"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.

History 1860's

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.

Baylor gets started

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 and Cons
  • 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!
  • Last visit to Waco: Apr 2004
  • Intro Updated Apr 29, 2004
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (35)

Comments (29)

  • Oct 31, 2008 at 8:09 AM

    Great information and pictures

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    lots of interesting info here on Waco thanks - its sure more than just a place to have a shoot out siege with the FBI!what is an onion brick?

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    I only got to pass through Waco, need to stop next time.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Just love the suspension bridge and 1st skyscraper!! Love reading about the university and the sporting events. A very personal and well written group of tips. Your tip titles are so often smile-makers!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    I never knew that Waco was named after the Waco Indian tribe. In fact I never knew anything about Waco at all. Thanks for including the historical background.

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2007 at 3:41 AM

    Love your tips...very informative. We only had a brief drive through...but did get a chance to visit the Texas Ranger Museum. Would love to return to Waco...

  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    My new daughter-in-law is from Waco. Nice people.

  • nixca316's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2007 at 8:20 PM

    I saved this page...when can I cook for you? =D

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2007 at 4:00 AM

    great page!

  • Krkrboy's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    I drive through Waco all of the time. It is almost as exciting as rearainging my sock drawer! ;-)


“Don't Worry About Tomorrow... Its Already Happened in Australia!”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 6 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 7 4 5

Badges & Stats in Waco

  • 35 Reviews
  • 37 Photos
  • 1 Forum posts
  • 19,819PageViews

Have you been to Waco?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Waco

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)