NEILS CREEK. Neils Creek rises in southwestern Bosque County four miles southeast of Cranfills Gap where the North and Middle forks of Neils Creek converge (at 31°43' N, 97°47' W) and runs east for 24½ miles to its mouth on the North Bosque River, four miles northwest of Valley Mills (at 31°42' N, 97°32' W). In addition to the two converging forks, a third tributary, the South Fork of Neils Creek, joins the main stream a mile east of its origin. George B. Erath named the watercourse for either Neil McLennan or Claiborne Neil, both of whom apparently participated in an 1837 expedition that Erath led across the Bosque region. Neils Creek became a focus of county population growth between 1854 and 1856 with the arrival of Norwegian and Anglo settlers who obtained land along the waterway and in the stream valley. At that time tall cedars lined the creekbed and herds of deer and antelope fed on the valley's high grass.

Bosquerama, 1854–1954: Centennial Celebration of Bosque County, Texas (Meridian, Texas: Bosque County Centennial Association, 1954). William C. Pool, Bosque Territory (Kyle, Texas: Chaparral, 1964).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "NEILS CREEK," accessed November 15, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox