In the midst of war, some towns stay far removed from the action. For Waco in 1917, this was far from the case. Engineers and workers broke ground for Camp MacArthur training base in July, famously taking up over 1,300 acres of the small Texas city.…

The “irreverent gadflies.” When Baylor University students think about the NoZe Brothers today, they picture fellow students performing shenanigans around campus while wearing big plastic noses, wild wigs, and eclectic outfits. They think of The…

For nearly a century, Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home has provided funeral care to McLennan County, priding themselves on not only offering funeral arrangements, but on serving families during times of grief. Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey…

Centered in Waco as one of the nation’s premier shops for hand-crafted cowboy hats, Standard Hat Works has been serving customers from near and far for over 100 years. William Gross, a Hungarian immigrant to the United States, founded what would…

Situated just off of Waco's historic traffic circle, Circle Hardware Supply stands as one of the city's longest-running businesses. Originally founded by Frank Stevens in 1945 as a small lumber operation called Circle Lumber Company, the business has…

Love it or hate it, Interstate 35 is a presence that is difficult to ignore. As part of America's major interstate highway system, I-35 has left an indelible impact on the city of Waco, prompting dramatic shifts in Waco's economy, neighborhoods, and…

When Ramiro “Ramsey” Muñiz ran for governor of Texas in 1972, he became the first candidate of Hispanic descent to run for the state's gubernatorial seat. Despite Muñiz’s controversial legacy, his career was, for many, as inspiring as it was…

During the 1960s and 70s, the Vietnam War rocked American communities from coast to coast, leaving death and division in its wake. McLennan County was no exception. The Waco Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands on the banks of the Brazos River as a…

From the 1940s to the 1970s, Wacoans could enjoy the full spectrum of the cinematic experience from the comfort of their own cars at the Circle Drive-In Theatre. This theatre, named for Waco's nearby traffic circle, was one of hundreds of drive-in…

During the early 1970s, the rhythms of Austin's much-acclaimed music scene reverberated through McLennan County from Bellmead's Abraxas Club. Until the club's founding, Waco had remained relatively closed off to the music culture that thrived…

For over 100 years, Vitek's Grocery and, now, BBQ restaurant, has remained a cherished business in the Waco area, providing residents with quality meats and a community gathering place. The story of Vitek's BBQ began in 1915, when butcher…

For more than 150 years, the McLennan County Medical Society has kept alive a robust professional medical community in Central Texas, ensuring the best care for patients throughout the Waco area. From the arrival of Texas's earliest non-native…

What began as a small collection of native animals in the 1950s grew into the Cameron Park Zoo Wacoans know today. Cameron Park Zoo rests on fifty-two acres of land near the Brazos River, and is a popular stop for local families, school groups, and…

With the possible entrance into World War II on the horizon, McLennan County officials and local city leaders lobbied the federal government to build a military installation in the Waco area. By August 14, 1941, officials learned about the…

The Waco Symphony Orchestra is a music organization that brings enrichment to the Central Texas community. The Waco Symphony Orchestra Association, Incorporated, as we know it, began its concerts in 1962. However, an orchestra conducted by Max Reiter…

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 most…

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 community…

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…