There are two legends behind the naming of the pass. We are uncertain as to which is actual legend.
The Dead Man's Creek Legend
The creek was named for a traveling peddler who was robbed and killed by outlaws in a pass on the stream in the 1880s. Reportedly, the outlaws openly sold the stolen cloth and kitchenware to workers building the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway.
The Legend of the Dead Man's Canyon
The canyon was named for several skeletons, the remains of apparent victims of Indian attacks that were found there by early settlers about 1870. Either way, this pass has become a part of Texas history and is in the process of becoming a historical site.