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Born Robert Clay Allison , known as "Clay", September 2, 1840, the fourth of nine children, to Jeremiah Scotland Allison and Mariah R. Allison. His father, a Presbyterian minister, also worked in the cattle and sheep business and died when Clay was only five. Clay was said to have been restless from birth, and as he grew into manhood, he became feared for his wild mood swings and quick temperament.
After returning home from the war, he was involved in several confrontations before he left Tennessee for Texas. One report was that when a Union officer, a member of the 3rd Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, arrived on the family farm with intentions of seizing it, Clay retrieved a gun from the house and killed the officer. Following this, Allison, his brothers Monroe and John, sister Mary and her husband Lewis Coleman, moved across the Brazos River in Texas to settle.
Allison had a reputation as being a dangerous man around the Western Plains by the end of 1873.
From 1880 to 1883, Clay Allison ranched with his two brothers, John William and Jeremiah Monroe, 12 miles northeast of the town of Mobeetie, at the junction of the Washita River and Gageby Creek, in what was then Wheeler County, Texas, and present day Hemphill County, Texas. One day Clay Allison rode through Mobeetie drunk and naked.
On July 3, 1887, Allison was hauling a load of supplies when the load shifted and a sack of grain fell from the wagon. Trying to catch it, Allison fell from the wagon, and the wheel rolled over him. He broke his neck and quickly died. He was buried the next day at Pecos Cemetery in Pecos, Texas, and it is said that hundreds attended his funeral.
In a special ceremony held on August 28, 1975, the remains of Clay Allison were re-interred at Pecos Park, just west of the Pecos Museum.
His military grave marker is inscribed:
ROBERT C ALLISON
CO F9th TENN CAV
SEP 2 1840
JUL 3 1887
A second marker was added at the foot of the grave later reading: "He never killed a man that did not need killing".
Allison was 47 years old when he died, and yet he was portrayed as an old man in the "Full House" episode of 'Maverick'. As with Sam Bass, this is another example which supports my theory that this gathering of outlaws in Bubbly Springs, Colorado, were nothing more than escaped mental patients from some nearby asylum.
"Bubbly Springs" does have a ring to it for the name of an asylum.....