Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas) Page: 80
J.B. Pool General Merchandise, circa 1900.
Along the Chisholm Trail, 1878; George Scrutchfield far left.
McNeill Building, 1900.
It was not until the late 1840's, when the
two military outposts, Fort Graham on the
Brazos and Fort Gates on the Leon River,
were established to provide early settlers
some protection from hostile Indian attacks,
that the first American pioneers ventured
into the heretofore unsettled region on the
fringe of the western frontier known as
Bosque Territory, then a part of McLennan
County. These courageous frontier families,
mostly of English and Scotch-Irish descent,
settled along Hog Creek and the Bosque
River in the southwestern part of the terri-
tory and near the Brazos-Steel Creek area to
become the first permanent settlers in the
county. In the early years of Bosque County's
history, three centers of population evolved
in the southern section of the county. They
were: Searsville, the community on Hog
Creek (which centered around the Old Rock
Church and School), and Valley Mills. The
development of these three communities was
closely related; however, with the passing of
time, it was the town of Valley Mills which
grew to become the community center of the
southern part of the county.
Valley Mills, located near the west bank of
the Bosque River, twenty-four miles north of
Waco, dates its origin from the early homes-
teads of Ewell Everett, who came to the area
around 1849 to become the first permanent
settler in Bosque Territory, and of Lowry
Scrutchfield, who, with his bride, Nancy
Proffitt Scrutchfield, settled in the area in
Two of the very early schools in Bosque
County were located in this southern region.
According to Pleas Everett, the first school
in the county was located on Lowry Scrutch-
field's place in 1854 and was taught by Isaac
Gary. A year later, in 1855, L.D. Stringer, a
Baptist preacher, taught at Liberty Hill
School, the site of which was in the city limits
of present Valley Mills. He also preached in
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Downing Store was first one built in "new town" in 1881; picture taken prior to 1893. R-L: J.A. McMurray,
W.L. Tibbs, P. Downing, C.F. Downing, A.S. Howard, Walter Sedberry, E. Sedberry, Bill Mabery, John
B.K. Jarrett Livery Stable, 1900.
First drug store in "new" town, 1885. Standing on
porch, L-R: Dr. J.C. Jarrett, Uncle Billy Jackson,
Dr. W.T. McNeill, Sid Thomas, Raleigh Vaughan;
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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/m1/96/?q=campbell: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.