Clifton is at the junction of State Highway 6 and Farm Road 219, thirty-five miles northwest of Waco in southern Bosque County. It was founded in the winter of 1852–53, when the families of Samuel Locker, Monroe Locker, Frank Kell, and T. A. McSpadden settled in the vicinity. The town was named Cliff Town after the limestone cliffs that surround it. Over the years the name was altered to Clifton. The site was originally on the banks of Clear Branch. The Masonic hall and a log schoolhouse were the first public buildings. The post office was established in 1859. The First Presbyterian Church of Clifton was organized in 1861 and is the oldest church in continuous service in the county. The Baptists built the first church building in Clifton in 1884–85. After the Civil War J. Stinnett built a flour mill that was powered by the Bosque River. It was replaced in 1868 by a limestone mill, which was eventually converted to the electric power plant that provided the first electricity for Clifton homes. A three-story school known as Rock School was built around 1870 and served the community for more than twenty years. In 1893 a new building was constructed on property donated to the Clifton school system.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Place type

Clifton is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Clifftown]
  • [Cliff Town]


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Clifton by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
3,465 2020 United States Census Bureau
3,562 2019 Texas Demographic Center
3,442 2010 United States Census Bureau
3,542 2000 United States Census Bureau
3,195 1990 United States Census Bureau
3,063 1980 United States Census Bureau
2,578 1970 United States Census Bureau
2,335 1960 United States Census Bureau
1,837 1950 United States Census Bureau
1,732 1940 United States Census Bureau
1,367 1930 United States Census Bureau
1,327 1920 United States Census Bureau
1,137 1910 United States Census Bureau