While trapping in the Rocky Mountains in 1827 Thomas L. Smith was shot in the lower left leg by Indians. Escaping he took his knife and cut off the useless part, surviving this, he carved a peg of oak, strapped it on and was thereafter called, "Pegleg Smith." Going to California in 1829 he picked up some heavy stones, later found them to be gold and never found the spot again, this is known as "The Lost Pegleg Gold." he and others found that the horse herds in the Tulare Valley could be had for the taking. The Spanish called them thieves, but did not pursue them into the Sierras, so "El Cojo", which means "The Lame Man" in Spanish and his associates raided the ranchos and Missions and took thousands of horses and mules. East of here a small stream running into White River is known as "Cojo Gulch." The upper end is where he kept horses before driving them to his markets in the Rocky Mountains and Missouri, thus becoming the most successful horse thief in western history. He died at Sixty-Four years of age in San Francisco in 1865.