Settlers of the Texas Frontier were undeniably an eclectic bunch, and the founders of Waco were no exception. One of the main organizers of the new city was a Jewish, Jamaican-born Spaniard named Jacob de Cordova. De Cordova was not only instrumental…

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 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…

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…

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…

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…

The founding of St. Francis on the Brazos in 1924 marked the return of Franciscan missionaries to central Texas after a century’s absence. At the invitation of Rev. C.E. Byrne, the bishop of Galveston, Spanish Franciscan missionaries settled in Waco…