William Henry Roberts grave.

Grave of Brushy Bill, or maybe Billy the Kid

Field review by the editors.

Hamilton, Texas

There are two graves in New Mexico that say Billy the Kid was shot dead there in 1881 -- and one in Texas that says he wasn't. The Texas grave belongs to William "Brushy Bill" Roberts, who waited until 1950 to confess that he was the Kid, when he was 90. Brushy Bill's distinctive eye color and multiple scars were reportedly perfect matches for the Kid. He traveled to New Mexico to ask for a pardon from the governor, was rejected, then less than a month later collapsed and died while walking to a post office. Some say that Bill, who was remarkably fit for his age, died of disappointment.

Brushy Bill was buried in Hamilton's Oak Wood Cemetery. For decades he languished beneath an obscure tombstone. Then in the early 2000s, a new, bigger marker appeared on his grave, identifying him as both William Henry Roberts and Billy the Kid. And then, in 2005, an arch even bigger than the headstone, inscribed simply "Billy the Kid," was erected over the grave. Public sentiment in Texas clearly is shifting toward Billy the Kid, and we look forward to future museums, outdoor pageants, animatronic statues, etc. as the rivalry with New Mexico heats up like a Texas summer.

Also see: Billy the Kid: Baddest Punk in the West

Grave of Brushy Bill, or maybe Billy the Kid

Oak Wood Cemetery

Address:
N. Rice St., Hamilton, TX
Directions:
Just north of town in Oak Wood Cemetery. On the east side of US 281/N. Rice St./American Legion Memorial Hwy. The grave is on the south side of the cemetery, with a granite arch over the tombstone inscribed "Billy the Kid." Visible from the road.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Giant Metal SpurGiant Metal Spur, Hico, TX - 19 mi.
Billy the Kid Died HereBilly the Kid Died Here, Hico, TX - 19 mi.
Billy the Kid MuseumBilly the Kid Museum, Hico, TX - 19 mi.
In the region:
Big Railroad Spike, Brownwood, TX - 51 mi.

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