A part of today’s Bruns family became ranchers in west Texas and settled in the Big Bend area. Henry Harrison Powe was a veteran from the Civil War who had participated in four major battles, in one of which he was wounded and lost his right arm. He and many in his unit then became Yankee prisoners of war. Upon release, he returned to Texas and established his ranch near Alpine in the 1870s.
After a spring roundup, Powe became embroiled in an argument with another man named Fine Gilliland over the ownership of a calf. Powe identified and brought the calf’s mother which belonged to him. Gilliland became angered, drew his gun and, as Powe was trying to control his horse and draw his gun, Gilliland shot and killed him in front of a large number of witnesses, and then escaped. There is a report that Gilliland was a gunman hired by some of the other large ranch owners.