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Bosque County TX
Bosque County

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Bosque County, Central Texas North

31°46'25"N 97°49'42"W (31.773727, -97.828335)

Hwy 22 and FM 219
14 miles SW of Meridian the county seat
18 miles E of Hamilton
42 miles NW of Waco via Hwy 6
52 miles SW of Hillsboro
Population: 282 Est. (2019)
281 (2010) 335 (2000) 269 (1990)

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Bosque County TX Hwy 22
Hwy 22
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008

History in a Pecan Shell

Named for George Eaton Cranfill, one of earliest settlers in the area - the Gap refers to a break in a mountain separating Bosque and Hamilton counties.

Settlement dates to Cranfill's arrival around 1851 but the town didn't get started until 1879, when a post office that had been in Hamilton County was moved across the county line into Cranfills Gap.

By 1890 the town was thriving with two doctors, stores, a blacksmith's forge, and saloon. St. Olaf's - a Norwegian Lutheran church was built nearby in 1886 and remains standing today.

The town never got a railroad, despite a slight move in 1913 to insure a connection with the outside world. The high water mark for population occurred in 1940 when 600 people called the Gap home.

In 1980, the census reported 341 citizens and it has since declined to less than 300.

St. Olaf's Church 1917, Cranfills Gap
St. Olaf Lutheran Church
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Photo Courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey, 2002
More Texas Churches

Historical Marker: ( 402 Meridian St, Cranfills Gap)

St. Olaf Lutheran Church

Following the settlement of Norwegian Immigrants in Bosque County in 1854, Lutheranism became the predominant denomination in the region. In 1886, St. Olaf Kirke, named after the patron saint of Norway, was built to address the worshiping practices of the expanding population. Affectionately called “Old Rock Church,” it was the center of social gatherings for more than 50 years where good food, fellowship and games were enjoyed by all. On January 10, 1914, the members voted to purchase a full city block of land to build a new church for their growing congregation.

The cornerstone of the new “Brick Church” was placed in march of 1917. The Romanesque revival-style building included a sanctuary with a balcony and a half basement, which was a point of pride for the congregation. In 1917, St. Olaf Lutheran Church was described as the “costliest and largest” Lutheran Church in Bosque county and in rural Texas. Through the fundraising efforts of the women’s organization many enhancements were added to the church. The “Brick Church” services were conducted in Norwegian until 1927 and continued at “The Rock Church” for the older members until the 1940s. The St. Olaf Church Sunday School was built for religious instruction in 1954.

The church has provided for the needs of its membership and the community, as well as missions in other countries as it seeks to fulfill its mission. St. Olaf Lutheran Church continues to maintain its Norwegian heritage and serve as the heart of the community.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Cranfills Gap school, Texas
Cranfill Gap School c.1939
Photo Courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey, 2002
More Texas Schoolhouses

Bosque County Midway Store on TX 22
Midway Store on Hwy 22
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008

Cranfills Gap TX Wild Flowers
Wildflowers near Cranfills Gap
Photo courtesy Ernie Wymer

St. Olaf's Lutheran Church 1886, Cranfills Gap
The Old Rock Church c.1886
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
National Register of Historic Places

Photo Courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey, 2002

Nearby Destinations

From Cranfills Gap, take CR 4145 about 4 miles east to The Old Rock Church and cemetery, and a short drive to Norse

Cranfills Gaps, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Louise Cranfill
    My great grandmother was Louise Cranfill. My grandmother Ella Francene James married the late Kenneth James and she currently resides in Lubbock, TX. They had 3 daughters who had 8 children altogether. I am one of those children. I have visited Cranfills Gap and recently learned of my family's history here. I'd like to ask my grandmother (Francene) if she has any pictures of Louise. I've heard many stories of her and I remember seeing pictures of me as a baby in her lap. Just thought I'd share that. I saw the inquiry for pictures of her in one of your posts. Thanks, Grace McGinnis, January 12, 2019

  • Subject: Louise Cranfill, Daughter of George Eaton Cranfill
    My husband's greatgrandmother, Louise Cranfill, was born in Cranfill's Gap, daughter of George Eaton Cranfill. Do you have any pictures of George Eaton Cranfill's family? Louise married James Henry Woodman. My husband's grandmother was Ida May Woodman Roberts. She died at age 28. We know of no existing pictures of her. If you have any of the early pictures of Cranfill's Gap, we would be so appreciative to have copies. Thanks for any pictures, stories, history, articles from old newspapers or a source for these items. - Barbara A. Roberts, February 17, 2006

  • Take a road trip

    Central Texas North

    Cranfills Gap, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Meridian the county seat

    See Bosque County
    Hamilton County

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