Known throughout the nation for his pitching prowess, Andy Cooper made a name for himself at a time when segregation placed limits on black baseball. Now known as the nation’s pastime, baseball has captivated Americans since the early nineteenth…

For over a century, Greenwood Cemetery has stood as a final resting place for many Wacoans and as an important marker for city history.   Established as a segregated cemetery in 1875, Greenwood sits just off of I-35 Business 77. Some of Waco’s…

In 1852, John Robinson arrived in Central Texas, from Demopolis, Alabama, with his family and six slaves, founding what would soon become known as Robinsonville. Two years later, his brother Levi joined him, bringing his own family and an additional…

Jeffie Obrea Allen Conner was born in 1895 on her family’s farm in Harrison Switch, Texas. She was the oldest of three children born to Meddie Lilian and Jeff D. Allen. Harrison Switch, later known as Harrison, was a small African American…

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…

An African American-owned hotel during the period of segregation and Jim Crow laws, the College View Court-Hotel provided respite for black travelers on the road. The College View Court-Hotel offered guests modern comfort with its thirty-five…

Dan “Uncle Dan” McLennan was born in 1849 as a slave to Neil McLennan in what would a year later become known as McLennan County, named for his master. Uncle Dan became a beloved member of not only the McLennan family but of the Waco community as…

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…

Calle Dos emerged in the early twentieth century as a haven for Mexican immigrants fleeing border violence and rapidly developed into a center of culture and community for Waco’s Hispanic population. Prior to the establishment of Calle Dos, Mexican…

Among the names of the many individuals who served valiantly during World War II, Waco’s own Doris Miller was a hero of national and international acclaim. Although many noted the valor he displayed during the war, some argue he still has not…

Paul Quinn College is the oldest historically black college in Texas. Though it is no longer located in Waco, it remains an important part of the city’s history as the “Athens on the Brazos.” In 1872 the African Methodist Episcopalian Church…

Julius “Jules” Bledsoe’s extraordinary musical talent transcended racial discrimination of the nineteenth century and established him as a pioneer in American music. Bledsoe was born on December 29, 1897, to Henry and Jessie Bledsoe in Waco.…

Sandtown was a vibrant and predominately Mexican American neighborhood that was active from the turn of the twentieth century to the 1960s. It encompassed the area of downtown Waco between Third Street and the Brazos River, and the seven blocks…

Society in the South evolved ensuing the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War. The Reconstruction of the South ended in 1877 and only added to the bad racial tensions in the region. Whites instituted laws that held blacks back from education,…

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…

Bridge Street holds an important legacy of connecting North, South, and East Waco, and serving as a center of community for the city’s many ethnic groups. Known as Main Street during Waco’s early days, this historic street earned its new name…

The city of Waco derives its name from the agrarian Indian tribe that originally resided in the area. The Hueco, or Waco Indians were a band of the Wichita tribe that arrived in Central Texas in the 1700s. The tribe’s early history is difficult to…

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…

Over the years, Hebrew Rest has served as a place of comfort and remembrance for Jews in Waco. More than just a burial place, the cemetery’s headstones speak to the city’s rich Jewish heritage. One of Waco’s founding fathers, Jacob de Cordova,…

Organized in 1866, New Hope Baptist Church is one of the oldest African American churches in Waco. Noted throughout its history for its excellent church music programs, New Hope is still a vibrant center of worship for Waco’s black community. The…