The north-central town of Hico might seem like just another small town that's easy to miss as you drive through it on the way you somewhere else. But every town has a history and, like many others, this one's history is conveniently summarized on a historical marker:
The marker reads:
"This site on Honey Creek marks the beginning in 1896 of the settlement of Hico. Earliest families to locate here J. G. Barbee, James R. and Henry Fuller, Isaac Steen, Isaac and Thomas Malone. In 1860 John R. Alford, a merchant, became the first postmaster. Rocks from ruins of the mill were used in the erection of this memorial."
I like the extra detail of the old mill rocks being used as a part of the monument. Most of historical marker are just on the standard pole so when there's more effort put into incorporating the history into the aesthetic, it's definitely appreciated. But there's more to the town than just it's original settlement...
If you are familiar with the legendary outlaw known as "Billy the Kid" then you probably know that historians claim that he spent the majority (but not all) of his adult life in New Mexico and was killed in 1881 by lawman (and former buffalo hunter) Pat Garrett. However...
If you've seen the movie Young Guns II you would have seen Emilio Estevez all made up as an old man claiming to be an elderly Billy the Kid who was not killed by Garrett but escaped to live out his days in Hico, TX.
What you may not know is that the film's writers did not make this up. "Brushy" Bill Roberts was an actual person who did live in Hico and did claim to be Billy the Kid. And the town has fully embraced his tall tale with no less than a statue and museum:
Just south of the town in Hamilton, TX you can pay your respects to the late Mr. Roberts, as many seem to do regularly. His grave is adorned with mementos from fans:
Beer bottles, whiskey bottles, cigarettes, coins, stones and even bullets were left by travelers who may or may not have believed the legend. And while we may never know the truth the town of Hico definitely believes.