -Then and Now
The Founding of New Liberty Hill (1882)
Historic Liberty Hill Cemetery Listing.
Romances And Religion a
(a snap shot of early Liberty Hill History)
by Pete Shady.
Sometime in the very late 1860's, while all of the Southern States east of Texas were still in the horrible reconstruction period, there began a new tempo in the western movement. One wagon road from the Lampasas area converged with a similar road that came from Burnet by South Gabriel. This point of convergence was almost exactly three miles east of where the Rev. W. 0. Spencer was conducting the first Liberty Hill post office. The Reverend Spencer was not only a good man, he was a thinking man. He envisioned the establishment of a stage inn at this junction of these feeder roads on their way to Austin. He took several prospective views of the potential future build up of two stage coach lines, diverging at this point and going to Lampasas and Burnet. On the return, go on to Austin. After much serious meditation, he cast the die. He sold his farm to Mr. Covington Parks. Purchased five acres of land east of this juncture. He built a big house and a still bigger barn. The house was to become a
stop or Inn. The big barn housed the several teams of horses and mules as well as the equipment necessary for this double traffic stage coach lines. The adventure paid off. Other people took notice of this popular point. One of them was John T. Bryson, my Granddad. He saw a greater future for his log-combine of Methodist Church and school house, at or near this popular junction. Also about this time "My Fabulous Uncle Tom Snyder," had wed the black eyed sweetheart, that he went by the Greenwood Academy in Round Rock to kiss goodbye, on his way to Vicksburg to join the losing cause. And this beautiful bride just happened to be one of the four daughters of John T. Bryson. Also the fact that Snyder with his two brothers had amassed a quick fortune during and after the war, in the cattle trailing kingdom. And this up and going son-in-law had just purchased quite a spread: the extreme west point of which, was just a few hundred feet east of the popular junction. Uncle Tom was a public praying Methodist in his own rights. My dad was the leading tune pitcher in the area; so this close combo, decided to build a big new church. Snyder furnished the land and a big stack of gold to construct the three story building.
The church was on the first floor, the school on the second and the Masonic Lodge took over the third. This popular point drew considerable outside interest. Other merchants moved in and built homes and store buildings. One of the first permanent store structures was built by Mr. S. P. Stubblefield. It was a two story building and is in use today. Miles and Cates put up a two story stone building on the east side. They left one vacant lot between them and Stubblefield's building to provide for a side street. Captain D. V. Grant, perhaps an ex-rebel, built a stone building facing the Miles and Cates building. The Monroe brothers, John and Collin came indirectly from bonny old Scotland. John built a semi-colonial home on the west side facing the stage coach Inn. It is still well preserved. Then he went up on the next block and constructed a two story building and ran a hardware store there for the rest of his life. His brother, Collin was a blacksmith. He built a big shop along the side of John's store. It was set deep in the lot. Those canny Scotts took a sober and sane view of the future. Collin left the big lot (parking) out front so his customers would have a place for their wagons and teams, while they waited. A Mr. Cox built a big rock house on the west side and across the side street from Grant's. My-uncle Noble Bryson purchased it and lived there till his death. It was a combination of residence and store. Other buildings were added until there was a solid two block main street in Liberty Hill. Spencer's thriving combination demanded all of his spare time.
He gave up the post office to Mr. J. G. Ward.
During the late seventies there were many rumors about a prospective railroad being built from Austin to Burnet. These rumors became facts in 1881 when the construction began. The wise Spencer foresaw, the complete failure of the stage coach business when the first train made a round trip from Austin to Burnet. The surveyors who planned the route of the this new railroad did not completely bypass Liberty Hill as they did Bagdad. It cut right into the Snyder spread about half way between the church and the big home and cotton gin he had just completed.
Spencer kept the Inn, anticipating a boom business as the new railroad approached and passed through. In this respect he was due for a surprise, here was a romance that ended in a wedding that set heads to thinking and tongues to wagging.
One of the very first member of the railroad personnel to apply for a room and board at the Inn, was none other than the big swashbuckling tough boss, Mr. Mike Hurley himself. His outside tough shell melted into a soft pliable purr, when he first laid eyes upon the charming and beautiful Lizze Spencer. In spite of the fact that he was a native of Ireland; and the Catholic faith had been welded into his should and mind, thru his ancestors, for hundreds of years; he was head over heels and heart in love with this beautiful daughter of a Baptist minister. As a lover he was a "Ret Butler," as a worker and driver of men, he was a combination of Simon LaGree and a Roman dualist. Just before sundown on the last day of the specified time for completing this construction contract, he drove home the very last spike with a huge hammer. Within a few weeks he was at the Spencer house, where a Baptist minister, John Arbuckle, with all of the rituals of his church. united the beautiful Miss Spencer to the rough and ready Mike Hurley. The leopard's spots broke out all over the mighty Mike. Then he rushed his bride in a special car, to Austin where a Catholic Priest, tied a double bow knot, in their wedding band. They lived a long happy life together in Fort Worth, Texas.
Two interesting sequel, were created during and after this variegated episode. One could be classified as humorous. The other, a complex legal entanglement.
During the very height of the romance; a black mare belonging to my father, dropped a foal in his barnyard. It was an enormous big black mule colt. Dad named him "Hurley." The other, the land Snyder granted or sold to the railroad company, was specified as being for the purpose of erecting and maintaining a depot and its retinue. They abandoned it. Now who does it belong to? Would the cost of the transfer back to the Snyder estate, be more than the value of the land?