Bosque County, Texas

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Bosque County (pronounced /ˈbɒskiː/ BOSS-kee) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of 2000, the population is 17,204. Its county seat is Meridian[1]. Clifton, however, is the largest city and the cultural/financial center of the county. Bosque is named for the Bosque River, which runs through the center of the county north to south. The Brazos River makes up the eastern border along with the Lake Whitney reservoir it feeds.[2]



Tonkawa, Waco, and Tawakoni Indians roamed Central Texas long before settlement by European Americans. The Tonkawas were the most predominant in number, and they proved to be quite peaceable. They are said to have claimed that they never took a scalp. They were a small group, and the only complaint that the settlers registered against them was stealing. The Comanches, who lived nearby, occasionally raided travelers or settlers in the Bosque territory to steal horses and property or to take scalps. When whites followed them in attempts to regain their property, the Tonkawas often acted as their guides.

The first exploring expedition that recorded travel in this area was made in 1721 by the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo, a Spaniard who established many missions in Texas. In one trip from San Antonio de Béxar to an East Texas mission, he ventured away from the regular road, the Old San Antonio Road, and wandered north. During this time he camped near the Brazos River and a major tributary. He named this tributary Bosque, Spanish for "woods." The county, therefore, derives its name from the Bosque River.

Settlement of the area began in 1825 when Sterling C. Robertson obtained a grant from the Mexican government in order to colonize the area along the Brazos River. Very few of the homesteaders chose to live within the current boundaries of Bosque County; however, the grant did prompt travel through the area. The land granted was later transformed into districts, one being the Milam District. George B. Erath, a surveyor for both the Republic of Texas and the state of Texas, is credited with naming many of the streams and landmarks in Texas. In the late 1830s he named Meridian Creek and the Meridian Knobs for the fact that they were near the ninety-eighth meridian. In 1841 the botched Texan-Santa Fe expedition passed through the region, and many of the travelers chose to stay. In 1847, a prominent banker from New York, Richard B. Kimball, obtained a grant of land from the state of Texas along the west bank of the Brazos river fourteen miles (21 km) north of the mouth of the Paluxy River. Soon, Kimball formed a partnership with Jacob De Cordova in order to develop this land. They planned to establish a town so that they could lure prospective settlers to move to the area. A site was chosen along the Brazos River where there was a shallow ford. They named the town after Kimball. Since this was the best spot to cross the river for miles, many east-to-west travelers came through town. At this point the Chisolm Trail crossed the waterway. The location of Kimball, therefore, made it a good stopping place for settlers, ranchers, and cowboys. Following a somewhat prosperous start, however, Kimball was missed by the railroads that were built in the county later in the decade; therefore, the town quickly declined, and only a few people remain there today.

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