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Coryell County TX
Coryell County

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Coryell County seat, Central Texas North

3126'12"N 9744'7"W (31.436755, -97.735257)

Intersection of US 84 & Hwy 36
80 miles N of Austin
35 miles NW of Temple
38 miles W of Waco
51 miles E of Goldthwaite
32 miles SE of Hamilton
ZIP codes 76528
Area code 254
Population: 12,401 Est. (2019)
15,751 (2010) 15,591 (2000) 11,492 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Gatesville Hotels

Gatesville Texas Bird's Eye View 1884 Old Map by August Koch
Gatesville, Texas Bird's Eye View
1884 Old Map by August Koch
Gatesville Public Library

Gatesville, Texas Topics:

  • History
  • Gatesville Landmarks/Attractions
  • Coryell County Courthouse › next page
  • Gatesville Chronicles
  • Coryell County - Towns & ghost towns › next page
  • Gatesville Hotels › Book Here

  • Gatesville History
    Historical Marker (In front of Gatesville City Hall):


    County seat of Coryell County, Gatesville began in 1854 after the county was created. Richard Grant, an Indian trader and local landowner, donated the townsite. It was named for Old Fort Gates (1849-1852), which had been established 5 miles east for Indian protection. The Fort, named for U.S. Army major G. R. Gates, was the first settlement in the county. For a few months Fort Gates served as county seat, but then Gatesville was chosen.

    The County's first mail line -- from Gatesville to Belton -- was set up in 1855. The town grew slowly at first, suffering from intermittent Indian raids, but the period from 1870 to 1882 saw great progress. In 1870 the town was incorporated and in 1872 a courthouse was built. When St. Louis & Southwestern railroad ran a spur line to Gatesville in 1882, the citizens held a gala welcoming celebration. With the railroad came prosperity and many new homes and businesses. A fine opera house, frontier symbol of culture, was erected and numerous civic improvements were initiated. Today the town is the home of the Gatesville and Mountain View State schools for boys. The economy of the area is based on ranching and agriculture.

    Gatesville, Texas Landmarks/Attractions

    Gatesville, Texas - Coryelle County courthouse vintage photo
    1939 Photo courtesy of TXDoT
    Coryell County Courthouse

  • Coryell County Courthouse

  • Coryell Museum and Historical Center - (254) 865-5007
    "Home of the largest collection of antique spurs in the world."

  • Fort Gates

  • Ft. Hood - (254) 287-1110
    "The largest military installation in the United States."

  • Gatesville Hotels

  • Fort Gates Texas Centennial Marker, Coryell County
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
    Fort Gates

    Gatesville, Texas depot
    The depot in Gatesville
    Photo courtesy Jim & Lou Kinsey, 2003
    More Texas Depots

    Gatesville Tx -  Last Picture Show Drive In Theater Neon

    The Last Picture Show Drive-In Theatre
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
    More Texas Theatres

    Pecan Grove and Baptist Church , Gatesville, Texas
    Pecan Grove and Baptist Church SE of Gatesville
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2004

    First Baptist Church, Gatesville, Texas
    First Baptist Church
    Photo courtesy Jim & Lou Kinsey, 2003
    More Texas Churches

    A Coryell County Drive

    FM 116: In The Shadow of Fort Hood

    by Clay Coppedge

    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....

    Six miles southeast of Pidcoke used to be the community of Stampede ... read full article

    Gatesville, TX Chronicles
  • Shoot-out in Gatesville 1894 by Mike Cox
    "...Newspaper owners knew they needed as many readers as possible to attract advertisers, since business owners naturally wanted their ads to get as much attention as possible. Editors well understood that sensationalism sold newspapers. ...[B]eyond generating revenue and espousing one's viewpoint, most publishers and their editors honestly saw themselves as the public's watchdog, the inky guardian of the First Amendment. Of course, this could be dangerous, especially in early day Texas. Whipping a newspaper editor, or even killing him for what he published was not unheard of.
    But what happened in Gatesville in the summer of 1894 was far less common..." more

  • The Life and Times of Big Bill Babb by Clay Coppedge
    "...This happened in the early days of Coryell County, when Central Texas ranches functioned a lot like the feudal system in England in the Middle Ages. Ranches were kingdoms, each with its own ruler and an army of knights to enforce the ruler's will. Crockett King, William Oglesby and Big Bill Babb were the kings of Coryell County...." more

  • The Old Book Shelf by Mike Cox. ("Texas Tales" column)
    This shelf, standing in a back corner of the Coryell County Museum in Gatesville, has a story as interesting as any of the books it ever held. A novel-in-wood, it represents a Texas family saga extending from before the Civil War through the Great Depression and into the modern era.

  • The Most Famous Bathtub in Coryell County by Clay Coppedge
    "Thomas and Laquita Barton's house outside of town has the first bathtub in Coryell County, a hand-carved limestone classic...." more

  • Cranfill by Mike Cox. ("Texas Tales" column)
    For about the last quarter of the 19th century, and the first two decades of the 20th century, being a "wet" or a "dry" defined a Texan politically much more accurately than being Democrat or Republican. Both sides of the issue passionately believed they were in the right. Often, they were willing to fight over their belief, sometimes to the death. That's what J.B. Cranfill was up to in 1882 when he started a newspaper in Gatesville, the Advance...... more

    Gatesville Hotels › Book Hotel Here

  • Gatesville Texas prison
    Prison and water tower
    Photo courtesy Jim & Lou Kinsey, 2003
    More Texas Jails

    Gatesville Texas water tower
    Gatesville water tower
    Photo courtesy Jim & Lou Kinsey, 2003
    More Texas Water Towers

    Take a road trip

    Central Texas North

    Gatesville, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Hamilton | Waco | Temple
    See Coryell County | Hamilton County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Gatesville Hotels | More Hotels
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