Bosque County Historical Markers and Designations

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Official State Historical Markers (Subject Markers)

The most visible program of the Texas Historical Commission seen along the roads of Texas, historical markers commemorate diverse topics — from the history and architecture of houses, commercial and public buildings, religious congregations and events that changed the course of local and state history, to individuals who have made lasting contributions to our state, community organizations and businesses, military sites, and many more. Subject markers are solely educational and reveal aspects of local history that are important to a community or region. A subject marker is placed at a site that has a historical association with the topic, but no restriction is placed on the use of the property or site. No legal designation is required for a subject marker.

THC Atlas Number Marker
Marker Text Marker
5035000463 Bosque County 1936  

Named for the Bosque (Spanish for "Woods") River. The territory now part of this county was traversed in 1841 by the Texan-Santa Fe Expedition. Maj. George B. Erath, noted surveyor and soldier, explored the region prior to its settlement. The first colonists established homes in 1850-51. Among the national groups who immigrated here were the English (at Kent), Norwegians (at Norse and elsewhere), and the Germans (in eastern part of county). Formally created and organized in 1854, Bosque county has traditionally had farming-ranching economy. The Chisholm cattle trail crossed the area in the 1870s.

Erected by the State of Texas - 1973
in Meridian, near the intersection of SH22 and SH6 31.91563°


5035000464 Bosque County Courthouse 1965 RTHL

Limestone quarried from nearby hills. Gothic styling. Clock tower modified, 1935, to strengthen roof. Unique iron stairs and railing remain. County's fourth courthouse. First, in 1854, was one-room log cabin.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.
in Meridian, on courthouse square at the corner of SH22 and FM144 31.92285°


5035000481 Boyhood Home of John A. Lomax 1970  

Only a log kitchen now marks the homesite of John Lomax, one of the foremost collectors of American folksongs. Here, on part of the Chisholm Trail, young Lomax heard cowboys crooning and yodeling to restless herds; Negro servants taught him jig tunes, chants, work songs, and calls; and on winter nights his family sang songs and swapped stories around a blazing fire. Lomax began to write down this music while still a boy; and when he left Bosque County at age 20, he carried with him a roll of cowboy ballads -- the nucleus of his lifelong work.

from Meridian, take SH 144 north about one mile to marker in picnic area 31.94832°


5035000717 Captain J. J. Cureton, C.S.A. 1964  

(1826-1881) Indian fighter, lawman and rancher. Settled on the Palo Pinto County frontier, 1854. Led neighbors in defending homes during Indian raids. In 1860 helped rescue Cynthia Ann Parker, who had been taken 24 years before by Comanches. Captain in frontier troops during Civil War, defending northwest Texas from Indians and northern invasion. Camp Cureton, Archer County C.S.A. outpost, was named for him. Sheriff of Bosque County, 1876-80. Grave is on Flat Top Ranch, near here.

in Walnut Springs, on the south side of town off of SH 144; located in Walnut Springs Park 32.05477°


5000022477 Cayote Community 2019  

Located near Childress Creek, the Cayote Community grew around a grocery store, later known as Cayote Store, established about 1866. The store supplied settlers and drovers herding cattle to markets. In 1879, the store applied for a post office under the name Evans Cross Roads; however, inexplicably the name was changed to Cayote, likely a misspelling of the animal. By the 1880s, prairie settlements increased and the town grew with a school (1884), church (1880s) cotton gin, blacksmith shop and community building. The town thrived until the 1960s when several businesses closed. Today, all that remains of this small rural community is the Methodist church and community building.

location unrecorded 31.76909°


5035000775 Cedron Cemetery and School 1990  

Settlement of northeastern Bosque County began in the 1850s, as people traveling west through the area were attracted to the fertile lands along Cedron Creek. Among the first community projects of the new neighbors was the construction of a school building. A one-room cedar structure, it was also used for church and social gatherings. The original schoolhouse was replaced in the 1930s by a newer frame structure. Like its predecessor, it also served as a church and community center. The school was consolidated with other area schools in 1938, and the building later was dismantled. A community cemetery (about one-half miles west) was established on land adjacent to the school building. Although there may have been earlier, undocumented burials, the oldest marked grave is that of school teacher J. T. Hungerford (1844-1880), the apparent victim of tuberculosis. A few days after Hungerford's death, another community resident, Susan J. Arnold (1845-1880) was also buried in the graveyard. Since that time many area citizens have been interred there. Few residents remain in the Cedron vicinity. The cemetery and school building foundation are the last visible reminders of a once-thriving rural community.

from Morgan, take FM927 about 7.2 miles east to Lakeside Village; take FM 56 about 5.2 miles south to marker 31.95794°


5035000836 Chisholm Trail, Kimball Crossing 1963  

Kimball, one of the first towns in Bosque County, was established at this site in the early 1850s. One of the westward wagon routes forded the river at this crossing until a ferry was built in 1865. The famous Chisholm Trail made its major crossing of the Brazos here. During the 1870s tens of thousands of Texas longhorn cattle forded the river and were driven to northern markets. Building of barbed wire fences and railroads in the 1880s caused abandonment of the Chisholm Trail. Kimball, with no railroad and loss of the cattle trail, became a ghost town by the middle 1900s.

from Morgan, take SH 174 about 10 miles east to marker; located in Kimball Bend Park 32.12288°


5035000917 Cleng Peerson 1975  

(May 17, 1782-Dec. 16, 1865) Called the "Father of Norwegian Immigration to America", Cleng Peerson migrated to the United States from his native Norway in 1821. He traveled extensively and encouraged his countrymen to settle on land he selected in the east and midwest. Coming to Texas in 1849, Peerson discovered Norwegian families living near Dallas and located sites where others might move. In 1853 he led a group to Bosque County, beginning the large Norwegian settlement in this area. Peerson lived on the O. Colwick farm (.5 miles south) until his death. He is buried in the church cemetery at Norse.

from FM219 and SH6 in Clifton, take SH219 west about 8.5 miles to marker, on south (left) side of highway 31.72825°


5035000919 Clifton College Administration Building 1982 RTHL

Constructed in 1923 as the administration building for the Lutheran College of Clifton, this structure served students and faculty until 1954, when the school merged with Texas Lutheran College in Seguin. The building was sold in 1954 and housed the Gearench Manufacturing Company for 27 years. Featuring elements of Beaux Arts classicism, the structure is a fine example of early twentieth century institutional architecture.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1982
in Clifton, at West 9th St and South Ave Q 31.77645°


5035004756 Clifton Lutheran College 1975  

Organized May 6, 1896. Located on land donated by N. J. Nelson and T. T. Hogevold. The first building, erected with voluntary donations and labor, opened as high school October 28, 1897; after 1923 housed artifacts collection of Jacob Olson, early Norwegian settler. Under the direction of Dr. Carl Tyssen, president, college courses were offered in 1922; accredited as a two-year college in 1924. High school was discontinued in 1938. College merged with Texas Lutheran College, Seguin, in 1954. Two buildings formerly used by the college remain on the site.

South Ave Q and West 9th St in Clifton; located at the Bosque Memorial Museum 31.77624°


5035000920 Clifton Whipple Truss Bridge 1996 RTHL

Built in 1884 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, at a cost of $6,465, this bridge spans 150 feet across the North Bosque River. This type of bridge, called a Whipple truss, was named for its designer. One of the few remaining Whipple truss bridges in the state, it opened up travel routes from the south and west to the north and east. Withstanding many floods, the bridge provided an important transportation connection for Bosque County residents from 1884 to 1941 when traffic was routed west of the Bosque River to the newly constructed Highway 6.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1996
on CR 3265 just west of FM 1991 in the northeast part of Clifton at the Bosque River 31.79267°


5000022662 Cole Family Cemetery 2019 HTC

Established 1879

Historic Texas Cemetery – 2018
location unrecorded 32.02030°


5507018740 Coon Creek 2017  

The Coon Creek Community evolved from the old Cyrus Community, the oldest settlement in southeastern Bosque County. The first settler was Temple Spivey who purchased land on the Brazos River in 1853. In January 1856, John Jackson Smith purchased 1,280 acres of land and sent his son, burton, to prepare the settlement. Burton Smith died in July 1856, and John Jackson Smith’s son-in-law, Silas McCabe and his wife, Ann Smith, relocated from Dewitt County to the Smith Plantation. In august 1856, school district four was established and Silas McCabe opened a school in a one-room log cabin on the south side of Coon Creek opposite his home. In 1883, the Cyrus Community evolved into two separate communities. The area south of Coon Creek became known as Smith Bend and the area north of the creek as Coon Creek. The two communities share a cemetery established by John Jackson Smith in 1856: the Smith Bend-Coon Creek Cemetery. A new log school was constructed at Crystal Spring on Coon Creek, two miles west of McCabe’s School. By 1900, a wooden frame schoolhouse was completed. In 1929, the existing schoolhouse was built. The Coon Creek Methodist Church Episcopal Church, south dates to 1874. In 1887, the Coon Creek Missionary Baptist Church of Christ was established. The existing church was constructed in 1916 and shared by the Methodist and Baptist congregations. The remaining remnants of the Coon Creek community include the 1909 home of William A. Vaughn, a two-story frame home known as the “pie” bonds house after Vaughn’s son-in-law, Walter Pope “pie” Bonds. The school, church and historic home in Coon Creek continue to bond the community together.

location unrecorded 31.82358°


5000022509 Dr. Russell Daniel Holt 2019  

Dr. Russell Daniel Holt (1910-1959) began working as a camp surgeon for the CCC at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. After hearing that there was a need for a doctor in Meridian, Dr. Holt began practicing in the area in 1938 and set up the city’s first hospital and clinic in 1940. In 1949, Dr. Holt lobbied the Texas Medical Board for the creation of the licensed vocational nurse program, which was signed into law by Gov. Shivers in 1951. Dr. Holt then started a nursing school and served as president of the Texas Board of Nurse examiners. Always civic-minded, Dr. Holt was Meridian’s mayor for eight years and was also active in his church. He served on the school board and city council and in many medical associations.

location unrecorded 31.92145°


5035001446 Election Oak 1970  

One of three polling places in first election held after Bosque County was organized in 1854. Of 21 votes cast on that occasion (August 7, 1854) in county, 17 were polled under this tree. J. K. Helton was election judge. Officials elected were: L. H. Scrutchfield, judge; P. Bryant, sheriff; Jasper N. Mabray, clerk; Isaac Gary, assessor-collector; Archibald Kell, treasurer. In later years, Bosque County Old Settlers Association used this site for reunions, by the courtesy of Tom M. Pool, owner of the land. Site was known locally as Pool Park.

from SH6 and FM219 in Clifton, take SH6 south 4.3 miles to marker on the right 31.72599°


5507018356 Fairview Baptist Church and Cemetery 2016  

Founded in southeastern Bosque County, Fairview Baptist Church organized in April of 1889 as Coon Creek Missionary Baptist Church. It was, however, several years before land was set aside for a permanent meeting house. Thomas Gipson “Gip” Smith, an early settler and financier of the area, donated land for a school in 1897. Originally christened “Merrivale,” the school was soon renamed “Fairview” because of the view that the elevated school grounds offered. Church services were held in the school building for eight years until a proper church was constructed nearby. The Fairview Cemetery was dedicated during this period; its first interment being in November of 1900. The original church and school structures were demolished in the 1950s in order to construct a new building, which was completed in 1956. This building still stands today. A notable early settler of the community was the infamous outlaw Belle Starr, who, with her husband, owned some 160 acres in the Fairview area. It is rumored that she used her Fairview property as a hideout when eluding authorities. The church, which is still in operation, has been a source of community pride since its establishment. Large celebrations have accompanied its semicentennial, centennial, and quasquicentennial anniversaries. Many current members of the congregation are descendants of original Fairview pioneers, demonstrating how important of a cultural hub the church has been for the community. The camaraderie surrounding the church has been a cornerstone of the surrounding community for more than 125 years.

from FM56 and SH 22 in Laguna Park, take FM 56 south for approx. 6.2 miles; turn left on CR 3530; go 0.8 miles; turn left at CR 3510 and continue following CR 3530 for 0.5 more miles to marker on the left 31.79086°


5507015893 First Baptist Church of Meridian 2009  

John Clabaugh and W.A. Mason, missionaries for the Texas Baptist Convention, established First Baptist Church of Meridian on March 13, 1859 with ten area residents. Circuit-riding preachers conducted the first worship services, and the congregation met in the county courthouse and in the community school until members constructed a church building in the 1870s. The church moved to new sites in 1888 and again in 1947. Missions hae been a primary focus of the congregation; members have also worked with area youth and with the elderly. Today, First Baptist Church continues to serve as a spirtual leader for the residents of Meridian.

location unrecorded 31.92584°


5035001774 First Methodist Church of Valley Mills 1991 RTHL

Methodists in this area trace their history to the 1840s, when circuit-riding preachers began holding camp meetings on a nearby farm. In 1889, after the railroad caused Valley Mills to relocate south of the Bosque River, the Methodists built their first church, located in a residential area. In 1915 the congregation voted to move downtown. This brick structure, which features two inset temple-front entries with Ionic columns, was completed by 1916. Art glass windows, corbelled brickwork, and a pressed metal roof which simulates tile are also prominent.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991
in Valley Mills, at SH6 and 5th St 31.65891°


5035001892 First United Methodist Church of Morgan 1983 RTHL

Organized in 1889, the Morgan Methodist Church first held worship services in the Baptist church building. At an 1891 revival, the fellowship initiated plans to construct this sanctuary. Originally a one-room structure, the building was enlarged in later years as additional rooms were needed. The Carpenter Gothic building exhibits some Greek Revival detailing and features lancet windows and a 1901-02 belfry.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1983
in Morgan, at Louise St and Charles St 32.01639°


5507017652 Fulton Cemetery 2013


This cemetery was originally known as the Morgan Cemetery due to its location on land owned by Daniel Morgan (1818-1892), a native of Kentucky. Morgan came to Texas from Illinois with his family in 1834. Morgan served in the Civil War in Company F, 1st Regimental Infantry, 3rd Brigade, Texas State Troops. In 1842, Morgan married Sara Caroline Childress (1826-1892) and, by 1878, Morgan relocated to Bosque County and purchased land along the eastern fork of the Bosque River. The date of the first burial is unknown as many early graves were marked with common field stones. The first marked burial is that of Martha A. Duke from 1880. Only three known Morgans are buried here: Daniel and Caroline passed in 1892 and their grandson, John Henry Morgan, passed in 1964. Other prevalent names include Jackson, Damron, Rhodes, Ownbey, Philips and Fulton. Oral tradition states that railroad workers and relatives were buried in the Morgan Cemetery due to its close proximity to the rail line. Most of the graves are of simple pioneers who worked as farmers or ranchers along with numerous veterans and persons associated with fraternal organizations. In 1891, the children of Daniel Morgan deeded land to J.W. Fulton and others as trustees. By 1906, the Morgan family had sold all of their Bosque county holdings and moved from the area. The name of the cemetery was changed to Fulton Cemetery sometime after 1892. Covered in native grasses and flowers and surrounded by trees, this historic cemetery contains the remains of many pioneers who settled this rural area.

Walnut Springs, FM 2690/2650 32.02799°


5035012404 Gary Cemetery 1996  

South Carolina natives William and Rutha Gary migrated west with their family, and by 1852 settled in this area, then part of McLennan County. In 1854, when Bosque County was formed, William Gary was chosen as one of five county commissioners. Five Gary family members were among the voters in the first county election. William Gary died in 1855, followed by Rutha in 1868. Their graves formed the nucleus of this cemetery that grew slowly over the next sixty years. About 35 graves are marked; 25 more stones are not inscribed. The last burial occurred in 1932.

from SH6 and FM219 in Clifton, take SH6 south 4.3 miles to marker on the right 31.72599°


5035002122 General Alison Nelson 1964  

(1822-1862) Soldier, statesman and Indian fighter. In his native Georgia, a legislator and mayor of city of Atlanta. General in Cuban liberation forces, 1850. On reaching Texas 1856, joined state troops fighting Indians. Elected 1859 to State Legislature; served as delegate to 1861 Texas Secession Convention. In the Civil War raised, trained and led 10th Regiment Texas Infantry. Sent into defense of Arkansas, repulsed Federal assault on Devall's Bluff, June 1862. Died of illness in camp near Austin, Ark., October 7, 1862.

in Meridian, on courthouse square at the corner of SH22 and FM144 31.92296°


5035013078 Graves-Payne House 2004 RTHL

This home dates to the ownership of the Aaron S. Graves family, who lived in Kentucky and Missouri before settling here in the Union Hill community of Bosque County by the 1870s. A carved limestone brick in the fireplace indicates the house was built in 1876. From 1940 to 1973, it was home to the family of Shelton Payne, a Georgia native who farmed the land. The vernacular stone structure, typical of pioneer homes of the area, features gabled dormers, a hipped roof, a double-pen floor plan, low windows with segmented arches above and a chimney. The farmstead includes a windmill, a cistern and storeroom, and a well.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2004
5.3 mi. NE on SH 174, then right on CR 1140 32.05633°


5000022494 Greenock Community 2019  

The vanished community of Greenock was founded by trailblazing pioneers who settled in the prairie lands to raise cattle. It was a favorable environment after the civil war with the transcontinental railroad connecting to markets in kansas. This area was included within Bosque County’s John H. F. Chapman Survey. The settlement grew once Cedar Brake Road, now Wortham Bend Road, was established in 1872. This provided a mail route that ran three times a week from Waco.

New innovations in farming for taming the prairie lands also attracted people to the area. Colonel John Archibald Green (1841-1908) and his wife, Susan Virginia (Lewis) green (1840-1915), purchased 20 acres in 1880. The Greens served as postmasters at the post office, the center of town. The post office opened in 1882 and closed in 1916 when mail was consolidated with Roswell. Millen Perry Ferris (1858-1951) bought the Greens’ land in 1889 after they moved to Dickens County. Ferris became one of the most well-known residents of Greenock. He donated two acres to County Judge W. B. Thompson to be used for school and church purposes in 1894, establishing the Greenock School District.

Approximately eighty african americans lived in the greenock community and built their own school in 1898. Many held the surname Smith and appear to be former slaves of John Jackson Smith from nearby Smith Bend. There is no evidence of a town church or cemetery. During the farm town’s heyday there was a blacksmith shop, schools, a post office, a general store, a syrup mill and a cotton gin. George Dorman (1833-1910) purchased Ferris’ land in 1902 that included the former Greenock Community. In a small grove of trees are two old wells that are the only remaining structures.

location unrecorded 31.76539°


5035002548 Homestead of Knud S. Knudson 1988  

Norwegian immigrant Knud S. Knudson (1830-1910) and his family moved to Bosque County in 1868. He received a state land grant and established a farm at this site. A small log home was erected in the 1860s and was later enlarged with a limestone addition. Knudson and his wife Gunhild (d. 1917) were the parents of eight children. This farmstead, consisting of the family home, two barns, and out buildings, remained in the Knudson family until 1945. It is a fine example of a rural Norwegian vernacular farm complex.

from Cranfills Gap, take CR445 about 6.5 miles east to marker, on south side of highway 31.79299°


5035013086 Iredell First United Methodist Church 2004  

In 1869, Methodists in the Iredell area began worshipping at Hester Schoolhouse, a building used by both Baptists and Methodists for services. The Rev. Peter W. Gravis served as pastor. Two years later, the Methodist congregation moved toe Wills Chapel, a half mile east of present Iredell, on land donated by Dr. J.S. Wills for a church and campground. In the late 1870s, members moved the Wills chapel to a site in town. The growing Methodist Church increased in membership and in facilities throughout the next 100 years. Members also established programs and groups to support the congregation and the local community.

in Iredell, at 301 Eastland St 31.98478°


5035002716 James Buckner "Buck" Barry, C.S.A. 1964  

(1821-1906) Came to Texas from North Carolina in 1845. Fought in Mexican War and Indian campaigns. In the Civil War, commanded Confederate cavalry regiment in Texas outposts from Red River to Fort McKavett. Camps were a day's horseback ride apart. Patrols protected outer settlements and prevented Indian attacks and threatened Federal invasion from Indian territory. Elected to Texas Legislature 1883. Died on ranch near here. Left personal records of his years in frontier defenses.

in Walnut Springs, on the south side of town off of SH 144; located in Walnut Springs Park 32.05486°


5035005363 Jens Jenson Homestead 1976  

Jens Jenson (1835-1912) came to this county with his Norwegian parents and their family in 1854. Later he was a sailor berthed in Galveston for some years; he also served in the Confederate Army in the Civil War (1861-65). After he bought part of his parents' land in 1867, he built one stone room of this house and married Sarah Swenson in 1868. As his family grew to 11 children, he added rooms, three of stone, two of wood. After his death, a son, Palmer, bought the place. In 1958 grandson Arden Jenson purchased the land. He lives in the house, farming the ancestral acres.

from Clifton, take FM219 west 13 miles to FM182; turn right on FM 182; turn left on Gary Creek Rd (CR 4195) and go 3.6 mi north; turn left on CR 4175 and go 0.6 mi; marker is on private property in front of small ranch house 1000 ft from road 31.76895°


5035002825 John and Mary Colwick House 1989 RTHL

John Colwick and his parents came to Texas with Norwegian colonizer Cleng Peerson in 1859. Colwick married Mary Jenson in 1879, and they lived in a small home on this site. Using some materials from that dwelling, this house was constructed for them in 1889 by J. H. Nordahl. The vernacular farmhouse exhibits unusual proportions derived from traditional Norwegian forms. Its simple, elegant detailing includes Eastlake brackets on the porch.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1989
from Clifton take FM 219 eight miles west; take CR 4230 south 1 mile; take CR 4235 1.1 miles west to house (first on the right) 31.71030°


5035002863 Joseph Olson Family Log Cabin 1986  

After the Joseph Olson family immigrated to the United States from Norway in 1858, they lived first in the homes of Norwegian immigrants in the Norse community. In 1866, Olson (1811-1894) built a log cabin for his family on part of his original seven-acre farm. The cabin served as the family's primary residence until 1872, when a larger stone house was constructed. The log cabin remained on the Olson farm and in the possession of the Olson family until the 1970s. It was moved to this site and reconstructed in 1985 as a reminder of the Norwegian heritage in the area.

Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986
at Bosque Memorial Museum, South Avenue Q and West 9th Street, Clifton 31.77622°


5035003034 Lanes Chapel and Cemetery 1981  

Pioneer area settler Joshua McCuistion donated land at this site for a Methodist chapel to serve the community of Hollis Prairie. Completed about 1880 adjacent to a schoolhouse, it was built by John R. Lane and his sons, for whom the settlement was later named. The oldest marked grave in the church cemetery is that of Plonzo "Pompey" Cox (1840-1880). Regular worship services here were discontinued in 1960 and the Lanes Chapel Memorial Association was established to restore and maintain the building and grounds. A homecoming is held at this site each June.

from Clifton, take SH 6 south about 3.9 miles take FM 2602 south about 9.6 miles to cemetery 31.66680°


5035011759 Lowry Hampton Scrutchfield 1999  

(June 11, 1824 - November 2, 1900) Born in Nacogdoches in 1824 to Fleming and Nancy Pool Scrutchfield, Lowry H. Scrutchfield moved to Nashville on the Brazos with his widowed mother about 1834. In 1845 he met George B. Erath, who taught him land surveying and introduced him to local Indian tribes. Scrutchfield assisted Erath and John McLennan in surveying Waco Village in 1849. He married Nancy Proffit in 1851; they settled on the John C. Pool survey. Scrutchfield emerged as leader of the small band of pioneers who settled and organized Bosque County. He was elected the new county's first chief justice (county judge) in 1854.

3.6 miles southwest of Valley Mills on FM 854 31.66612°


5035003147 Lumpkin-Woodruff House 1982  

South Carolina native James J. Lumpkin (b. 1852) settled in Meridian in 1878. He established a medical practice and pharmacy, and was a prominent landowner. He married Ida Etoile (Fuller) (d. 1954), daughter of Moses W. Fuller (1830-1868), a successful Meridian businessman, and they became civic leaders and benefactors of the town. The Lumpkin's home, built in 1898, was a center of social life and activities. After their deaths, Frank Woodruff, Mrs. Lumpkin's cousin, owned the residence. The octagonal corner tower reflects the original Eastlake style of the structure.

512 North Main Street in Meridian 31.92713°


5035012403 Martha Mabray Randal 1969  

(1852-1935) Child of J. N. Mabray, one of organizers and first clerk of Bosque County. Married Thos. J. Randal; had 11 children.

Recorded - 1969
in Meridian Cemetery in Meridian 31.92198°


5507013376 Norse 2002  

text unknown

7 mi. W on FM 219, then right 1.5 mi. on FM 182 31.75419°


5507017834 Norse Seventh Day Adventist Church 2014  

Norwegian immigrants moved to Bosque County when it was organized by the Texas legislature in 1854. Most came to Norwegian settlement, which was later named Norse. Two Evangelical Lutheran Churches, our Savior’s Lutheran and St. Olaf’s Kirke, served the people’s spiritual needs. Ole T. Nystel and his family moved to the area in 1866. In 1867, he was captured by Comanche Indians near his home at age 14, and lived with them for three months. After being ransomed and returned, he was confirmed into the Lutheran Church. After A. W. Jensen, a Danish Seventh Day Adventist Evangelist, visited the area in 1880, Nystel was baptized into the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He and other converts organized the Norse S. D. A. Church on Feb. 23, 1880. The first meeting was held Jan. 10, 1881. Members built a small frame church on an acre of land out of the Thomas A. Graves survey, which J. O. Olsen deeded on Sep. 13, 1886, to the church’s general conference at Battle Creek, Michigan. On Apr. 23, 1904, A. E. Anderson deeded one-fifth of an acre to the general conference as a burial ground for church members. Among those interred are ole T. Nystel, his wife, Annie (Anderson), their son, Oscar, who died as a missionary in New Mexico in 1918, and their grandson, Walter Thomas Nystel, a marine killed in World War iiII. The current structure replaced the first sanctuary and was dedicated on Mar. 8, 1913 by Elder Field and Elder Miller. Today it is the oldest standing Seventh Day Adventist Church in Texas. The congregation included a Sabbath School and made yearly offerings to missions as far away as Japan and korea. The last regular services held were Dec. 31, 1927. The congregation has held an annual homecoming since 1983.

Take FM 2136 off Hwy 6 South, go appr 4 miles, then take CR 4155 for 1.6 miles, church is on left 31.79107°


5035003616 Norwegian Settlements in Bosque County 1969  

Though never as numerous as some national groups emigrating from Europe, Norwegians left an imprint of rural life in Texas. Hundreds sailed to the United States beginning in the 1830's. For those who settled in Texas, Bosque County had great appeal, because with its woods, hills, and steep, sloping streams, it resembled parts of Norway. In 1854 Ole Canuteson started here what became Texas' largest Norse settlement. Until past the turn of the century, the Gary Creek valley settlers spoke mainly Norwegian and retained many customs of their homeland.

intersection of FM 182 and FM 219, seven miles west of Clifton 31.73449°


5035003672 Odle Log Cabin 1978 RTHL

A native of Tennessee, pioneer John Odle (1824-1913) moved to Texas in 1843, one year after his marriage to Lucinda Reeder (d. 1890). They came to this area in 1856 and built this cabin of oak logs about 1860. They occupied this structure until Odle could erect a more substantial rock house for their family of 13 children. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Odle served in a frontier ranger company and fought in the Battle of Dove Creek, January 8, 1865, against Kickapoo Indians.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1978
five miles west of Valley Mills via FM 217 to CR 3155 west to Odle Ln (200 yards north of intersection of Odle Ln and CR 401) 31.62405°


5035003846 Ole PiersonHomestead 1986  

Born in Norway, Ole Pierson (1804-1882) brought his family to the United States in 1853. He joined a group of Norwegians who journeyed to this area of Texas and found the land very similar to that of their native country. In 1854, eight families, including Ole Pierson's, began building their homes in what is now Bosque Country. Pierson received a grant of land from the State of Texas and later purchased surrounding tracts. Here he farmed and played a leading role in establishing the Norwegian community. The homestead remained in the Pierson family until 1939.

Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986
11 miles west of Clifton via FM 219 to FM 182 North; then west on Gary Creek Rd. (CR 4175); marker on house 1000 ft. from road on caliche road (Private residence) 31.76060°


5035003859 Omenson House 1962 RTHL

text unknown

from Clifton take FM 219 west about 7 miles; take FM 182 south about 3 miles; house is located on southeast side of the highway as road turns to the west, through gate reading "Norway Mill" 31.69192°


5035003874 Original Site of Valley Mills 1990  

A. H. Steagall and Dr. E. P. Booth purchased 300 acres of land on the north side of the Bosque River in 1868. They mapped out and platted a townsite, which they named Valley Mills. As settlers began arriving in the area, the first homes were built of logs. Soon, however, with products provided by a local sawmill, many more homes were constructed of sawn lumber. In addition to the sawmill, flour and grist mills were also built in the valley. Cotton gins were soon built, as well, to process hundreds of bales from neighboring farms. A United States Post Office was established in Valley Mills in 1867, with Moses Isenhower serving as first postmaster. Experiencing steady growth, the town at its peak boasted homes, general stores, a drugstore, blacksmith shop, boardinghouse, and stagecoach stop. In 1881 the Santa Fe Railroad line was built through the area, but the tracks were laid on the south side of the river about one mile from the original townsite. Soon thereafter the residents of Valley Mills moved their town to be closer to the rail line. By 1900 the original site of Valley Mills had become a ghost town.

from Valley Mills take FM 56 north 1 mile; go east on FM 1637 about 0.2 miles to marker 31.67574°


5035011968 Oswald Cemetery 2000  

This cemetery, located on five acres out of the l. M. Armstrong survey, was already in use as a burial ground when the earliest original marked graves, those of three children of W. B. and E. H. Moore, were dug in the early 1860s. The original owner of the land was Captain Allen S. Anderson, a frontier scout who was interred here in 1864 when the site was known as Clifton Graveyard. His daughter, Flora Kemp, deeded it for use as a graveyard in 1877. M. J. Oswald purchased the land in 1885 and it became known as Oswald Cemetery. Burial in the cemetery has been free to people of all races. Among the pioneers interred here are early settlers of old town Clifton and several Civil War veterans. The Oswald family continues to own the land surrounding the cemetery at the dawn of the 21st century.

1.8 miles north of Clifton on FM 1991, then 0.5 mile east on FM 3221 31.81416°


5035003889 Our Savior's Lutheran Church 1965 RTHL

Mother church, former Evangelical Lutheran Church in Texas. Organized June 14, 1869, by Norwegian settlers of Bosque County. Building erected 1875-1885. Cleng Peerson, pioneer of Norwegian emigration to U.S. (landed 1821) is buried here. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.  Supplemental plate: Centennial 1869-1969. Church built by Norwegian pioneers, 1875; contractor Gunerius Shefstad. Dedicated in 1885; enlarged, veneered with brick in 1907; veneer work redone, 1956; memorial windows given in 1958. This church has been served by eight pastors.

from Clifton take FM 219 west about 6.8 miles; take FM 182 2.8 miles north to church 31.77257°


5035005402 Pool-Tibbs House 1978  

S. A. Pool built this residence, a store, and a cotton gin on the river bank in 1870, when the town of Valley Mills stood on the north side of the Bosque. The building stone came from nearby Fitzhugh Hill. Robert A. Tibbs, a Mississippi Civil War veteran, bought the house in 1891. After acquiring it in 1926, Anselm Tibbs (1886-1967) removed the original Greek revival portico and made other changes. The town of Valley Mills moved south of the river when the Santa Fe Railroad was built. As a consequence, this is the oldest house in the present, or "new" town.

108 Tibbs Drive, Valley Mills 31.66220°


5035004091 Poston-Odle Cemetery 1989  

One of the earliest settlements in this area was established in the 1850s along Hog Creek. A rock building used for a school and church was erected, and the area became known as Rock Church on Hog Creek. The family of John Odle settled here following the Civil War. Land for this cemetery was set aside by Odle following the death of his sister, Mary Odle Poston, in 1875. Those buried here include members of the Odle, Poston, Cutbirth, Pool, Cureton, Adams, Hord, Callan, Hoffman, and Le Fever families. The cemetery gates were built from the stones of the Old Rock Church.

from Valley Mills, take FM 217 west about 1.2 miles to CR 3155; take CR 3155 1.8 miles southwest; turn south on CR 3160 and continue about 0.3 miles to cemetery 31.63333°


5035004280 Riverside Cemetery 1992  

According to local oral tradition, land for this cemetery and the adjacent church was donated by the family of Ward Keeler, a New York native who came to Bosque County about 1870 and founded the town of Iredell. The oldest documented grave here is that of James W. P. Ware, who died in November 1870. The primary burial ground for Iredell citizens for generations, Riverside Cemetery contains more than one thousand interments, both marked and unmarked. Its varied styles of gravestones stand as a reminder of the community's pioneer heritage.

intersection of South Somervelle and West McClaim (FM 1238), Iredell 31.98456°


5035004322 Rock Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church 1975  

The Rev. James B. Sadler (1828-1911), a self-educated former slave, started this black congregation in 1870 and helped establish a separate black Presbytery in 1876. Worship services were held in a nearby brush arbor or in homes until the present structure was erected in 1890. This building also housed a community school for a time. The Rev. Sadler and his wife, Susan, owned the property until 1909. It was then deeded to church officers, who maintain the church and adjacent cemetery today. The congregation's annual homecoming is held in November.

from Valley Mills take FM 56 north head east on FM 1637 about 4.5 miles to marker 31.68585°


5035004332 Roden Taylor Crain 1997  

(April 29, 1819-July 20, 1891) Tennessee native Roden Taylor Crain, a member of Capt. William Kimbro's Company of San Augustine County volunteers, was a soldier in the struggle for Texas Independence from Mexico. He fought at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, and later received a land grant and pension for his service. He settled on his land in present Bosque County, where he lived the rest of his life. He drowned in the Bosque River and was buried here in 1891.

Recorded - 1987
Valley Mills Cemetery, Valley Mills 31.66372°


5035011758 Scrutchfield Cemetery 1999 HTC

Located on two acres of the M. Boren survey of 1846, this cemetery was deeded to Bosque County for public burials by Lowry Hampton Scrutchfield in 1883. Family records indicate that Minnie, the infant daughter of Daniel and Carolyn Mabray Henderson, was the first to be buried on this site. The earliest legible tombstone is that of six-month-old Alpheus C. Potts, who was born and died in 1885. Lowry H. Scrutchfield (1824-1900), his wife Nancy Proffit Scrutchfield (1835-1903) and his mother Nancy Pool Scrutchfield Roberts (1800-1839) are all interred here. The graves of Nancy Scrutchfield Roberts and A. J. Lewis, another early settler, were re-interred here in the late 20th century. More than 50 identifiable graves, marked and unmarked, grace the cemetery.

eight miles south of Clifton on SH 6; seven miles south on FM 854 31.66541°


5035004625 Searsville Baptist Church 1962 RTHL

Church named in honor of Josiah Le Grand Sears who gave land and money for the original church and for the present one.

from Valley Mills take FM 217 west about two miles to church 31.65751°


5035012984 Site of Clifton Mill 2002  

In 1857, R.G. Grant of Coryell County built a wooden mill at this site, using the waters of the Bosque River to power his operation. Two years later, the property transferred to J.H. Stinnett, and the mill building was used as a commissary and storehouse for the Confederate Army during the Civil War, 1861-1865. Stinnett sold the mill to William L. Kemp in 1867, and Kemp tore down the mill and built a new one of stone. Kemp's mill supplied flour and cornmeal to Texas frontier settlements. Ox carts hauling the flour and meal traveled in groups to places like Brownwood, Camp San Saba or forts Concho, McKavett, Mason, Griffin and Chadbourne. In the late 1870s and early 1880s, former U.S. senator and governor of Texas Richard Coke had an interest in the mill. He and his partners sold their interest in 1883. From 1890 to 1901, the mill operated under the name of Clifton Steam and Water. Renovations during this time added to its picturesque quality, including a third story above the unusual S-curve Mansard roof, as well as a cupola housing the grain elevator. The water-powered mill had an auxiliary steam plant for power during low stages of the river and dry seasons. In 1909, the Clifton Electric Light Company purchased the mill and converted it to an electric power plant, but they sold it in 1911. The mill sat vacant until it was purchased and demolished in 1915. The City of Clifton bought the site in the 1960s. Despite its demolition in the early 20th century, the mill building survives in memory and photographs. Here, early settlers used the power of the river to feed and power Texas' burgeoning frontier.

N on SH 6, then E 0.6 mi. on Riverside 31.79460°


5035004953 Smith Bend-Coon Creek Cemetery 1978  

John Jackson Smith (1799-1867) and his wife Margaret (1802-1881) migrated here from Mississippi in the 1850's and founded Smith Bend Community. They gave land for this cemetery after the death of their son Burton (1832-1856). The Smith's daughter Ann and her husband Silas McCabe started the nearby settlement of Coon Creek. Residents of the two communities, descendants, and friends help maintain the burial ground. Enlarged by later land donations, the site contains over 500 graves.

Incise on back: Marker Sponsors: Mmes. Marshall V. Bonds, Lois Smith Hill, Camille Smith Womack
from Meridian, take SH 22 17.1 miles southeast; take FM 56 south about 1.9 miles; take FM 2114 2 miles east to cemetery 31.82981°


5035005014 Spring Creek Cemetery 1986 HTC

As settlement along Spring Creek increased after the end of the Civil War, land in this area was set aside for a missionary Baptist church, a school, and this cemetery. According to local tradition, the first burial was that of a horse thief hanged in the vicinity. The earliest marked tombstone, however, is that of 2-year-old Will Bullard who died in 1881. In its role as a reflection of the area's heritage, Spring Creek Cemetery is the burial site of many early settlers, war veterans, schoolteachers, and church members.

Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986
from Meridian take SH 22 about 2.3 miles west continue west on FM 1473 about 8.9 miles turn north on County Road 2160 to Spring Creek Cemetery, about 2 miles, near church 31.89732°


5507013712 St. James Episcopal Church 2004 RTHL

Local Episcopalians founded the St. James congregation in 1913. Charter members Dr. James Julius Lumpkin and his wife, Ida Etoile (Fuller), donated this site, and church officials consecrated the new facilities that year. The church prospered in service to the community and for a time shared its facilities with Faith Lutheran Church. Membership at St. James declined over the years, and in 1994, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth donated the deconsecrated property to the Alliance for Justice Foundation. The vernacular frame sanctuary exhibits Gothic Revival influences, with lancet windows and a gable end entry with a segmented glass arch. The building is flanked by what was the parish hall of St. James.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2004
514 N. Bosque in Meridian 31.92787°


5507018219 St. Olaf Lutheran Church 2015 RTHL

Following the settlement of Norwegian Immigrants in Bosque County in 1854, Lutheranism became the predominant denomination in the region. In 1886, St. Olaf Kirke, named after the patron saint of Norway, was built to address the worshiping practices of the expanding population. Affectionately called “Old Rock Church,” it was the center of social gatherings for more than 50 years where good food, fellowship and games were enjoyed by all. On January 10, 1914, the members voted to purchase a full city block of land to build a new church for their growing congregation. The cornerstone of the new “Brick Church” was placed in march of 1917. The Romanesque revival-style building included a sanctuary with a balcony and a half basement, which was a point of pride for the congregation. In 1917, St. Olaf Lutheran Church was described as the “costliest and largest” Lutheran Church in Bosque county and in rural Texas. Through the fundraising efforts of the women’s organization many enhancements were added to the church. The “Brick Church” services were conducted in Norwegian until 1927 and continued at “The Rock Church” for the older members until the 1940s. The St. Olaf Church Sunday School was built for religious instruction in 1954. The church has provided for the needs of its membership and the community, as well as missions in other countries as it seeks to fulfill its mission. St. Olaf Lutheran Church continues to maintain its Norwegian heritage and serve as the heart of the community.

location unrecorded 31.77499°


5507015754 Steiner Baptist Church 2009  

Steiner Baptist Church Steiner Baptist Church began in 1891 in the town of Fowler as Fowler Baptist Church. The church’s first structure was built in 1906 on property donated by Joe Yates, but a fire destroyed the building in 1907 and it was rebuilt the following year. When the name of the town was changed to Steiner in 1916, the church took the name Steiner Baptist Church, and it merged with Cedron Creek Baptist Church of Christ in 1940. The town of Steiner was compelled to evacuate in 1950 because of the creation of Lake Whitney and the church was moved at that time with mule teams and wagons. However, because it was unable to cross a nearby bridge, it was decided that the church would remain at the roadside, at its present location.

1 mi. E of Hwy 56 on FM 1713 31.97441°


5035005292 The Bertelsen House 1979 RTHL

The stone portion of this house was erected in the 1880s for Norwegian settler Andres Johnson. The builder was probably Andrew Mickelson, who erected other structures in the community. Bertel and Christena Bertelsen bought the property in 1894 and enlarged the stone portion. They built a frame addition about 1910 for their large family of 18 children. Ownership of the home remained with the Bertelsen family until 1977.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1979
2.5 miles northeast of Cranfills Gap via SH 22 north to Old Meridian Creek Road (1 mile before Rock Church) (Private residence) 31.78569°


5035005416 The Rock Church - St. Olaf Lutheran Congregation 1974  

Built in 1886 of native stone by architect Andrew Mickelson and his brothers, Christian and Ole Mickelson. It originally had a dirt floor and planks laid on wooden kegs for pews. The bell was acquired in 1897. The church served the Norwegian settlers of this area, who were members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church of Norse (6 miles east). In 1902, the growth of the community necessitated separation from the Norse church, and the St. Olaf congregation was organized. A new edifice was erected in Cranfills Gap (4 miles west) in 1917, and this church has since been used only for special services.

Incise on back: In Memory of Otto H. Reesing 1890-1974
from Cranfils Gap, take CR 4145 about 4 miles east to church and cemetery, on north side of road 31.79208°


5035005595 Union Hill School 1981  

Started before 1879, the Union Hill School was one of several rural schools that served the early settlers of Bosque County. A two-room 1888 schoolhouse, located across the road, was used until 1914, when a two-story building was constructed at this site. A nearby stable housed the student's horses during the school day. Enlarged by the 1926 merger with the Auburn Hill District, Union Hill became part of the Kopperl District in 1939. Former students, which include many area business, professional, and agricultural leaders, still meet for a biennial school reunion.

from Morgan take SH 174 about 4.5 miles north, marker is on south side of the highway 32.07371°


5000019955 Valley Mills Cemetery 2018 HTC

By the mid-1850s, F. F. Bloodworth had built a log cabin in the early Valley Mills settlement which served as a school, community meeting place, and the Liberty Hill Baptist Church. In 1855, that congregation had ten charter members but grew to 38 within a few months. A cemetery was also established adjacent to the cabin, with David Mabry (1792-1852), and his wife, Cynthia Mabry (1796-1856) recorded as the first burials. The site was part of the original settlement of Valley Mills, which predated creation of Bosque County by the Texas Legislature in 1854.

F. F. Bloodworth's daughter, Frances J. Bloodworth, married A. W. Sears, and in 1867 Sears purchased from his father-in-law 170 acres which included 3.75 acres cleared for a church and schoolhouse, plus the cemetery with eight marked graves and additonal unmarked graves. This earliest deed mentioned construction of a fence; the cemetery has been fenced since this time. On Jan. 30, 1891, A. W. and Frances Sears transferred the cemetery to the people of Valley Mills in consideration of $1.00. By this point, there were 83 marked graves and some unmarked. A. W. and Frances Sears conveyed an addtional acre in 1908, the same year that the Valley Mills Cemetery Assocation formed, and the City deeded the cemetery to the Association.

Now covering more than ten acres, Valley Mills Cemetery includes the burials of generations of citizens, and includes many gravestones depicting fraternal organizations, such as Masons, Order of the Eastern Star, and Woodmen of the World. There are military veterans dating from the Texas Revolution to Vietnam and burials reflecting the continuum of the area's history.

Historic Texas Cemetery - 2017
location unrecorded 31.66328°


5035005630 Valley Mills Santa Fe Railway Depot 1973 RTHL

A standard No. 9 combination freight-passenger depot, built in 1910 on Temple-Cleburne line of Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway. Local social center, especially at train time, when in pre-radio and TV era the conductor brought late news or traveling political candidates wooed votes. Highway travel and instant communication robbed depot of its business and glamour. Phased out in 1966, it was relocated here as museum in 1969.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1973
Valley Mills Park, 5th to 6th Streets on Avenue D, 2 blocks west of SH 6, Valley Mills 31.65713°


5035005821 William Berry Smith 1956  

Came to Texas from North Carolina in 1834; a soldier in the Texas War for Independence, veteran of the Indian Wars. Died June 30, 1876 - 84 years old.

Erected by the State of Texas, 1956
from Iredell go 4 miles south on FM 1238, one gate past Marker Ranch. 1.5 miles into pasture land 31.95922°


5507017176 Womack - White Cemetery 2012 HTC

This historic cemetery began as the family cemetery for the Abner Pryor Womack family who lived beside Steele Creek. The Womack Family moved to this area from Polk County in 1859 where they farmed the land and raised livestock. In 1866, they purchased the property form J. P. Baker. The earliest documented burial is that of John A. Womack, Abner's grandson, who died in 1874, but numerous unmarked graves exist. In 1877, the Womacks sold their land to John Loren White and Elizabeth (Miller) White. The first burial from the White Family began with Katie White after her death in 1882. The Womack and White plots are divided into their own areas with 38 documented gravesites.

Historic Texas Cemetery - 2011
1314 CR 1115, Morgan 32.00871°


5507020082 Zion United Church of Christ 2018  

During the late 1870s and early 1880s, many German families began moving to the eastern prairie lands in Bosque County, settling along Childress Creek from the Garnersville and Chase communities to Cayote and Bismarck. From 1884-1890, this territory was visited by itinerant pastors who took care of the religious needs as they were able. On april 26, 1891, several of the original families organized the Deutsche Evangelische Zionische Kirche (German Evangelical Zion Church) with Reverend A. Egli as pastor.

Originally, the church was located in the Chase Community and offered religious support, education, weddings, funerals and baptisms to German texans living in the surrounding communities with many programs held in the German language. Due to membership growth, the church relocated to Womack and constructed a larger building in 1913 and again in 1955. On July 7, 1956, the church name changed to Zion United Church of Christ.

Throughout the years, the congregation organized and participated in many community activities. Since 1961, church members have hosted Wurst Abendessen (sausage supper) for families from all over the region to celebrate German heritage with handmade sausage and cuisine. In addition to numerous missions and local programs, the church also acts as the primary caretaker of the area’s two pioneer cemeteries from the united congregations of Zion and St. John’s, Chase Cemetery and Bismarck Cemetery, maintaining the grounds and gravestones. Through spiritual guidance and community support, the church remains a connection to the area’s traditions and heritage.




* Latitude/Longitude Coordinate Reference System is WGS 84 (EPSG:4326) in decimal degrees
   UTM Coordinate Reference System is NAD83 / UTM zone 14 (EPSG:26914) in meters

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