Bosque County, Texas
|Named for||Bosque River|
|• Total||1,003 sq mi (2,600 km2)|
|• Land||983 sq mi (2,550 km2)|
|• Water||20 sq mi (50 km2) 1.34%|
|• Density||18/sq mi (7.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Bosque County (// BOS-kee) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, the population was 18,235. Its county seat is Meridian, while Clifton is the largest city and the cultural/financial center of the county. The county 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.
In 1721, while traveling from San Antonio de Béxar to a mission in East Texas, the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo ventured north from the Old San Antonio Road, and camped along the Brazos River. Near his camp was also a tributary of the Brazos, which he named the Bosque, Spanish for forest. This was the first recorded European expedition through the region.
Until the 1850s, settlement of the region that was to become Bosque County remained sparse. About a decade previous, some members of the ill-fated Texan Santa-Fe Expedition of 1841, which passed through the area, chose to stay. One particularly noteworthy attempt at settlement was the town of Kent. In 1850, the Universal Immigration Company of England purchased land for a townsite on the west side of the Brazos. After several years, 30 families were sent over by the company to settle the land, but the newly established community barely survived the first winter, suffering a number of fatalities. The following spring, the settlers planned to right the course of the settlement by purchasing some cattle and seed corn. This plan, too, would go awry, as the cattle would eat the corn before it could be harvested, because no fence was built around the corn. Eventually, the town of Kent dissolved, with most of the settlers choosing to go elsewhere, including some who returned to England.
Bosque County was officially created in 1854, being separated from McLennan County. The first election included 3 ballot boxes: one at the junction of Steele Creek and the Brazos River, one in Meridian, and another at a live oak between Clifton and Valley Mills. This live oak became known as the Bosque County Oak. Locally the oak is known as the "Election Oak".
The voters at the first election were L. H. Scrutchfield, J. K. Helton, J. N. Mabray, Capt. Underhill, James Mabray, William Gary, Gafey Gary, Isaac Gary, Matt Gary, John Robertson, John Thomas, F. M. Kell, Archie Kell, William McCurry, Jack McCurry, Lum McCurry, Samuel Locker, Nathaniel Morgan, R. S. Barnes, J. P. Locker. They elected the following county officers: L. H. Scrutchfield, Judge; P. Bryant, Sheriff; J. N. Mabray, Clerk; Isaac Gary, Assessor and Collector; Archabal Kell, Treasurer.
- Somervell County (north)
- Johnson County (northeast)
- Hill County (east)
- McLennan County (southeast)
- Coryell County (south)
- Hamilton County (west)
- Erath County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1850–2010 2010 2020
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||14,701||13,621||80.72%||74.70%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||277||244||1.52%||1.34%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||74||83||0.41%||0.46%|
|Asian alone (NH)||38||80||0.21%||0.44%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||2||3||0.01%||0.02%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||9||29||0.05%||0.16%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||185||854||1.02%||4.68%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||2,926||3,321||16.07%||18.21%|
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
As of the census of 2000, 17,204 people, 6,726 households, and 4,856 families were residing in the county. The population density was 17 people/sq mi (7/km2). The 8,644 housing units averaged 9/sq mi (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.75% White, 1.92% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 5.2% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. About 12.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 6,726 households, 29.5% had children under 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were not families. About 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.48, and the average family size was 2.95.
In the county, the age distribution was 24.4% under 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,181, and for a family was $40,763. Males had a median income of $31,669 versus $21,739 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,455. About 8.9% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.8% of those under 18 and 14.6% of those 65 or over.
Bosque County is currently listed as part of the Dallas-Fort Worth DMA. Local media outlets include: KDFW-TV, KXAS-TV, WFAA-TV, KTVT-TV, KERA-TV, KTXA-TV, KDFI-TV, KDAF-TV, and KFWD-TV. Although located in Central Texas and a neighboring county of the Waco and Killeen – Temple – Fort Hood metropolitan areas. Meaning all of the Waco/Temple/Killeen market stations also provide coverage for Bosque County. They include: KCEN-TV, KWTX-TV, KXXV-TV, KDYW, and KWKT-TV.
Newspapers include The Clinton Record and Meridian Tribune, both run by BosqueCountyToday.com, whose publisher is Rita Hamilton.
- Cranfills Gap (small part in Hamilton County)
- Meridian (county seat)
- Valley Mills (small part in McLennan County)
- Walnut Springs
- Jacob De Cordova, land agent, member of Texas House of Representatives, 1808–1868
- Calvin Maples Cureton, Texas attorney general from 1919 to 1921, Texas chief justice 1921–1940
- James T. Draper Jr., Texas Southern Baptist clergyman was a pastor in Iredell in Bosque County in the late 1950s.
- James E. Ferguson 26th governor of Texas
- Miriam A. Ferguson, James' wife and the 29th and 32nd governor of Texas
- Earle Bradford Mayfield, Texas state senator, United States senator
- John Lomax, American musicologist and folklorist
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Bosque County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Bosque County
- "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Bosque County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
- "Bosque County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Bosque County
- "History of Bosque County". Bosque County. 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Bosque County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Bosque County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- Bosque County History Book Committee, Bosque County, Land and People (Dallas: Curtis Media, 1985).
- Bosquerama, 1854-1954: Centennial Celebration of Bosque County, Texas (Meridian, Texas: Bosque County Centennial Association, 1954).
- William C. Pool, A History of Bosque County (San Marcos, Texas: San Marcos Record Press, 1954).
- William C. Pool, Bosque Territory (Kyle, Texas: Chaparral, 1964).
- Official website for Bosque County
- Bosque County, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Bosque County from the Texas Almanac
- Bosque County from the TXGenWeb Project
- Bosque County Collection The Archives of the Bosque County Historical Commission.
- View historic materials from the Bosque County Historical Commission, hosted by the Portal to Texas History