Recent Stories

“Tumbleweed Smith,” born Bob Lewis in Waco in 1935, has made a name for himself in broadcasting throughout the state of Texas. Inspired by a tumbleweed that rolled across his West Texas lawn and his mother’s maiden name, he adopted the persona of…

Seeking to provide refuge to children and families in need, the Evangelia Settlement Home opened in 1908. Established by religious reformers Ethel Dickson and Nell Symes, the home aimed to care for the least of these throughout Waco’s community for…

With a bellowing voice and masterful piano playing, Mercy Dee Walton emerged as an early influence in rhythm and blues not only in Waco but across the country. Towering figures such as Ma Rainey and Fats Domino are rightfully remembered as…

Once considered a hub for racist activity, Waco served as headquarters for writer and editor Horace Sherman Miller. An avowed white supremacist, Miller perpetuated and propagated racist ideas in the mid-twentieth century. He printed his newsletter,…

Wildlife expert and storyteller Harley Berg provided entertainment for those across Central Texas in the mid-twentieth century. Broadcasting from the local KWTX to the homes of Wacoans, the Harley Berg Show emphasized the importance of wildlife and…

Prior to the construction of the Grand Lodge of Texas, a freemason-affiliated organization known as the Karem Shriners built the grandiose Karem Shrine Temple at Seventh and Washington. Substantial in size and embellished with Masonic emblems, the…

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Brazos River

10 Locations ~ Curated by Baylor University Institute for Oral History & The Texas Collection

Athens of Texas

4 Locations ~ Curated by Baylor University Institute for Oral History & The Texas Collection

Waco History Podcast

Dr. Stephen Sloan of Baylor’s Institute for Oral History talks with others about Waco’s known and unknown past. This is the Waco History Podcast.

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