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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

One of the “go-to” guys for erecting temples to prosperity in Waco during the ragtime era (1900-18), was Roy Ellsworth Lane, who helped establish some of the earliest architectural professional organizations in Texas. Though his structures would…

One of the most infamous publicity stunts of all time, "The Crash at Crush," took place about 3 miles south of West, Texas, featuring two locomotives of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company (known as M-K-T or "Katy") intentionally set on a…

For more than 40 years, the seeds planted in Washington, D.C., by McLennan County native Bob Poage reaped rewards in Central Texas. As U.S. representative from Texas' 11th Congressional District — a post he held from Jan. 3, 1937, until his…

Decades before American Idol made stars out of wannabes, Waco had its own hit-maker, Mary Holliday.Holliday (1901-1969), believed to be the first female radio announcer in Texas, broadcast a thirty-minute youth talent show each Saturday for more…