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…

During the 1890s, the city of Waco was in a period of financial growth, and citizens were in need of a place to be entertained. Waco was home to several theaters and opera houses; however, local businessmen desired a large auditorium that would bring…

The Geyser Ice Company complex has long outlived its heyday when it supplied ice for trains loaded with meat and vegetables, and when icemen drove their red horse-drawn wagons through Waco’s dusty streets. The collection of industrial buildings at…

As Americans took to the road in an age of expanded highway systems and ease of travel, the Alamo Plaza Courts Hotel 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 to…

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 lives and…

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 County…

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 Worth,…

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 the…

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…