Postcard from Baby Head, Texas

Texas Historical marker at Baby Head Cemetery
Sometime between the late 1850's and 1873 (no written historical records have been found giving the exact date), Mary Elizabeth, a 10-year-old white girl, was kidnapped from her parent's cabin in the sparsely settled Texas county of Llano. By riding several miles to other local ranchers, the alarm was raised and a half-dozen men were formed into a search party. Shortly after meeting at the missing girl's home to begin their rescue attempt, an Indian pipe was discovered. The poor unfortunate child must have been taken by a raiding party of the same Comanches who had recently been stealing horses and committing other depredations in the area.

The next afternoon thinking the Indians were long gone, the men were about to give up the mission when they crested a high hill and came upon a most grizzly discovery. In the forks of a large mesquite tree they found the tortured, dismembered body of Mary Elizabeth still wearing the muslin dress her mother had made. Nearby, at the very top of the hill, they found her severed head impaled on a stick that had been stuck in the ground. Wishing to spare the women, especially the mother, from the gruesome manner in which the child had died, the men buried the body nearby in a hastily dug grave marked only by a crude cross made from sticks. Mary Elizabeth's parents soon moved away and time erased all traces of the little girl's grave.

Grave of J. Willbern who
died in 1887 at age 27.
The local people began calling the small mountain Babyhead Mountain in honor of the child who suffered such a terrible death. A creek which flowed nearby was also called Babyhead. As more people settled in the area, a community was established with several stores, a community meeting house and a school. A post office was granted in 1879 under the name of Baby Head and in 1884, the Baby Head cemetery was established when a young boy who had died of an illness on New Year's Day was buried. The community of Baby Head became the site of an election and justice court precinct, but with better and more job opportunities in bigger towns, people began to move away and the post office was closed in 1918. Within a few years, every business moved away or closed and Baby Head became a ghost town.

Today, the quiet little cemetery located on State Highway 16 is the only physical remnant of the community and the grave of a little angel remains unfound and undisturbed.

Margaret Calley - died in 1888 at age 22.
"Husband and children; I must leave you,

leave you all alone; My blessed Savior 
calls me;  Calls me to a heavenly home"

Lelah Bell Frazier, died in 1897 4 days shy
of her 4th birthday. "A precious one from us is
gone;A voice we loved is stilled;A place is
vacant in our home; Which never can be filled"