How did Bret get to
White Rock, Texas?
The Maverick Canon is unclear as to Bret Maverick's whereabouts for much of 1872. We know that he and Brother Bart were in Colorado Territory in August of 1871, when they were still unable to travel to Texas. At that time, they had not yet tracked down the Tall Man, who could clear them of the murder charges hanging over them in Texas since 1867. Sometime before the events of "Ghost Rider" in May of 1872, their search for the Tall Man must have been resolved, since by then, Bret was traveling in Texas without a care (at least as far as being captured for murder).
The town of Gunsight was only a hundred miles north of Bret's hometown of Little Bend. Perhaps with the murder charges against him recently lifted, he was on his way back home for a visit. Or perhaps he had just come from Little Bend where he had to return to clear up the matter in person. Either way, it was obvious by 1872 that he had no intention of settling down there to raise cattle, as he and Bart had once meant to do in the years following the Civil War. If Little Bend was his destination, he didn't make it. After the Kid robbed him of $3,000 in a Gunsight alley, he tracked the Kid eastward for more than two weeks.
WHITE ROCK, TEXAS
• White Rock, Hill County was nothing but a post office established in a settler's home in 1852, named so for being situated on White Rock Creek. The post office name was changed to Jackson in 1868 to differentiate it from the many other White Rocks in Texas. However, it remained as White Rock on maps into the late 1870s and could easily have diverted Bret from the Kid's true trail.
• White Rock, Robertson County began settlement in 1870, but it was not until 1873 that a schoolhouse was built, a year too late for the citizen's meeting to be held "with the shades drawn" for 1872's "Ghost Rider."
• White Rock, Red River County was settled by John Stiles and named White Rock for an identifiable white rock in the area. More of a collection of farms than an actual town, it may have been another diversion along Bret's trail.
• White Rock, Fannin County was settled in 1871, only a year before the events of "Ghost Rider." Hardly enough time for Mary Shane to have moved into the an established community "not more than a year" before June of 1872. One of the earliest structures was its Baptist church, a large log building that also served as a schoolhouse adjacent to the town cemetery. Since the cemetery depicted in "Ghost Rider" was along a lonely road several miles outside of town with no nearby buildings, this White Rock is unlikely.
• White Rock, Hunt County was settled in the early 1850s as Tidwell Creek, the town changed its name in 1868 when it gained a post office. By the summer of 1871, when Mary Shane would have moved into Mrs. Clemmer's boarding house, the town was well-established. The cemetery (then called Hogeye Cemetery, now Celeste Cemetery) was about three miles northwest of town along a remote road with no creek or other obstruction over which to have a bridge. There was also a small, wooded canyon about two and a half miles west of town where a small rock slide could have covered over the Wells Fargo money Mary Shane buried. It is here in Hunt County that we can place the White Rock of "Ghost Rider" with confidence.
Bret stayed in White Rock long enough to collect the reward for recovering the stolen Wells Fargo money. Beyond that, we have no indication where he may have traveled next. Perhaps with the murder charges against him in his home state recently lifted, he caught up on some lost time exploring the poker tables of Texas.
01. Maverick, Trail West to Fury (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. Maverick, Ghost Rider (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
03. Texas State Historical Association: A Digital Gateway to Texas History, Brandon, Texas (retrieved August 12, 2014)
04. Texas State Historical Association: A Digital Gateway to Texas History, White Rock, Texas (Robertson County), (retrieved August 12, 2014)
05. Texas State Historical Association: A Digital Gateway to Texas History, White Rock, Texas (Red River County), (retrieved August 12, 2014)
06. Texas State Historical Association: A Digital Gateway to Texas History, White Rock, Texas (Fannin County), (retrieved August 12, 2014)
07. Texas State Historical Association: A Digital Gateway to Texas History, White Rock, Texas (Hunt County), (retrieved August 12, 2014)
08. Maverick Trails, The Conjectural Maverick
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