BUNYAN, TEXAS. Bunyan is on Farm Road 219 ten miles west of Stephenville in western Erath County. It was established the 1870s and named, according to some sources, for an early Methodist preacher in the area, Alexander Bunyan. Other sources claim that when the inhabitants gathered to name their first one-room schoolhouse, one early resident called out "John Bunyan's Academy!" Bunyan cemetery has graves dating back to 1879. The first school was built about 1880 with lumber hauled from Dallas. A two-room school was built in 1905, and further rooms were later added on. At one time the Bunyan school served 140 pupils and provided homes for its teachers. Church services were held in private homes and in the old schoolhouse. The first church building was erected by Methodists and called Elkin's Chapel. The first Baptist church was initially called Cow Creek Chapel, for nearby Cow Creek, but eventually changed its name to Bunyan Baptist. In 1888 the Methodist Episcopal church was organized and met in the Elkin's Chapel building. It built its own church in 1903 (rebuilt in 1920). A Nazarene church was built on a hill overlooking Bunyan but was later dismantled. A post office opened in the community in 1891. In 1896 Bunyan had a population of ten, a flour mill, and a cotton gin. The community's first grocery store was built around 1900. The post office closed in 1904. Bunyan also had several blacksmith shops at different times. In 1935 the school had three teachers and sixty-one pupils. In 1940 Bunyan had a school, two churches, and scattered dwellings. The school was consolidated with those of Dublin in the 1940s. In 1965 Bunyan had one church and scattered dwellings, and in 1966 its population was estimated at twenty. In 1988 two churches, one business, a grain elevator, and a cemetery were at the site. In 2000 the population was still estimated at twenty.
Henry Herbert Miller, A Proposed Consolidation Plan for the Schools of Erath County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1938). H. Grady Perry, Grand Ol' Erath (Stephenville, Texas, 1974).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Mark Odintz, "BUNYAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnbms), accessed May 20, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.