Honest Eph LbNA # 39455 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||May 1 2008|
|Location||Round Rock, TX|
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sam Bass (21 July 1851–21 July 1878) was a nineteenth-century American train robber and western icon.
The outlaw character that was to emerge was completely out of character for Sam. While in the employ of Sheriff Egan, he often took care of Egan's children, and would haul ice from Dallas to Denton regularly for the Sheriff. On one such trip, Sheriff Egan gave Sam enough money to make the trip to Dallas for ice and to stay the night in a hotel, with money the Sheriff had given him. Sam would get up early enough in the morning to make the ice haul in one day, so as to save the money, and return the unspent money to Egan. For this and other similar actions he earned the nickname in Denton (at this time) of "Honest Eph" for Ephesians in the bible. This contrast in character, a character not out of line with what his siblings remembered of him back on the homestead in Indiana, led his sister to place the phrase, "A brave man reposes in death here, oh why was he not true?" on his original grave
After failing in a series of legitimate enterprises, Bass turned to crime, and robbed the Union Pacific gold train from San Francisco on September 18, 1877, looting $60,000, to this day the largest single robbery of the Union Pacific. After a string of robberies in 1877 and 1878, including the first train robbery in Texas history. He died from his wounds on July 21, 1878, his 27th birthday.
The well publicized and unsuccessful law enforcement pursuit of Bass and his gang following their $60,000 take on the Union Pacific train robbery was the event that brought him to the attention of the public and what captured their imagination. That single event, and his evading capture afterwards, led to Bass reaching the status of legend.
Sam Bass was buried in Round Rock, not far from where he died. A few years after his death, his sister provided a tombstone which read "A brave man reposes in death here. Why was he not true?" Damaged beyond repair by souvenir hunters, the stone was replaced by a large granite replica provided by the "Sam Bass Centennial Commission." His original headstone can be found on display at the Round Rock Public Library.
In Round Rock, Texas take I35 to Sam Bass Road head west - You'll cross over Chisolm Trail and as in all good Texas directions you will cross a set of railroad tracks. Continue on Sam Bass Rd. heading west until you reach the Round Rock Cemetary on your right. Pull into the cementary and head for the marker. Park to the right under the shade of a large tree. Walk to the marker and read about the history of this "Old Round Rock". In the far back of the cemetery is the site of A.W. Grimes, a famous Texas Ranger who died in a gun fight with the Sam Bass gang. Follow the directions on the marker to the location of the Slave Cemetary and just in front of it you will see the "tombstone" of Sam Bass and one of his sidekicks - Seaborn Barnes, you'll see a place to tie up your colt. Stand so that your face will feel the morning sun and you'll see a gravel path to your right. Follow this road around the bend towards the road in which you arrived until you find a stone on your left with its twin on your right. Stand between these two and look up the hill on your left to the large oak tree in the center. Go to the tree and rest in it's shade. Read the marker that says "'Tis hard, so hard to speak the words, Must we forever part" - to this reply yes but not until you get to the box. While leaning against the oak, glance back to where you've parked. Inbetween this tree and your car is a row of bushes with two tall smooth trees rising out of them. The box lies just under the border of the curb away from Sam Houston. Replant well. As with all cemeteries please show respect to the many who rest here.