SULPHUR CREEK (LAMPASAS COUNTY)
SULPHUR CREEK (Lampasas County). Sulphur Creek rises where Bean Creek and the East Fork of Sulphur Creek converge, just below Reservoir Number 6 and four miles southwest of Lampasas in south central Lampasas County (at 31°02' N, 98°13' W). The spring-fed stream flows northeast, through sandy beds in its upper reaches, for twenty miles to its mouth on the Lampasas River, 2½ miles east of Lampasas (at 31°05' N, 98°02' W). Its course crosses an area of the Grand Prairiesqv characterized by relatively flat to steeply sloping terrain surfaced by shallow and stony sandy and clay loams that support grasses and open stands of oak, live oak, mesquite, and juniper. A number of springs lie along the course of Sulphur Creek, including Gold Spring, Gooch Spring, and Hancock Springs. Many of these were originally used by Indians as watering holes. Moses Hughes brought his ailing wife to Gooch Spring in 1853, and they were soon followed by a number of settlers. Sulphur Creek has traditionally been the source of water for the town of Lampasas. The Hughes Mill, one of the first in the area, was built on the north bank of the stream in 1856. The first bridge across the creek was erected in 1888, and the first power plant was established at the Hughes Mill in 1890. Hancock Springs, located within Hancock Park at the southwest corner of Lampasas, has a long history as a medicinal and recreational spot. In 1882, after the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway reached Lampasas, a syndicate of railroad officials built a large resort, the Park Hotel, near the springs, where it remained a popular tourist attraction until it burned in 1895. Sulphur Creek flooded the town of Lampasas a number of times over the years, some of the worst floods occurring in 1873, 1926, 1944, and 1947. In 1954, as a result of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, plans were started for a watershed on the creek; construction was begun in 1958, urged forward by another flood in 1957. This watershed improved flood prevention on the creek substantially. During World War II Hancock Park and Hancock Springs were used as a recreational facility by soldiers training at nearby Camp Hood (now Fort Hood). The springs were later used by the town to supply the park's swimming pool.