A BOSQUE RIVER VALLEY COMMUNITY
Meridian, seat of Bosque County, hugs the cliffs and canyons of the scenic Bosque River valley. Believing that the 98th meridian passed through the townsite, one of county’s first commissioners suggested the name “Meridian” for the new town in the mid-1800s. In fact, the 98th didn’t pass through the site at all, crossing instead along a small portion of the northernmost section of Bosque County. But despite the misunderstanding, the name remained. Formally established in 1854, Meridian built its first courthouse the same year and by 1888 maintained a lively business district surrounding a town square. Meridian took advantage of both the nearby Santa Fe Railroad and its location on a state route between Waco and Stephenville, prospering throughout the late 1800s as a commercial shipping center for area farms. Like many rural agrarian Texas towns, drought and depression hit Meridian hard and citizens struggled through the early twentieth century. Today, the pastoral Bosque River continues to roll through the community, offering plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities at the local park as well as nearby Meridian State Park and Lake Whitney. Texas barbeque is a passion for Meridians who host two major events annually, the invitation only National Barbeque Championship Cook-off in October and Chigger Fest cook-off in June.