In 1852, John Robinson arrived in Central Texas, from Demopolis, Alabama, with his family and six slaves, founding what would soon become known as Robinsonville. Two years later, his brother Levi joined him, bringing his own family and an additional…

Jeffie Obrea Allen Conner was born in 1895 on her family’s farm in Harrison Switch, Texas. She was the oldest of three children born to Meddie Lilian and Jeff D. Allen. Harrison Switch, later known as Harrison, was a small African American community…

After Pearl Harbor and the entrance of the United States into World War II, production increased dramatically at home to aid the war effort overseas. In short order, munitions factories popped up throughout the nation. The town of McGregor was chosen…

The Watson Feed Store is an inseparable part of downtown Mart. Built over 100 years ago, it still stands proudly at its place along Texas Avenue. In 1903, Ruff Watson moved to Mart and purchased property in the middle of town. He constructed a…

Born of an alliance of doctors, religious Sisters, and businessmen seeking to bring better medical care to Waco, Providence Hospital has been serving the community for over a century. Prior to the twentieth century, Waco’s home-based medical system…

Lacy Lakeview is a suburban community located approximately five miles north of Waco on Interstate Highway 35 in McLennan County. Lacy Lakeview was part of the league of land granted to Sarah Ann Vauchere Walker in 1843 for her husband Jacob Walker’s…

Rebecca Pines Shelton Sparks, often referred to as Mother Sparks, was a laywoman from Missouri who moved to Texas with her family before the Civil War. Sparks married a Confederate veteran of the Texas Calvary and a Texas Ranger, Thaddeus Pinckney…

On the corner of Eighth Street and Washington Avenue once stood a Catholic school and convent that taught thousands of students during its years of operation from 1874 to 1946. The Academy of the Sacred Heart received its name partially because the…

For eighty-eight years, the William Cameron House stood as a nineteenth-century architectural treasure near the intersection of Twelfth Street and Austin Avenue. The fine embellishments on the mansion dazzled Waco residents, and helped it to become a…

First United Methodist Church marks its founding year as 1850, when the Rev. Joseph Perkins Sneed, a circuit-riding Methodist minister, preached to the inhabitants of Waco Village at the foot of Jackson Street on the banks of the Brazos River. Legend…

Crawford, Texas, is home to the beautiful Tonkawa Falls, drawing visitors and locals alike for recreational activities and fun each year. The falls are named after the Tonkawa Indians who inhabited the area for centuries before the arrival of white…

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Farmers’ Improvement Society (FIS) worked to help poor farmers escape the cycle of debt caused by the share cropping and credit system which developed in the wake of the Civil War. Although…

An African American-owned hotel during the period of segregation and Jim Crow laws, the College View Court-Hotel provided respite for black travelers on the road. The College View Court-Hotel offered guests modern comfort with its thirty-five…

In the early part of the twentieth century, the area around Bridge Street on the west side of the Brazos River, known as the square, was home to various bars, restaurants, grocery stores, offices, insurance agencies, and other businesses that were…

The area which once comprised Edgefield Neighborhood has undergone significant changes over the last century. Located on the south side of the city, it encompassed the area between what is today Waco Creek to the north, Brazos River to the east, La…

Dan “Uncle Dan” McLennan was born in 1849 as a slave to Neil McLennan in what would a year later become known as McLennan County, named for his master. Uncle Dan became a beloved member of not only the McLennan family but of the Waco community as…

On June 18, 1918, a troop train carrying soldiers from Camp MacArthur’s 80th Field Artillery left East Waco and traveled eastward on the Cotton Belt line, heading toward a southern training camp. After traveling for fifteen minutes (about seven…

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company began its corporate existence in the days following the Civil War and was intended to funnel business from Kansas City and points north and east to a new rail route being cut across Indian Territory and…

The roots of Bellmead grew out of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company (M-K-T). In June of 1910, M-K-T purchased 90 percent of the Texas Central Railway, a line of tracks running 268 miles from Waco to Rotan. Because of Waco’s central location…

A notorious crime over fifty years ago in Texas changed the way Americans view courtroom drama—not just as fictional entertainment but as reality programming. In December of 1955, the murder trial of Harry Leonard Washburn of Houston in a McLennan…