2000 Census - 2,122
Glen Rose Texas History:
In 1849, Charles Barnard and his brother opened a trading post in the area near Comanche Peak. In 1854, they relocated to the Brazos Indian Reservation. In 1959, the Indian reservation closed and Charles Bernard returned to the area and built a store on land that became the City of Glen Rose. In 1869, Milam County donated land to Bernard in exchange for him building a flour and grist mill. Bernard constructed the mill and named the new settlement Bernard’s Mill. The mill served as a mill, a dance hall, a meetinghouse, and later as the town hospital. In 1871, he sold the mill to Maj. Tyler Calhoun Jordan. It is said that Jordan’s wife suggested the town be renamed Glen Rose. The Glen Rose post office was established in 1874. The next year, Glen Rose became the county seat of the newly formed Somervell County. The county grew slowly but the town prospered. By 1990, it had several mills, three churches, a school, two newspapers and a cotton gin, and attracted visitors who came to partake of the mineral springs. The population grew from 600 in 1890 to 1,000 in 1910. During prohibition many illegal stills dotted the area causing Glen Rose to be known as the “Whiskey Woods Capital of Texas.” Today, Glen Rose is best known for its dinosaur tracks first discovered in 1908. Today’s industries include the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, ranching, farming and tourism. Glen Rose is located at the intersection of U.S. 67 and SH 144, 49 miles south of Weatherford, 51 miles southwest of Fort Worth, 43 miles southwest of Benbrook, 24 miles southwest of Cleburne, 50 miles northwest of Whitney, 41 miles northwest of Laguna Park, 35.5 miles northwest of Clifton, 23.7 miles northwest of Meridian, 47 miles northeast of Hamilton, 26.3 miles northeast of Hico, 52 miles northeast of Proctor and Proctor Lake, 43 miles northeast of Dublin, 30.4 miles east of Stephenville, 23 miles south of Acton, and 16.4 miles southeast of Granbury, Texas.
Chalk Mountain Ghost Town:
The historic wooden 1904 Chalk Mountain Masonic Lodge and the historic Chalk Mountain Cemetery are located in town. The lodge still holds meetings. The Cemetery’s Texas historical marker reads, “The Village of Chalk Mountain originated as a trading center before the Civil War. The earliest burial at Chalk Mountain Cemetery, the only burial ground to have served this community, is that of Abigail Davis (d.1874), but the presence of unmarked burials indicates possible earlier use. Confederate veteran Hiram Berry Rogers (1840-1929) deeded the cemetery to the county in 1915. Over 350 graves including those of Rogers and veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War, are interred here. It has been maintained by a cemetery association since 1959.” The mountain of Chalk Mountain is located ten miles west of Glen Rose.
Petrified Wood Buildings:
Dozens of Glen Rose buildings made of petrified wood are located in Glen Rose; others are located in Huntsville, Stephenville and Austin, Texas. Petrified wood looks like wood, but it is solid stone. During the 1920s, petrified wood was so common in the area that it sold for as little as $5 a truckload. Many of Glen Rose’s petrified wood buildings are located along Bernhard Street, the main route through town. The courthouse band stand and fountain, and the cabins at Oakwood Park are built from this wood. Glen Rose’s former City Hall (201 Vine Street) features petrified wood, as does the former Texaco Station northeast of town on Old U.S. 67 (Van Zandt Road); this service station also served as a speakeasy during prohibition.
Somervell County Courthouse, 1893:
The original 1892 Somervell County Courthouse burned down in 1893. In 1884, a new courthouse was constructed using locally quarried limestone. Architect John Cormack designed this courthouse in Romanesque Revival Style. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and is a designated Texas Historical Landmark. A bronze statue of the town’s first settlers, Juana and Charles Barnard, was created by renowned Western artist and local resident Robert Summers. The statue is located on the courthouse lawn. The 2010 Somervell County census was 8,490. (254) 897-2322. The courthouse square is bounded by Vernon, Walnut, Elm and Vine Streets. (254) 897-2322. 107 Northeast Vernon Street.
Somervell County Jail, 1934:
In 1934, the jail was built by the CCC on the same site as the former 1884 jail. The jail functioned as a jail from 1934-1979. Legend has it that Bonnie and Clyde were once prisoners in the jail. It has since been renovated and now houses offices. The jail is located on the courthouse square.