Billy the Kid Probably Never Slept Here: Texas’s Not-Dead Outlaw Legends

Kristina Downs (Tarleton State University)

In Hico, Texas, a local legend states that a resident named Ollie P. “Brushy Bill” Roberts who died in 1950 was actually the famed outlaw Billy the Kid, having faked his death, assumed a false name, and lived the rest of his life in Texas. The nearby town of Granbury has similar local legends surrounding presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth and the outlaw Jesse James. This paper will look at the ways these legends are commemorated and consider their role in tourism. I will also consider the similarities between the legends within the broader frame of outlaw legends.

Part of 08-13 Legendary Personalities, Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm