Friday, March 9, 2012

The Legend of Bigfoot Wallace

William Alexander Anderson "Bigfoot" Wallace is the most famous frontiersman and Texas Ranger in the history of the Lone Star State. He was born April 3, 1817 in the tiny hamlet of Lexington, Virginia. It's said that his ancestry included kinship to Sir William Wallace, the leader of the Scottish Army in the war against the land-grabbing King Edward I of England.

He arrived in Texas at a time when the emerging Republic desperately needed men of his caliber to settle the wild and hostile land. Within 3 years, he had gained a reputation as an Indian fighter, Ranger, and frontier scout. His name was a household word throughout the great state and that's saying alot considering that the names of Davey Crockett, Sam Houston, Jim Bowie and such still rang in the ears of many Texans. His main reason for going to Texas was to avenge his brother's & cousin's death at the Massacre at Goliad. But, he stayed to help build Texas; first, the Republic and then the State.

Wallace fought in the Battle of Plum Creek in 1840, and joined the defense of Texas when Mexico invaded in 1842. Later that year, he volunteered for the retailatory Somervell Raid across the Rio Grande River, and subsequently joined the Mier Expedition organized to penetrate further into Mexico. Wallace survived the Black Bean executions that followed the capture of the Mier participants, and was imprisoned at Perote Prison east of Mexico City. After his release, he joined other Texans in the Mexican-American War. In the 1850s, he commanded a company of Texas Rangers fighting border bandits and Indians on the frontier.

He preferred water and buttermilk instead of whiskey. And, he never told the same story twice (like any good Texan story-teller).

The Big Foot Wallace museum is located in Bigfoot, Texas. The museum is dedicated to the man, the myth and the legend, which has replicas of his log-cabin home and Texas Independence Hall (where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, for you non-Texans). The museum also houses artifacts related to Wallace.

Bigfoot, Texas was established in 1865 and is located at the intersection of FM 462 and FM 472 just south of Devine, Texas, a 25-minute drive from San Antonio. The historic "Tree" in the middle of road FM 472, is the unique landmark at the center of Bigfoot.

Here's a link for further information: William Bigfoot Wallace, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

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