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Wilson County History

Stopping at 40-Mile Hole

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The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Maurine Liles
March 31, 2009 | 2,176 views | 2 comments

The Gonzales-San Antonio Road opened to travelers in 1827. There was plenty of good water along the road and there were several places for travelers to camp for the night.

One of the major watering holes was the 40-Mile Hole. It was located 40 miles from Gonzales and 40 miles from San Antonio. It was near the site of the community of Nockenut, and was created by the natural springs at the headwaters of Ecleto Creek.

Many people traveled on the old Gonzales-San Antonio Road and some camped beside the 40-Mile Hole. Incidents of shootings and murders occurred at this site.

In his book South of the Guadalupe, Donald Hoffman mentions one such incident. One night in 1929, several traders camped near the 40-Mile Hole. They were herding about 100 head of hogs and were on the way to San Antonio to sell them. While they were sleeping, the men were fired upon by a band of Indians. Elijah Roark and Robert Spears were killed instantly. Andrew Cox tried to escape, but was killed.

Elijah’s son, Leo Roark, and David McCormick escaped and rode to San Antonio. They went to the home of John Brown and his wife. Mr. Brown immediately informed the Mexican authorities. They went to the watering hole and buried the dead. Then, they drove the hogs to San Antonio.

In another incident, DoBoy and Hayes Taylor, the sons of Creed Taylor, ambushed two military regulators and killed them at the 40-Mile Hole in 1867.

Wilson County historians continue to research the old trails, campsites, and watering holes in Wilson County.

Sesquicentennial Committee members are LaJuana Newnam-Leus, 830-393-2166; Shirley and John Grammer, 830-947-3176; Maurine Liles, 830-393-4959; and Gene Maeckel, 830-484-2536

The Sesquicentennial Committee is organizing celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Wilson County. Anyone interested in helping with one of the celebration committees is invited to contact one of these individuals.
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Your Opinions and Comments

Donna Flores Smith  
May 18, 2009 2:59pm
I am too far away to be on a committee but do have information on the original settlers of Wilson County. Contact me directly. DS

Charles Byrd  
Austin, Texas  
April 5, 2009 9:38am
Thanks to Maurine for such a wonderful informative historical article about the 40 mile hole. Some say there was a 40 carved in a tree marking the spot, but is no where to be found today. I wish someone could put together a ... More ›

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