Today in Texas History – July 19

From the Annals of the Minor Outlaws – In 1878, Sam Bass was shot when his gang was scouting Round Rock for a planned robbery of the Williamson County Bank.  He was surprised by Texas Rangers who had been tipped off about the robbery by gang member Jim Murphy.   One story has it that the Rangers were holding Murphy’s father – who was ill and being denied treatment. Another claims that Murphy betrayed Bass for the reward money.  When Bass came into town, he was approached by Williamson County Deputy Sheriff A.W. Grimes who asked the gang to surrender their guns.  Grimes was shot and killed.  As Bass attempted to escape he was shot by Texas Ranger George Herold and then by Ranger Sergeant Richard Ware.  The next day Bass was found propped up against a tree and brought back to Round Rock.  He died two days later on his 27th birthday. In Texas, Bass was a largely unsuccessful criminal never making a big score but caused a great deal of panic and earned notoriety.  He had previously worked in a sawmill, as a cowboy, and as a freighter.   Legend has it that after squandering money earned on a trail drive, he recruited a gang and began robbing stagecoaches and railroads.

Round Rock now celebrates Sam Bass days and

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