SAND CREEK (BROWN COUNTY)
SAND CREEK (Brown County). Sand Creek rises two miles northwest of Bangs and just north of U.S. highways 67 and 84 in western Brown County (at 31°45' N, 99°10' W) and runs northeast for five miles to its juncture with the East Fork of Sand Creek, then another two miles to its mouth on Jim Ned Creek, just north of Thrifty (at 31°49' N, 99°08' W). It crosses an area of rolling hills to flat terrain surfaced by clay and sandy loams that support scrub brush, mesquite, cacti, live oak, juniper, grasses, water-tolerant hardwoods, and conifers. Sand Creek was the site where the last victims of Indian torture in Brown County were murdered and where a company of Texas Rangersqv subsequently set up camp to watch over some eight counties. On a December morning in 1873, Bill Williams and his son left their home on Sand Creek to cut rails along Jim Ned Creek; after Williams left, his wife took her infant to their cow lot to do the milking. While building a fire to keep the baby warm, Mrs. Williams was attacked by the Kiowa renegade Big Foot and his band. The band dragged the baby through the fire, plundered the Williams house, and kidnapped a twelve-year-old daughter hiding inside. Riddled with arrows, Mrs. Williams regained consciousness, took her baby to the house, and treated its burns. The Williams boy returned to the house on an errand to find his mother dead and the baby dying. After a quickly formed posse trailed the band northwestward, they discovered the twelve-year-old girl hanging from a cottonwood tree. This and other such incidents prompted the formation of Company E of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers. The company's commander, Capt. William Jeff Maltby, recruited Mr. Williams and during the following summer camped several weeks along the banks of Sand Creek, from where he and his company patrolled neighboring counties. Eventually, Maltby, Williams and others trailed Big Foot and destroyed him and his band.
Thomas Robert Havins, Something about Brown: A History of Brown County, Texas (Brownwood, Texas: Banner Printing, 1958). Tevis Clyde Smith, Frontier's Generation (Brownwood, Texas, 1931; 2d ed. 1980).