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Peripatetic pioneer elected first Bosque County judge


On this day in 1854, Lowry Scrutchfield was elected the first Bosque County judge. Scrutchfield was born in Nacogdoches in 1824. Some ten years later his widowed mother moved her family to Nashville-on-the-Brazos in Milam County, where they lived in the home of her oldest son, John C. Pool. Here Scrutchfield spent his late childhood and met Maj. George B. Erath, from whom he learned Indian scouting and surveying. He accompanied Erath in 1845 to the South Bosque valley, where he met the Neil McLennan family and moved into their home. Scrutchfield assisted Erath in laying out the townsite of Waco village. In 1851 Scrutchfield married Nancy Proffitt, and the couple moved to Bosque Territory, settling on the east side of the Bosque River several miles north of the site of present Valley Mills. One of the first original settlers in Bosque Territory, Lowry Hampton Scrutchfield emerged as the leader of the small group of pioneers who explored, settled, and organized Bosque County. He served as county judge until 1858. During the almost fifty years that he lived in Bosque County, Scrutchfield played a leading role in its political affairs. He died in 1900.

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