THE KID or OLLIE L. ROBERTS
THIS THE GRAVE OF BILLY THE KID?
has claimed that the famous outlaw, Billy the Kid, was buried in that
state. Constantly recurring evidence suggests that Billy the Kid’s
body actually rests under this concrete slab headstone in
. (See Arvord Abernethy’s “Across the Fence” column.) Not quite as
it has been reported, the actual inscription on the slab is “Ollie L.
Roberts, Brushy Bill,
,” Staff Photo.
has been a lot in the news lately about who is buried in Lee Harvey
Oswald’s grave. Maybe around here we should be asking, “Who is
buried in Billy the Kid’s grave 100 years ago”.
was visiting the Willie Helberts the other day and they had just
received a Field and Stream magazine, dated July, 1981, and a clipping
from the Abilene Reporter-News from their son Brad, both articles
about Billy the Kid.
of us who were here before 1950 remember Brushy Bill Roberts who lived
over Hico way, but would often come to
. He was one of those colorful, unforgettable characters with his
handlebar mustache and gray beard. He usually wore a loud plaid shirt
with a red bandana around his neck, topped off with a large white hat.
I remember him, he was always cleanly dressed, but would certainly
remind one of an old prospector as he would lead his heavily laden
donkey up a mountain side looking for gold. Word got around here that he
claimed to be Billy the Kid. Was he?
E. R. Mann, Guns Editor for Field and Stream, wrote the article
about Billy the Kid in that magazine. In 1934 he had written a novel
about the Kid entitled, “Gamblin’ Man”, so became greatly
interested in this character.
years later while Mr. Mann was serving as director of the
New Mexico Press
, a large amount of manuscripts and documents came in to the university
concerning Brushy Bill Robert’s story of being the real Billy the Kid.
material, along with tape recordings with Brushy Bill Roberts, had been
gathered by Dr. C. L. Sonnichsen, a historian, and William V. Morrison,
attorney. Much of the material guided the men to facts never before
known, and to documented records refuting things about the Kid that were
once thought to be facts. This material was all put together in a book
entitled, “Alias Billy the Kid”. There seemed to be some doubt about
the actual death of Billy the Kid, but the material gave some
credibility to Brushy Bill’s story.
90 years of age, Brushy Bill Roberts wanted a pardon from the governor
so he could die in peace, so he went before the governor at
. Due to his age and health, he could not answer the questioning very
well, finally collapsing and having to be carried from the room.
Evidence was not sufficient for a pardon to be granted. Mr. Mann was a
witness at this hearing.
story began over a hundred years ago when two cattle barons of
began feuding, then fighting and they warring against each other to the
extent that the government had to step in. Billy the Kid was drawn into
it and with a quick draw and deadly aim was winner in many of the
fights, one being with a sheriff.
Wallace, Territorial Governor of
, also the writer of “Ben Hur”, asked Pat Garrett, a famous lawman,
to get the Kid, on whom a large reward had been placed. Garrett traced
, N. Mex., and there went to the home of a friend of Billy’s. As
Garrett sat in the house talking to the owner, Mr. Maxwell, a young
fellow came in. Garrett fired twice, then ran out of the house shouting,
“I’ve killed the Kid”.
Bill Roberts said that the fellow killed was a young transient, and he
thought that Pat Garrett wanted to take credit for the killing of the
Kid in order to collect the reward.
took place one hundred years ago, as the tombstone at
reads that he was killed by Pat Garrett on
July 14, 1881
conversation with Jimmy Ramage, principal of the Hico schools, he stated
that he had a copy of the death certificate of Brushy Bill Roberts and
it gives his death as being on
Dec. 27, 1950
, and that he is buried in the
. The grave marker lists the name as Ollie L. “Brushy” Roberts.
the big sign that stands at the edge of
that reads, “Visit the grave of Billy the Kid” be removed and placed
at the edge of
Shared by Roy
ROBERTS, OLLIE L. "BRUSHY BILL" - OBITUARY
BILLY THE KID