HISTORY OF THE BRYSON STAGECOACH STOP
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THE BRYSON STAGECOACH STOP (1853)
Soon after John and Amelia Bryson and their family settled in at their new log homestead in the settlement that would become Liberty Hill, the military stage coach line from Austin would stop at their spring to water their horses. As John and the stagecoach driver talked about the need for a stop in Liberty Hill, John Bryson accepted the challenge and a new stage coach stop was born.
To provide the extra water required by the stagecoach relay
teams, the Brysons, with the help of their slaves,
constructed two additional wells near their log barn.
STAGECOACH MAKING A STOP AT THE BRYSON PLACE
IN THE 1850's.
Other preparations included laying in extra food supplies and
making bedding arrangements for the passengers. Separate
sleeping quarters were provided for the men and women. The
men bedding down in the enclosed dogtrot area and the women's
sleeping quarters were provided in one of the large front
rooms. An extra wash stand was installed in the dogtrot for
use by the guests.
Each approach of the stagecoach was marked by the sounding of
a horn and the subsequent barking of the dogs and honking of
The coming of the Liberty Hill stagecoach was always an exciting event for
the Bryson family. The minute the stage pulled up to a halt
in the front yard, Goodson would help his dad to unharness
the team and feed, water and groom the weary horses who had
just completed a 10 mile run under a heavy load.
Meanwhile, Amelia would greet the passengers and driver with
a pitcher of cool water from the spring. For the price of
one dollar, each passenger would be furnished two meals and a
bed for the night.
Passengers who had previously traveled the western route
looked forward to their stop in Liberty Hill as Amelia had
established a reputation as a charming hostess and excellent
cook. Assisted by her older daughter, Mahulda, she would set
a dinner table with such delights as corn on the cob, fresh
vegetables (or canned vegetables out of season) served with churned butter and oven-hot bread,
fresh milk, smoked hams and sausages, fried chicken and
gravy, cornbread and a selection of pastries from the oven. How different this was from some of the other frontier stage
stops where a cold meal of aging vegetables and tough meat
was often the best that could be expected.
After supper, bed rolls were prepared for the passengers and
everyone retired to the front porch to exchange tales about
their travels and get caught up on the latest news from the
east. Often, one of the guests would perform feats of magic
or card tricks or some of the men would get a poker game
At daybreak the next morning, the passengers would be
awakened by the aroma of sizzling sausage and bacon.
Breakfast included hot biscuits and churned butter, bacon and
sausage, hash brown potatoes, fresh spring chilled milk, hot
coffee and jellies and jams.
Soon it would be time to hitch up a fresh team of horses and
prepare for the day's long journey. After the last passenger
had boarded and the driver and shotgun rider were in place,
the stage would take off leaving behind a cloud of dust.
Things around the Bryson place would then return to normal
until it was time to prepare for the arrival of the next
Famous Guests at the Bryson StageCoach Stop in Liberty Hill
Over the 40 year period of time that the Bryson Stage Stop
was in service, hundreds of guests were welcomed at the old Liberty Hill
pioneer home. Many of the visitors at the Bryson home were
army officers and their wives travelling to and from the army
outposts on the western frontier, others were visitors from
the east journeying out to visit friends and relatives or
veterans returning home from the Civil War or military
service in other parts of the country.
Some of the more famous army officers that are said to have
been guests at the Bryson Stage Stop included Sam Bass outlaw gang,army officers,
Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, General George Custer, General Sam Houston (former commander of the Texas Revolutionary Army) and several other less known military officers. Lee and Davis
initially came to Texas during the war with Mexico. Lee
returned to Texas in 1856 and 1857 as commander of the Second
Dragoons, a crack military group that fought the Comanches
along the western frontier.
Jefferson Davis returned to Texas as escort for camels being
sent to Camp Verde near present day Kerrville. However, the
camel experiment proved to be a total disaster and the camels
were eventually turned loose to roam west Texas and New
Another guest at the Bryson Stagecoach Stop was General
George A. Custer who was summoned to Austin in 1866 by Texas
Governor Hamilton to help put down the "rebellious
Texans" at the end of the Civil War.
Custer later met his fate at the hands of the Cheyenne and
Sioux on the banks of the Little Big Horn in Montana.
Perhaps the most memorable guest at the Bryson stagecoach
stop was General Sam Houston, the first elected President of
the Republic of Texas and the first Governor of the state of
Texas. The occasion for Sam's visit was his campaign to keep
Texas in the Union in 1861. Sam criss-crossed the state making
pro-union speeches but all for naught as Texas joined with
the other Confederate states and seceded from the union.
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