THROWBACK THURSDAY: Sam Mather played big role in shaping local history

By JAMES WEAR In our last column we shared information with readers regarding Andy Mather, a Gabriel Mills native who during his lifetime would gain acclaim for his association with the Texas Rangers. This week we’ll devote some space to his father, Samuel Mather, an early settler of the area who, while perhaps not as […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Mather’s fearless reputation included confrontation with bear during expedition

By JAMES WEAR Perhaps one of the most colorful individuals the Liberty Hill community ever produced was Andrew Mather, son of Gabriel Mills pioneer Samuel Mather. Samuel Mather came to the area in 1849 and established a water powered grist mill. Other settlers soon followed and over the next few years the community thrived, despite […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Union Hall pastor credited with giving Andice its name in 1899

By JAMES WEAR Let’s take a short road trip this week over to Andice, a small community a few miles northeast of Liberty Hill. Many Liberty Hill citizens attend Mass in Andice, home of Santa Rosa de Lima Catholic Church, and I’m sure many locals have eaten a hamburger at the small general store that’s […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Liberty Hill is birthplace of legendary rodeo cowboy

By JAMES WEAR Liberty Hill has had its share of talented cowboys during its history, but perhaps none gained more lasting acclaim than William Pickett, believed to have been born on Dec. 5, 1870 near the Jenks Branch community. Pickett, often called either “Bill” or “Will” depending on which historian’s story one is reading, was […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Remembering the pipeline blast of 1999

By JAMES WEAR It was August 10, 1999. President Bill Clinton found himself welcoming Lance Armstrong to the White House in recognition of Armstrong’s first victory in the Tour de France cycling race. Overseas, Vladamir Putin was being installed as acting prime minister in Russia. Around the water cooler in offices across America, many were […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Flowler, Nelson put Liberty Hill on the map in mid-1970s

By JAMES WEAR Both were artists, both used their hands, both wore their hair long and both left an impression on Liberty Hill back in the mid-1970’s that is still being felt to this day, although it could be argued with some conviction that Liberty Hill continues to reap benefits from sculptor Mel Fowler’s legacy […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Liberty Hill has long been a popular live music venue

By JAMES WEAR Ask just about anybody that’s been in the Liberty Hill area for the past 30 or so years what they miss most…and there’s a good chance they’ll tell you they miss the street dances. Often held to raise money for the volunteer fire department, the dances drew huge crowds and, depending on […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Life on the sidelines

By JAMES WEAR Other than playing in a game against Liberty Hill in 1971 when I was a junior high student at Florence, and years later, in the fall of 1978, when I attended a contest between Liberty Hill and Lometa to watch my niece perform at halftime, I never followed Liberty Hill football until […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Recalling the Gabriel Mills bridge dedication

By JAMES WEAR Back in December of 1987, I was among those to attend the dedication of a new bridge crossing the North San Gabriel River at Gabriel Mills, a small community located on CR 236. Among those attending the event were Harold Asher, a widely-known educator who also earned acclaim for his historical research; […]

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Market Days were a winner for Liberty Hill

By JAMES WEAR It’s been many years, but a lot of folks remember Liberty Hill Market Days. Held the first Saturday of each month at Veterans Park downtown, Market Days brought droves of folks to the community as they would browse through the various booths that lined the back of the VFW property. Vendors offered […]