Outlaw Sam Bass (1851-1878), the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and a Republic of Texas Supreme Court Justice nicknamed “Three Legged Willie” all have one common factor: Williamson County, Texas.
Sam Bass was planning to rob Williamson County Bank in 1878, but he and his gang were spotted by the deputy sheriff and a shootout ensued. Bass was shot and killed and is buried in Round Rock. The original headstone is on display at the Round Rock Public Library, and his grave is marked with a replacement headstone.
While the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a work of fiction, the filming of the 1974 cult classic occurred at a crumbling farmhouse built in 1901 that was later moved and restored. Today, it is a hotel in Kingsland, Texas.
Robert McAlpin Williamson, for whom the county was named, suffered a childhood illness that left one leg bent at a 90-degree angle. He used a wooden leg extension and earned the nickname, “Three Legged Willie.”
Located north of Austin, Williamson County is considered part of the Austin metro area. The county seat of this unique and colorful county is Georgetown which, among other things, is home to Southwestern University, the oldest university in Texas. Georgetown is also home to Sun City Texas, a vast retirement community. Every spring, Georgetown blooms into a sea of red – red poppies are so plentiful, the city holds a Red Poppy Festival every April.
Other communities in Williamson County include Weir, Taylor, Thrall, Liberty Hill, Granger, Jarrell, Leander, Cedar Park, Bartlett, and Florence.