Cities, Towns & Communities
Alvarado | Briaroaks | Buchanan (Bailey’s) | Burleson | Cleburne – county seat | Cresson | Cross Timber | Godley | Grandview | Joshua | Keene | Lillian | Rio Vista | Sand Flat (Cuba) | Union Hill | Venus (Gossip) | Wardville | Watts Chapel
Johnson County 1858. This county lies above the line of the Pacific railroad (32°), and is in the midst of the wheat region. It is of quite recent organization: the lands are good and very cheap ; the prairies are said to be of the best quality. We learn that the population is in creasing, by large and substantial additions of emigrants. The famous heights, “Pilot Knob”‘ and ” Camanche Peak,” are in this county. Distance from Matagorda to the centre is 250 miles, and from Port Lavacca is 250 miles. – Braman’s information about Texas, 1858
Johnson County History 1922. The first settlements were planted in what is now Johnson County in 1852. The territory was then comprised within the jurisdiction of McLennan and Navarro counties, and by 1853 the population was sufficiently numerous to justify the creation of a new county. The legislative act of February 13, 1854, erected Johnson County, and the first election of county officers was held in the following April. In 1866 the western part of the county was detached to form Hood County, from which in turn was subsequently taken Somervell County. The first county seat was Wardville, located five miles west of the present city of Cleburne. In 1856 another county seat election was held, and a place called Bailey’s, five miles northwest of Cleburne, was selected, and its name changed to Buchanan, in honor of the then President of the United States. Both of these old county seat locations have long since ceased to be centers of population or trade. Continue Reading Johnson County History Written in 1922 >>
Johnson County. Named for Middleton T. Johnson (1810-1866), native of South Carolina, for 7 terms an Alabama legislator, a leading Texan after 1840. Served in 9th Texas Legislature; in Texas Rangers, Mexican War, Civil War. County created and organized 1854, from land earlier in counties of Ellis, Hill and Navarro. First county seat, Wardville, 1854-1856. Second was Buchanan, 1856-1867. Camp Henderson, at famous springs 3.5 miles southeast of Buchanan, a recruiting place in county during Civil War, in 1867 was made county seat and renamed in honor of a Confederate General Patrick Cleburne. – Marker erected 1936. Located at 2nd and Hillsboro Street, Cleburne City Park, Cleburne.
A memorial and biographical history of Johnson and Hill counties, Texas : containing the early history of this important section of the great state of Texas together with glimpses of its future prospects…, 1892 Digital book online at archive.org. Digital book online at the Portal to Texas History.
History of Johnson County and Surrounding Areas, 1970, by Viola Block
History of Johnson County, Texas, 1985, by Johnson County Historical Book Committee
Johnson County has been the home of five courthouses, the first in Wardville, the second in Buchanan, and the last three courthouses in Cleburne. The current courthouse, built in 1913, is over 100 years old. More on Johnson County Courthouses >>