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WILLIS CREEK (Williamson County). Willis Creek rises two miles southwest of Jarrell in north central Williamson County (at 30°48' N, 97°37' W). The stream, intermittent in its upper reaches, flows southeast for 22½ miles to its mouth on Lake Granger, a mile south of Granger (at 30°43' N, 97°25' W). Before the impoundment of Lake Granger, the creek flowed into the San Gabriel River five miles to the east. A Spanish expedition under the Marqués de Aguayo probably crossed the creek in 1721 and named it San Ygnacio after Saint Ignatius Loyola. According to popular legend, the creek's English name derives from the 1840s, when Robert McAlpin "Three-Legged-Willie" Williamson, a well-known judge, soldier, and political figure for whom the county was named, had a mishap while visiting the area. He fell off his horse crossing the creek and had to be rescued by his companions; the name Willis is thought to be a corruption of "Willie." The section of the creek stretching from its source to its junction with Opossum Creek has also been called Williamson Creek. The banks of the stream are heavily wooded in places with mesquite, juniper, and oak trees, and the creek flows through gently sloping terrain surfaced by clayey soils used predominantly for agricultural purposes.


Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "WILLIS CREEK (WILLIAMSON COUNTY)," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rbwdz.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 1, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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