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Coryell County History Written in 1858

Coryell County History Written in 1858

This county takes its name from a creek, which derived its name from a man named Coryell, who had a survey of land on this creek, and was killed several years ago by Indians. The county is divided into prairie, timber, mountains and valleys. The Leon River is the main stream, which runs into the county about ten miles south of the north-west corner; it then makes a bend more southward, and runs near the centre of the county; thence out to the south of the north-east corner, about eight miles. The main tributary of the Leon, on the north, is Coryell creek, which has its source near the north  west corner of the county, and runs south-east to the Leon, about twelve miles below Gatesville. East of this stream and the Leon is prairie, good soil, and fine stock range. The prairies will soon be dotted over with settlements and small farms, for this is a paradise for the small farmer. Rails delivered on this prairie cost from $2.50 to $3 per hundred. There are mountains on both sides of Coryell creek, which furnish large quantities of cedar. The valleys on this creek are small ; the Leon has much valley land, which produces grain of all kinds in abun  dance. There is also some sandy post oak land, excellent for hog-raising, from the abundance of mast.

There are several small streams running into the Leon from the south-west side, the largest of which are Plum creek, Henson's creek, and Owl creek ; the first of these empties into the Leon above Gatesville, the second ten miles below, and the third below the county line, in Bell County.

These streams have all their hills and valleys. Many beautiful situations for small farms are to be found in the valleys, with first-rate soil, and timber on the hills and creeks. Hogs, sheep, goats, and small stocks of neat cattle do well, and afford an easy income to the farmer, with very little trouble and outlay. Cowhouse creek is a large, clear stream, having its source in Comanche County, and runs east through this county ; its valleys of good land are from a quarter of a mile to two miles wide, chiefly prairie, with timber on the creeks for building, fire  wood, and fencing; a very good stock country, and well watered. This stream empties into the Leon in Bell County, six miles above Belton. Fencing, on Cowhouse creek, costs about $2 per hundred rails. There has been no cotton planted in this county ; wheat is a staple crop. There are but two mills in the county; one owned by R. G. Grant, a quarter of a mile from Gatesville, on the Leon; the other belonging to Mr. Jones, near the Bell County line, on the same stream. This year, as is very well known, was so very dry that it is no criterion; in common seasons, mills on the Leon will run nine months in the year. All of the streams have good mill-seats, yet unoccupied.

Gatesville, the county-seat, is the only town. It is pleasantly situated on the north side of the Leon, on an eminence. The town consists of about thirty houses, including court-house, jail, shops, and offices. There are three stores, two hotels, three lawyers, two physicians, and several mechanics ; the professional men have very little business. The population is from all the States, but principally from the western portion of the Southern States. Society is good, and churches and school-houses are being built in various parts of the county. Improved lands can be bought at from $3 to $6 per acre ; unimproved lands at from $1.50 to $4 per acre. There are yet some choice tracts of vacant land in this county. From Austin to Gatesville is 80 miles; the nearest and best route being by Georgetown, thence by the Fort Gates military road. - Braman's information about Texas, 1858