Oscar DuCongé

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…

The Reservation

Though not uncommon to late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century cities, red-light districts were regarded as areas of ill repute where madams and prostitutes worked outside the law. Yet in 1889, Waco—a city lauded for its multitude of educational…

William Robert Poage

For more than 40 years, the seeds planted in Washington, D.C., by McLennan County native Bob Poage reaped rewards in Central Texas. As U.S. representative from Texas' 11th Congressional District — a post he held from Jan. 3, 1937, until his…

Jesse Washington Lynching

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,…

Camp MacArthur

Ten weeks after the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, Waco was chosen as the site for a military training camp. The United States initially lacked the military manpower needed to fight in the war and needed to rapidly increase the number…

Waco Village

The establishment of Waco Village in the nineteenth century laid the foundation for what would evolve into the vibrant commercial city that is Waco. The humble beginnings of this town were developed upon the site of the Hueco, or Waco Indians’…

Waco Dam

Throughout its history, Waco has been affected by a constant cycle of drought and flooding due to its prime location near several major rivers. The construction of Lake Waco Dam was one of the most successful efforts to address these issues,…

Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher is an excellent example of how a historical site can be reimagined to fit contemporary needs. Comprised of a few shanties in the mid nineteenth century, more than 130 years later the Waco Chamber of Commerce breathed new life into the…

McLennan County Courthouse

Built in 1901, the McLennan County Courthouse holds pride of place within Waco as not only a functioning center of justice but also the city’s most impressive civic building. Designed by James Riley Gordon, the renowned architect responsible for…