Eunice Sullivan Gray

BOLIVAR, TEXAS (Denton County). Bolivar, at the intersection of Farm roads 2450 and 455, fourteen miles northwest of Denton in Denton County, was founded in 1859. William Crawford sold the site to Hiram Daily, a Methodist minister and doctor, who opened a general store, laid out the town, and called it New Prospect. In 1861 Ben Brown, a farmer, who had moved from Bolivar, Tennessee, suggested the renaming of the town and persuaded residents to vote for the name Bolivar by providing them free drinks. John Simpson Chisum ranched near Bolivar but moved his herds in 1863 to West Texas. Bolivar was only three miles east of the Chisholm Trail, which ran through the Wilson, Forester, Chisum, and Waide ranches. Cowboys on the trail came to Bolivar to stay at its hotel and patronize its saloons. Development of the community was slow but steady until 1886. In that year Bolivar merchants moved their businesses to Sanger, on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway. From 1900 until 1940 Bolivar remained a small community of farmers. The economy received a slight boost from oil production during the 1940s and early 1950s. At one time forty oilfields were in and around the community. In 1947 Bolivar had 115 residents. As the production of oil declined, however, so did the population. In 1980 a post office, a convenience store, and forty residents remained. In 1990 and in 2000 the population was still recorded as forty.

Edward Franklin Bates, History and Reminiscences of Denton County (Denton, Texas: McNitzky Printing, 1918; rpt., Denton: Terrill Wheeler Printing, 1976). Harwood P. Hinton, Jr., "John Simpson Chisum, 1877–84," New Mexico Historical Review 31–32 (July 1956-January 1957). E. Dale Odom and Bullitt Lowry, A Brief History of Denton County (Denton, Texas, 1975). Denton Record-Chronicle, June 13, 1948, August 13, 1950, August 2, 1953.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Eunice Sullivan Gray, "BOLIVAR, TX (DENTON COUNTY)," accessed April 25, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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