San Saba County Historical Commission

Historical Markers

Old Methodist Camp Meeting Grounds

On CR 432 off of FM 501, 3 miles west of Bend, Texas


"Established in August 1858 by settlers who came armed against possible Indian attack. Preacher hung gun in tree, within reach; guard was posted around congregation's horses, to prevent theft by Indians. However, no attack was ever reported here, though many terrible Indian depredations occurred nearby. Preacher in 1858 was a circuit rider, Rev. Tunnell. Jim Clark family came 10 miles in ox-drawn farm sled to first campmeeting. Charter members included families of Ezekiel Boyett, Fielding Dawson, Nay Gorman, John and Joab Harrell, Sr., Charles Harris, S. A. Houston, Dave Hillin, George Keeney, Dick Kolb, Milton Low, Bart Lucas, McCrea, David Matsler, Jim Means, W. W. Millican, Henry Ripple, Harmon Smelser, Tom Smith, Tom and Yancy Tate and Jim Ware. Coming between summer farm and ranch work and the autumn harvest, campmeeting was yearly season for spiritual and social enjoyment. Many marriages followed courtships that began here. Mrs. David Matsler donated original campsite. Mrs. E. E. West and R. H. Walton gave additional acreage. Lots were held by families--some for 6 generations. Present tabernacle is replacement for arbors made of brush and renewed year after year by settlers.”