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OSBORN, CLAIBORN (1826–1899). Claiborn Osborn, early Central Texas pioneer, was born on April 6, 1826, near Matagorda, Texas, the son of Leah (Stark) and Benjamin Osborn. After his parents' deaths in 1829, his older brother, John Lyle Osborn, built a log house for his orphaned brothers and sisters on the Osborn headright land on Wilbarger Creek in Bastrop County. In 1840 the fourteen-year-old Claiborn accompanied John and others on a buffalo hunt in what is now Williamson County. Near Rice's Crossing on Brushy Creek, Claiborn and a companion were attacked by Indians, and Claiborn was severely wounded, scalped, and left for dead. He was rescued and taken to the W. F. Wells home, where Mrs. Wells and her mother applied a mixture of soot and cobwebs to stop the flow of blood, then applied flax to his scalped head. Osborn was taken to Noah Smithwick's home at Webber's Prairie and then to his sister's home at Hamilton Fort. He recovered and in 1854 married Almira Jane Leverett; the couple had ten children. They tried living near Llano, but conflicts with Indians forced them back to the Osborn homestead in Bastrop County. There Osborn built a small Methodist church, Osborn's Chapel. He and his family were strong supporters of the annual camp meeting at the old Colorado Chapel, a few miles south of Webberville on the Colorado River. He died on March 8, 1899, and was buried in the old Manor cemetery in the hills above Webberville.


John Holland Jenkins, Recollections of Early Texas, ed. John H. Jenkins III (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958; rpt. 1973). Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970). J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin: Hutchings, 1889; rpt., Austin: State House, 1985).

Verna J. McKenna


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Verna J. McKenna, "OSBORN, CLAIBORN," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.