Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas) Page: 71
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A 1 1
Parade in Early Day Meridian
Bosque County Courthouse 1935 to present day
Farmers Guaranty State Bank, Meridian-circa
Main Building Meridian College (1
Lumpkin built a large house farther north on
the west side of Main Street.
About this time the town decided to
incorporate for school purposes. It was
probably ten years before they got all the
One of the first things they did was build
a two-story, four-room school building where
the present elementary building is. It was
used until 1912 when the new rock and brick
school west of there was built. For a number
of years the City Council served as a School
Board, hiring teachers and settling discipline
For the next fifty years Meridian was on
the grow. When you read the organizers and
the officers of the associations, the same
names occur: S.R. Carruth, Richard Kimball,
W.B. Odle, James M. Robertson, J.W. Ad-
ams, J.P. Thomas, E.F. Jordan, William M.
Knight, T.C. Alexander, J.J. Lumpkin, P.S.
Hale, C.W. Tidwell, G.W. Turner, H.S.
Dillard, E.B. Robertson, S.H. Cooper, and so
on. J.W. Rudasill served as alderman of the
city for eight years and then began his
twenty-year term as mayor.
The next thing these men saw to was a
water system. J.W. Rudasill drilled an artes-
ian well on his property and at his own
expense laid the water lines. He was granted
a 20-year franchise by the city. There were no
meters, just a monthly charge, but the
watering of lawns and gardens was forbidden.
Later this water system was sold to Clark
Brothers. Next it was owned by William
Harris, then J.W. Grimes. In 1922 the town
voted bonds to buy the system.
A sewerage system was built sometime
afterward, but no date has been found.
A volunteer fire department was organized
in 1899, but it was ill-equipped to deal with
the major fire which occurred in September,
1901. Most of the buildings in the block east
of the courthouse were destroyed. The fire
started in the Lumpkin Building in the
corner of a room occupied by A.P. Cruse and
Son. It began with an explosion about 2:00
a.m. Two more explosions and then a pistol
shot followed. Nine business houses and one
boarding house were in ruins. A dozen more
houses caught but were extinguished. The
local telephone exchange was destroyed.
After this, William Harris, owner of the
water system, put up a standpipe and a
pump. Also, all business houses were made of
rock. Dr. Lumpkin let the contract immedi-
ately for a rock building to replace his.
About 1899 the need was felt for a flour
mill. J.W. Rudasill formed a company and
sold shares for $10.00 each until enough
money was subscribed to build a Mill and
Elevator Company. It was managed by Simon
H. Lumpkin for a while. In 1904 Earl B.
Mayfield, son-in-law of Lumpkin, became
president of the company. In 1908 it shipped
eight carloads of its products per week. This
mill continued to operate profitably until
about 1920 when it closed.
After the big fire of 1901, Clay Francis took
over the telephone company and later moved
it to his residence north of the Womack
House on Bateman and Morgan. It remained
there until replaced by dial system.
In October, 1903, electric lights arrived.
The machinery for the Meridian Electric
Light Plant arrived and was installed. Clay
Francis was manager. Quite a few subscribed
for lights. In 1912 Mr. and Mrs. A.K. Bass
1909-1927) moved to Meridian, having purchased the
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Bosque County History Book Committee. Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas), book, 1985; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91038/m1/87/?q=campbell: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.