Hico, Texas

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Hico (pronounced "high-coe") is a small city located in Hamilton County in Northern Central Texas. The population was 1,341 at the 2000 census. The town motto is "Where Everybody Is Somebody!" The county seat is Hamilton some twenty miles to the south on United States Highway 281.

Hico was named by its founder for his unincorporated hometown in Calloway County in southwestern Kentucky near Murray, just north of the Tennessee state boundary. The original site was on Honey Creek, but when the Texas Central Railroad was built nearby, the citizens moved two-and-a half miles to the rail line. Hico was incorporated in 1883 and became the Hamilton County shipping center. Over the years, it became a cattle and cotton market. Today ranching and tourism dominate.[3]

In 1903, Kentucky-based evangelist Mordecai Ham held the first of his seventy-five Texas revival meetings in Hico. There were 150 professions of faith in Jesus Christ.[4]


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"Brushy Bill" Roberts and Billy the Kid

Ollie P. Roberts, usually known as Ollie L. Roberts, "Brushy Bill" Roberts, or William Henry Roberts, a resident of Hico during the late 1940s, claimed to have been the outlaw Billy The Kid. Although his assertion has been largely discredited by historians, the Hico Chamber of Commerce has capitalized on his infamy by opening a small Billy The Kid Museum, where visitors can decide whether Brushy Bill was indeed William H. Bonney. Bonney was born in New York City, but Brushy Bill claimed to have been born in Buffalo Gap south of Abilene, Texas. The museum offers a taped video presentation of Sam Donaldson, a native Texan, narrating an ABC documentary about Brushy Bill's claim. There is also a replica of a 19th century jail in the museum and other artifacts of the period.[3]

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