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…

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…

Edward Charles “E. C.” Blomeyer’s time in Texas was brief but well documented. From telephone poles to animals, floods to parades, and much more, the amateur shutterbug committed many views of early 1900s Texas to film. During his time in Waco,…

Waco’s rapid development established it as one of the most significant urban centers of the South by the late nineteenth century. Home to one of the longest-spanning suspension bridges in the country, the once small frontier town owed a great…

Near the turn of the twentieth century, a booming cotton industry was quickly establishing Waco as one of the major urban centers of the South, encouraging many residents to more readily invest and spend their money locally. In 1890, local stone…

The establishment of Waco Village in the nineteenth century laid the foundation for what would evolve into the vibrant commercial city that is Waco. The humble beginnings of this town were developed upon the site of the Hueco, or Waco Indians’…

In the years leading up to 1870, the Brazos River proved to be both a blessing and a curse to the city of Waco. During that time, no bridges spanned the eight hundred miles of river flowing through Central Texas, forcing cattle drivers moving up the…

When Stephen F. Austin led the first Anglo-American settlers into Texas including areas along the Brazos River, they brought with them their strong agricultural tradition based on cotton-growing. From the period of annexation until well into the…