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…

Pauline Pipkin Garrett studied music at Baylor in the 1920s, but then the family business came a-calling. Under her leadership, W. P. Pipkin Drugs became one of the Southwest’s largest independently owned drugstore chains. After graduating from…

According to founding Junior League member Margaret Barclay Megarity, mid-twentieth-century service opportunities for young women in Waco were limited to society luncheons and church-sponsored activities primarily run by older women. Frustrated and…

Though not uncommon to late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century cities, red-light districts were regarded as areas of ill repute where madams and prostitutes worked outside the law. Yet in 1889, Waco—a city lauded for its multitude of…

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…

Waco native Vivienne Lucille Malone-Mayes possessed a sharp mind with a resilient spirit to match. In an age where few women, let alone women of color, went on to become prominent figures in higher education, Malone-Mayes made her mark as an…

During World War II, Waco provided a place of refuge and hope of starting anew for many seeking refuge from persecution, such as Otto and Hilde Levy. As tensions escalated throughout Germany as a result of Nazi discrimination, Otto Levy and Hilde…

Temple Rodef Sholom has the distinction of being McLennan County’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation.  Jewish permanent settlers made Waco their home in the mid-nineteenth century. For many years no organized congregation existed; however,…