Story Behind Camp Billy Gibbons

By E. B.  Henley

In the early 1900's, as a small boy Ed Henley accompanied his family on Sunday school picnics and overnight picnic to a spot where Brady Creek enters the San Saba River.  Incidentally, Ed Henley was a Boy Scout in a troop in Brownwood in 1912.

In the early spring of 1931, the Scout Leaders wanted to establish a more permanent camp than these two earlier councils had (Oil Belt Council and Pecan Valley Council).  They considered three locations - Lake Merritt, Lake Brownwood and Brady Creek at the San Saba River.

How did they know about Brady Creek?  Another person enters the scene.  A fellow whose name was Cliff Pouncey, (who was) an automobile dealer and garage operator in Brownwood.  He was a great outdoorsman who was always looking for good places to camp and hunt and fish.  Mr. Pouncey heard about Brady Creek from visiting with Ed Henley and what a good fishing spot it was. So Cliff Pouncey made a two piece boat tied it on the running board of his model T Ford and in 1925 he went looking for Brady Creek and San Saba River.  Cliff said he met the ranch owner Billy Gibbons who was on horseback asked him if he could go fishing on his land.  Billy Gibbons said "yes" and Cliff said he even opened the fence gate for him.

Cliff put together his two piece boat and put out a trotline just where Brady Creek flows into the San Saba.  There was about an 8-ft drop there, it now filled with silt and rock.  He started baiting his trout line and before he could finish his line was jerking and jerking.  He went back to take off the fish; used all his bait, went back to camp to see what else he could find to use for bait.  He found some cheese and soap, cut them up and the fish continued to bite.  And the fish continued to bite when the cheese and soap were gone.  This was the time when shiny hooks first were on the market and the fish were biting at these shiny hooks.  He caught about 200 fish and before he left he took a dishpan of dressed fish up to Billy Gibbons.

Billy Gibbons said to Cliff "Everyone wants to fish on my land but you're the only one that brings me fish."

Cliff continued to fish at this location and liked Brady Creek so much he asked Billy Gibbons if there was a place where he could set up a camping spot for his family.  Billy Gibbons said sure find a spot and build a cabin.  Cliff didn't want a cabin just a spot to improve a little for tent camping.  He picked out a place called "Blue Hole' and built a fireplace and cleared a spot for a tent.  The rock fireplace is still there just behind Ralph Evan's tent.

Cliff Pouncey was a Scout Leader in 1931 and when the Scout Leaders were looking for a spot for a Boy Scout camp he recommended Brady Creek.  It was selected and in May 1931 the council executive board selected that site and asked Cliff Pouncey to be their camp director.  He recruited some people to help including O. W. Winebrenner and others.

The Scouts camped there for the next years.  In 1933, Billy Gibbons died and his children two boys and a girl had control of the land.

In 1946, misunderstanding, pecan trees bulldozed down - Scout officials upset - cash settlement - son John Gibbons said pick a new site and I'll give you a deed to the land.

Blue Hole area selected and this camp built and first camp held in 1947. Cliff Pouncey's Good Turn.

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