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…

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 McDermott Motors building is a prime example of the way in which many of Waco’s notable architectural structures have been adapted throughout history in order to continually serve the city. Wilford Dees McDermott opened a Buick dealership in…

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…

The Old Corner Drugstore is the birthplace of Dr Pepper. In 1885, Morrison’s Old Corner Drugstore introduced Dr Pepper to customers who eagerly drank the sweet concoction of twenty-three different flavors.  Located at 329 Austin Avenue on the…

Sanger Brothers department stores were often described as the pioneer retail stores of Texas. Yet these successful mercantile ventures arose from humble beginnings. Between 1852 and 1874, five of the seven Sanger brothers immigrated to America from…

At the corner of Clifton Street and Elm Avenue is Jasper’s Bar-B-Que, Waco’s oldest-operating barbecue restaurant. Although East Waco has undergone many changes, Jasper’s has never changed locations and remains a place where residents today can…

In 1886, Wacoans Isaac A. Goldstein and Louey Migel formed the Goldstein-Migel Company in order to try their hand at retail. The partners opened their first store on the ground floor of a building in the 700 block of Austin Avenue with only two…

The story of Reed’s Flowers is as much about its founder, Albert Harry Reed, as it is about the shop. Reed emigrated from London, England, in 1908 at the behest of his brother, Tom Reed. The two Reed brothers worked side by side in Waco as growers…

In 1930, Harry Burmeister opened Harry B’s at 1925 Speight Avenue. Burmeister, a former Baylor student and founding member of the Noze Brothers society, developed the small restaurant, soon making it a local favorite. The original restaurant…

In 1948, brothers-in-law Jack Schaevitz and Lou Stein opened a small mobile food cart at James Connally Air Force Base. The two became so successful selling burgers and frozen custard to military men that they opened a small restaurant on the Waco…

In the early twentieth century, George and Michael Colias immigrated to America from Sparta, Greece, in order to join their two brothers residing in Waco. Just teenagers at the time, the four young men worked together at Chris’ Café as busboys and…

Waco entered an economic slump in the aftermath of the 1953 Waco tornado, urban renewal in the 1960s, and the Austin Avenue Pedestrian Mall in the 1970s and ‘80s. Many businesses either moved or closed their doors permanently during this time. Yet…

City Tire and Battery is a third-generation family-owned establishment started by aspiring entrepreneur George Berry Graves Sr. The business began at Third Street, Washington Avenue, and Franklin Avenue, in the commercial center of downtown Waco in…

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…