"Waco, TX... my home for 4 fun filled years!" Top 5 Page for this destination Waco by ATXtraveler
Waco Travel Guide: 147 reviews and 298 photos
Waco is in central McLennan County about seventy miles south of Dallas near the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque rivers. The city's transportation links include Interstate Highway 35, U.S. highways 84 and 77, State Highway 6, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and the St. Louis Southwestern Railway. The city is built on the site of an ancient agricultural village of Huaco (Waco) Indians. About 1830 a group of Cherokee Indians moved into the area and drove the Huacos from the village. Fort Fisher, a Texas Rangers outpost and the first white settlement in the area, was established in 1837, but was abandoned after only a few months. In 1844 George Barnard began operating Torrey's Trading Post No. 2 on a small tributary of Tehuacana Creek, eight miles south of the old Huaco village. A year later Neil McLennan moved onto land nearby on the South Bosque River. A log smithy was erected at the present site of East Waco in 1846 by Jesse Sutton, a blacksmith. In 1848 Gen. Thomas J. Chambers sold a two-league grant of land, including the old Waco village site, to John S. Sydnor of Galveston. Sydnor struck a deal with land agent Jacob De Cordova to divide the property and dispose of it at a dollar an acre. George B. Erath, who had first visited the area as one of the rangers stationed at the old 1837 outpost, was one of De Cordova's surveyors, and he urged that the new townsite be placed at the former Indian village. In 1848 the tract was sold to Nathaniel A. Ware and Jonas Butler of Galveston; they became De Cordova's partners in the venture.
Waco's economy recovered rapidly in the years just after the Civil War. After 1868 the town was on a spur of the Chisholm Trailqv used by cattlemen to drive steers to market, and cattlemen and their employees often stopped in the town to buy supplies and for recreation. By 1871 between 600,000 and 700,000 cattle had been driven through the town. Waco's economy especially began to boom after 1870, when the Waco Bridge Company opened a suspension bridge spanning the Brazos. Upon completion of the bridge, Waco was quickly reincorporated as the "City of Waco." In 1871, when the Waco and Northwestern Railroad was built into the city, Waco became an important debarkation point for thousands of prospective settlers headed west and the primary shipping point for a broad area. The town had many saloons and gaming houses during the 1870s, attracting cowhands, drifters, and others who helped earn the town the nickname of "Six Shooter Junction." A red light district called the "Reservation" also grew during this period, and prostitutionqv was legally recognized, licensed, and regulated by the city until the early twentieth century.
Waco became an increasingly important commercial center, during the late nineteenth century the city also attracted a number of educational institutions and in some circles was known as the "Athens of Texas." Waco Classical School, established in 1860, became Waco University in 1861 and in 1887 merged with Baylor University, which moved to Waco at that time. In 1872 the African Methodist Episcopal church opened Paul Quinn College. Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic school, was founded by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namurqv in 1873. Other private or sectarian schools, including Waco Academy, Waco Select School, and Leland Seminary, were also operating in the city at that time. Waco Female College was first established in 1856; it closed its doors in 1893, but by 1895 Add-Ran College occupied the buildings. Add-Ran became Texas Christian University in 1902.
All text credited to: Roger N. Conger
- Pros:Many Texas Historical sites in one area
- Cons:Not near alot of major city amenities
- In a nutshell:A great place to visit, y'all!
Inspired by St. Peter's Cathedral, Waco's McLennan County Courthouse really is a must see on a trip through town. This... more travel advice
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