As Americans took to the road in an age of expanded highway systems and ease of travel, the Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts pioneered the field of luxury motels. From a small but luxurious beginning in Waco, the company grew into a nationwide chain known…

General Tire & Rubber Company came to Waco in late 1944, the company’s second plant after its Akron, Ohio, headquarters. The company originally constructed the plant in order to supply equipment for the US Armed Forces during World War II. By…

Believed to have curative qualities, water from Waco’s artesian wells were popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Locals considered the discovery of the artesian water in 1889 one of the most important events in Waco up…

During the early twentieth century, Waco experienced economic growth, large amounts of community engagement and recreation, as well as racial tension and military training. Photographer Fred Gildersleeve, nicknamed “Gildy,” immortalized the…

Two years after Texas became a republic in 1836, Israel Washington Speegle formed a wagon train in Tennessee with several of his brothers and his wife’s family members and moved to Texas. When Texas was admitted to the union in 1845, McLennan…

Roy Brown Bertrand Sr. was known as the "Waffle Wizard" and as a statesman among restaurateurs for his long career in the food trade in Waco. Born on ranchland near Eddy in 1909 to Alabama-native Emma Lee Pouncey and Peter Gabriel Bertrand of…

Texas Christian University called various Texas cities—including Waco—home for many years before settling permanently in Fort Worth. The university traces its origins to a small private school operated out of a brick church structure in Fort…

Floyd Casey Stadium housed the Baylor Football Program from 1950 until the opening of McLane Stadium in the fall of 2014. In 1936, Baylor Football’s home turf was Municipal Stadium, located at Fifteenth Street and Dutton Avenue. With a maximum…

Waco’s law enforcement has seen many a hoodlum since the days of the town’s founding in 1849. One of the most notorious was Clyde Barrow—half of the infamous gun-slinging duo Bonnie and Clyde. On October 16, 1929, Waco police arrested Barrow in…

A forerunner of Baylor University, Waco University served as one of the earliest and most influential institutions of higher learning following the founding of Waco Village in 1849. When Waco incorporated in 1856, Baptists already held a significant…

Waco Female College served as an influential institution of higher learning for women in the nineteenth century. The consolidation of two other female educational institutions, Waco Female Seminary and Waco Female Academy, led to the formation of…

The first African American mayor of a major city in Texas, Oscar DuCongé rose to local prominence through his civil service and selfless dedication to improving life for all Wacoans. Born in Pass Christian, Mississippi, on April 19, 1909, Oscar…

For nearly half a century, cotton reigned as king of Waco's economy, establishing the once small frontier town as a thriving urban center known throughout the country. The area later named Waco held a long history of agricultural pursuits tracing…

Calle Dos emerged in the early twentieth century as a haven for Mexican immigrants fleeing border violence and rapidly developed into a center of culture and community for Waco’s Hispanic population. Prior to the establishment of Calle Dos, Mexican…

Waco was a city on the move at the turn of the twentieth century, and its run into modernity was aided by the advent of the interurban electric railway. Although Waco had other forms of mass transit since the days of the stagecoach, with first…

Although born of humble beginnings, Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church has been lifting Wacoans up in worship for over a century. The church now known as Greater Ebenezer Baptist began as Oak Street Baptist Church in East Waco in 1915, when Rev. J. S.…

In its early days in the 1920s, Castle Heights was just a grassy hill at the end of the streetcar line, with a clear view of the Amicable building downtown. The city of Waco has since grown miles beyond the hill, and oaks and magnolia trees have…

A proudly old-fashioned medicine in retro packaging that features a turn-of-the-twentieth-century tot is not only a vestige of Waco’s drug store past—it is a part of its present as well. The preparation known since 1938 as Percy Medicine was born…