Praries & Lakes
2010 Census - 1,493
2000 Census - 1,491
Meridian, Texas
Meridian Texas History:
The town was established on the north bank of the Bosque River in 1854 by the Texas legislature as the county seat of the newly formed Bosque County. Dr. Josephus M. Steiner donated 100 acres and Andrew Montgomery donated 20 acres for the townsite. The first town lots were sold on July 4, 1854. William McCurry had built a one-room log courthouse during the fall of that same year. The Meridian post office was established in 1856. The first general store opened in 1861. Meridian incorporated in 1874. In 1881, the Santa Fe Railway built a line through Bosque County, passing 1.5 miles east of Meridian. Though speculators platted town lots around the train depot, East Meridian did attract enough businesses and residents to become the new county seat. Meridian soon became a shipping point for area farmers. The population fell from approximately 1,074 residents in 1920 to 759 in 1930. By 1980 the town had 1,330 residents. Poultry processing ranked as the community's leading industry in 1954, and it remained important until the mid-1970s, when the Ralston Purina Company purchased the local plant and converted it to other uses. Meridian's economy is largely based on ranching, agriculture, hunting, and tourism from Meridian State park located 3 miles southwest of town. Meridian is located on the North Bosque River at the intersections of SH 174 (7th Street), SH 144 (Main Street), SH 22, FM 1991) and FM 2840, 38 miles southwest of Cleburne, 37.8 miles southwest of Hillsboro, 26 miles southwest of Whitney, 15.7 miles southwest of Lakeside Village and Lake Whitney, 67 miles northwest of Belton, 46.5 miles northwest of Waco, 11.8 miles northwest of Clifton, 44.6 miles north of Gatesville, 33.6 miles northeast of Hamilton, 44.4 miles southeast of Dublin, 43 miles southeast of Stevensville, 23.6 miles southeast of Hico, and 23.7 miles slightly southeast of Glen Rose, Texas.
Bosque County Courthouse, 1886:
The courthouse was designed in Renaissance revival style by architect J.J. Cane of Fort Worth. In the 1930s it was greatly altered by the CCC of the WPA; it was renovated in 2007 and returned to its former design. The 2010 Bosque County census was 18,212. (254) 435-2382. 201 South Main Street, Meridian, TX 76665. Email   
Bosque County Collection & Research Center:
The Bosque County Collection is a research center and archives for the local history of Bosque County. It is located in the historic Lumpkin Building across from the County Courthouse in Meridian and is operated by the Bosque County Historical Commission. Established in 1983, its mission is to collect and preserve valuable and irreplaceable historic as well as current materials about the county and make them readily available to researchers. The museum also has an oral history program which collects taped oral histories from Bosque County residents. Current exhibits on display include photos and a cross section of “The Election Oak,” the Judge Wilson Cowen Collection, a Chisholm Trail exhibit, exhibits on John A. Lomax, a writer of cowboy and working class songs, and a Flat Top Ranch exhibit. For a fee, the staff will conduct research for those unable to visit the Collection in person. A store is located onsite. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-noon; 1pm-5pm, and Saturdays by appointment. (254) 435-6182. Fax: (254) 435-2272. The museum is located at 101 North Main Street at the corner of SH 22 and SH 144. Email

Norse, TexasHistoric Churches:
At one time Norse was the largest and most successful Norwegian settlement in Texas. The beautiful 1876 Our Savior's Lutheran Church is located in Norse. When it was first organized in 1869, services were held in the Jens Ringness home, a home that may be restored. Between 1876 and 1886 this Lutheran Church was referred to as "The Lutheran Church", "The Norse Church", and "The Norwegian Church,” In 1886, the church members decided to build a second church to serve settlers located in the upper part of the Norwegian settlement near Cranfills Gap. At this time the church in Norse was renamed “Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.” The new church was built of rock, and was constructed 4 miles east of Cranfills Gap. This new church was named “St. Olaf Kirke.” By 1917, residents of Cranfills Gap had grown tired of driving 4 miles out in the country to St. Olaf Kirke’s for church services, so they built a church in Cranfills Gap and named it St. Olaf Lutheran Church. Probably to avoid name confusion, they began referring to the St. Olaf Kirke rock church as “The Old Rock Church.” Services are still held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Norse, and at St Olaf Lutheran Church in Cranfills Gap. The Old Rock Church has been renovated and occasionally hosts special services. The Rock Church is located 4 miles east of Cranfills Gap on CR 4145, 19 miles west of Clifton, approximately 15 miles southwest of Meridian, and 19 miles northeast of Hamilton, Texas. To visit Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Norse, take FM 219 6.8 miles west of Clifton, then take FM 182 North and drive 2.8 miles to the church. St. Olaf Lutheran Church is located in Cranfills Gap at 402 Meridian Street. 
Hills College:
(254) 659-7650. 301 North Second Street.  
Meridian Public Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. (254) 435-9100. 105 North Erath Street.