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PIDCOKE, TEXAS

Coryell County, North Central Texas
FM 116
About: 15 miles SW of Gatesville
51 miles SW of Waco
45 miles NW of of Temple
26 miles NE of Lampasas
Population: 30 (1990)

Pidcoke, Texas Area Hotels:
Gatesville Hotels

Methodist Church, Pidcoke, Texas
The Methodist Church in Pidcoke
Photos courtesy Richard Miller, October 2007

History in a Pecan Shell

The name is from the Revered Richard Pidcocke family, English immigrants who arrived in the 1850s to form a colony.

Pidcocke sons Hartley and Reginald, bought land in 1857 and began the Pidcock Ranch. A post office was granted under that name in 1875.

The post office changed its name in 1882 to Pidcoe, and in 1883 to Pidcoke. The first school and church were built on land donated by W. H. Belcher.

In 1884 Pidcoke had a population of 150, the school, three churches, two gristmills, and two cotton gins.

In 1914 it had a population of sixty-five, and it peaked in 1940 with a population of 200.

The construction of Fort Hood in 1942 caused many far-reaching changes. The post office closed in 1944 and the last store closed in 1983.
Pidcoke Bapist Church,  Texas
Pidcoke Baptist Church on FM 116
Photos courtesy Richard Miller, October 2007
Historical Marker - FM 116

Pidcoke Baptist Church

Organized in 1884 as Harmony Baptist Church, this congregation began with four charter members. Early worship services were held in the local schoolhouse. A sanctuary, erected in 1907 was destroyed by fire two years later. A new church was built by 1911, and in 1916 the name was changed to Pidcoke Baptist Church. In 1934, a new sanctuary replaced the 1911 structure. Among the church's traditions are camp meetings and baptisms in Cow House Creek. Active in community projects, the congregation led in the restoration of Pidcoke Cemetery.
Pidcoke Cemetery - - CR 142, 0.7 miles west of FM 116
Photos courtesy Richard Miller, October 2007
Historical Marker
Pidcoke Cemetery
Serving the rural Pidcoke and Harman communities, this cemetery dates to at least 1885, the year six-year-old Mattie Jeter was buried here after dying in a fall from a wagon. Local landowners H. S. (Tip) Perryman and W. H. Belcher formally deeded portions of their land for a community graveyard in 1896, and members of both the Perryman and Belcher families are interred here.

The Pidcoke community was named for English colonist the Rev. Richard Burton Pidcocke's sons, Hartley and Reginald, who began a successful ranching enterprise in the area in 1857. Stock raising and other agricultural pursuits sustained the economy until the acquisition of land for Camp Hood in 1942 resulted in the relocation of many families.

Generations of families are buried in the Pidcoke Cemetery, including that of H. S. Perryman, a native of Arkansas, who drove cattle to Kansas and served as Coryell County tax assessor (1876-1886). Perryman died in 1897, soon after donating land for the cemetery. Others interred here include veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

The Pidcoke Cemetery Association, dating to at least 1936, cares for the cemetery. The association has conducted a census of the cemetery, worked to provide markers for unmarked graves and acquired additional land in 1985. The graveyard remains in use as a reminder of Pidcoke's settlement and heritage.

(2001)
FM 116: In The Shadow of Fort Hood by Clay Coppedge

PIDCOKE -
Driving north from Copperas Cove to Gatesville on FM 116 you're never far from Fort Hood. ... Copperas Cove is ringed by five hills, a pattern drivers will see repeated on the way to Gatesville. A few miles out of town you come to FM 580, and if you just feel like it you can detour to the town of Topsey...

If, instead of heading to Topsey you get on 116 you will drive up on a green, bowl-shaped valley cut by scenic creeks. Nestled between the hills and creeks is the community of
Pidcoke, named for the Pidcocke family, early English colonists to the area. It's not hard to see what drew the Pidcockes here. The creeks would have been as good a reason to settle here as anything. This is good ranch country; the best side of the grass is already topside.

A detour in
Pidcoke to see the local cemetery is a good one, but follow the road past the cemetery to catch some fine glimpses of Bee House Creek and a couple of panoramas of the valley. Bee House was once the home of a communal house called Bee House Hall. Residents wanted to name the community Bee Hive but the post office decided it would be Bee House instead.

Pidcoke was the home of NFL legend Clyde "Bulldog" Turner, who passed away in 1998 at the age of 79. Turner was a member of the NFL Hall of Fame who played his college ball art Hardin-Simmons University. He was the first draft pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1940.

As a 20-year old rookie center for the Bears, he was the highest paid rookie lineman in the league. He made $2,000 a year. Turner also owns the distinction, if that's the word, of playing in the most lopsided NFL game ever played, when his Bears delivered a 73-0 shellacking of the Washington Redskins. He had 16 pass interceptions in his career (players played both offense and defense in those days) and four of them came in NFL championship games. He had eight interceptions in 1942, which led the league.

Six miles southeast of Pidcoke used to be the community of Stampede... more
Pidcoke, Texas Forum
Subject: Pidcoke old rock school house
I was hoping to see a photo or a reference to the old rock school house there on the NW side of town. During WWII the class rooms were used as apartments for families working at Camp Hood. Although I never attended school there I did attend some dances held in the gym in the 40's. I spent many a hot day swimming in the Bee House Creek there as well. - Ken Bates, September 30, 2010
Coryell County Texas 1940s map
1940s Coryell County map showing Pidcoke by Cowhouse Creek
(Below "R" in "CORYELL")
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
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