History of Bosque County, Texas, 1850-1954

“Bosque County, Texas,” authored by William C. Pool, is an historical account of Bosque County, Texas, spanning from its early settlement in 1850 through the mid-20th century. Published in 1954 by the San Marcos Record Press, this book builds on the only previously printed work on the county’s history—a pamphlet authored by Hugh J. and Calvin M. Cureton in 1904.

The book begins with an overview of the geographical and geological features of the Bosque region and provides historical context through a summary of the Sterling C. Robertson colony and early Milam County. It then delves into the permanent settlement of Bosque County, initiated by Albert Barton and Ewell Everett in 1850, followed by the Norwegian migration in 1854 and the subsequent organization of the county.

The narrative highlights the evolution of Bosque County from a frontier society to a developed agricultural community, focusing on the political and economic growth post-Civil War. It includes detailed histories of local towns and communities and concludes with an account of the Bosque detachment of the 36th Division’s involvement in World War II.

Pool’s work is partly derived from his thesis, “A History of Bosque County, Texas,” completed in 1946 as a requirement for his Master of Arts degree at the University of Texas. The author acknowledges the support and contributions of several individuals, including H. Bailey Carroll, Oris E. Pierson, Hugh J. Cureton, Henry D. Wintz, and his wife, Sarah Jeannette.

The book includes chapters on geography, topography, climate, plant and animal life, Indian tribes, early settlers, county organization, the Bosque frontier, the Civil War, and the Battle of Dove Creek. It also covers the Norwegian people’s migration, development, and transition in Bosque County. Additionally, it discusses the cattle industry, agrarian politics, and the growth of towns and trade centers such as Clifton, Meridian, and Walnut Springs.

About the Author

William C. Pool, a native of Bosque County, Texas, was born in 1919 at Valley Mills. He graduated from high school in Clifton and has received B.A., M.A., and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Texas. A veteran Air Force pilot, 1942-1945 and 1951-1952, Pool was a professor of history at Southwest Texas State College.

Table of Contents

  • Background and Early Settlements, p. 1
    • Geography, p. 3
    • Topography, p. 5
    • Climate, p. 8
    • Plant and Animal Life, p. 8
    • Indian Tribes, p. 10
    • Background to Settlement, p. 10
    • Early Settlers along the Bosque, p. 17
    • County Organization, p. 23
    • The Bosque Frontier, 1854-1861, p. 26
    • The Civil War, p. 29
    • The Battle of Dove Creek, p. 31
  • The Norwegian People, p. 35
    • The Background, p. 37
    • The Move to Bosque County, p. 39
    • Development and Transition, p. 43
    • Gustav W. Belfrage, p. 47
  • Growth and Development, p. 49
    • Reconstruction and After, p. 51
    • The Cattle Industry, p. 55
    • Agrarian Politics, p. 58
    • Towns and Trade Centers, p. 62
      Clifton, Meridian, Walnut Springs, Valley Mills, Iredell, Morgan, Kopperl, Cranfills Gap, Moshiem, Cayote, Steiner
    • The 36th Division in World War II, p. 68
    • Contemporary Bosque County, p. 70
  • Bibliography, p. 72

Maps of Bosque County

Illustrations include maps of Bosque County from different periods, providing a visual representation of the county’s development over time. They start after page 34 and are included in the gallery below.


Pool, William C., Bosque County, Texas, San Marcos, Texas : San Marcos Record Press, 1954.

Bosque County TX,


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