As part of a weekend of remembrance and fun in commemoration of Veteran’s Day, a Tolling of the Bells will be held in the Blanco Historic Cemetery on Saturday, November 12.
Blanco was settled by Texas Rangers who had passed through the area while on missions. Captain James Hughes Callahan, who stopped in the area in 1835 while chasing Comanches and Mexican bandits, returned in 1853 with friend Eli Hinds to build log cabins. William Trainer came to raise horses and cattle. In addition, they raised hearty families.
In 1854, area pioneers came together, chartered the Pittsburg Land Company, and formed the town of Pittsburg. John D. Pitts, Callahan, Judge William S. Jones, Andrew Lindsey, and F.W. Chandler laid out the town, across the Blanco River from present day Blanco.
After returning from pursuing hostile Indians into Mexico in 1855, Callahan got into a dispute with Woodson Blasingame and son. Callahan and William Maulheel Johnson were murdered outside the Blasingame cabin, and Eli Hinds severely injured.
Callahan was laid to rest on his property, on the land that then became the Blanco Cemetery.
Years passed. In 1858, the city of Blanco was formed as the county seat for the new county. The courthouse was built in 1885. In 1891, after two hotly contested elections over which people are still simmering, the county seat moved to Johnson City.
Through the years, other war veterans, from the Texas Revolution to present day, were interred next to their family members. John McCoy, Sr., who fired the cannon at Gonzales, Ben Z. Boone, a survivor of the Mier Expedition was buried with his white bean in hand; Jesse L. McCrocklin, a courier for Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto and later a Confederate Colonel.
On Saturday, November 12, at 1pm, following the posting of colors by the Highland Lakes Color Guard, a Tolling of the Bells will be held for veterans in the cemetery. 347 names will be read, beginning with John Asa McCrocklin and Michael Hill, both Indian fighters.