Bryan, the county seat of Brazos County, is located in west central Brazos County and is crossed by State highways 6 and 21, U.S. Highway 190, Farm roads 158, 1179, 1687, and 1688, and the Missouri Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. Along with College Station, the home of Texas A&M University, which adjoins Bryan to the south, the city is the urban center of Brazos County. The area around the future site of Bryan was settled by members of Stephen F. Austin's colony in the 1820s and 1830s. In 1859, when the Houston and Texas Central Railroad graded a railroad bed through the area, a nephew of Austin, William Joel Bryan, donated land for a townsite to the railroad company. The townsite was named in his honor and was platted that same year. Construction of the railroad was halted at Millican, eighteen miles southeast of Bryan, during the Civil War, but a community of some 300 inhabitants grew up at the townsite. A post office was opened in Bryan in 1866, and that same year the county voted for Bryan to replace Boonville as the county seat. The railroad reached the community in 1867. That year also saw the arrival of telegraph service and the first general store. Many residents of Millican and Boonville moved to the new county seat in the 1860s, and the first courthouse was built in 1871. Though the city voted to incorporate in 1867, it was not formally incorporated until 1871, when it adopted an aldermanic government.
Bryan at a Glance
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Bryan by the Numbers
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|85,224||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|76,201||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|65,660||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|55,002||1990||Texas Demographic Center|
|44,337||1980||Texas Demographic Center|
|33,719||1970||Texas Demographic Center|
|27,542||1960||Texas Demographic Center|
|18,102||1950||Texas Demographic Center|
|11,842||1940||Texas Demographic Center|
|7,814||1930||Texas Demographic Center|
|6,307||1920||Texas Demographic Center|
|4,132||1910||Texas Demographic Center|
|3,589||1900||Texas Demographic Center|
|2,979||1890||Texas Demographic Center|